Hyundai has declared an ‘early start’ to its New Year celebrations, breaking its all-time yearly sales record in Australia this month.
Hyundai has experienced its 19th consecutive month of year-on-year sales growth. This perhaps represents a ‘changing of the guard’ in the Australian new-car market. (And achieved without a commercial ute in the range.)
Hyundai is currently fourth in overall sales for 2013 - but future years could tell a different story, as the carmaker closes in on second place with sales up a healthy 6.5 percent for the year to the end of November.
That figure may improve too, as Hyundai is finishing 2013 strong with December predicted to be another good month.
While Toyota is way out in front, second-placed Holden has experienced a 2.9 percent decline in yearly sales to the end of November, and third-placed Mazda has seen sales rise just 0.3 percent.
Mazda sales are certainly still stong, and sales will improve in 2014 with the arrival of its all-new Mazda3. The small car is already second in its segment and overall for 2013 - and poised to reclaim the sales lead.
Holden, on the other hand, is an each-way bet.
Ford experienced a very small spike in Falcon and Territory sales upon announcing its departure from manufacturing in Australia and Holden may yet see sales lift, as its decision to do likewise could stir the emotions of local buyers enough to get them buying locally-built Commodores again (while they still can).
Buyers could turn on Holden, however, in response to parent General Motors abandoning local manufacturing.
And, despite mixed reports on the future of the brand - and Holden's own promise to stay in the market - it remains to be seen exactly what General Motors has in store for its Australian arm.
How will the overall sales-race end for 2013? What will 2014 and future years bring, particularly for the growing Hyundai brand? TMR will be watching with interest…