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The Australian new motor vehicle market has staged a remarkable comeback in the second half of 2011 to finish above one million calendar-year sales for only the fourth time in history.

Official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries shows that a total of 1,008,437 new passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were delivered to customers during 2011.

These figures represent a decrease in volume of 2.6 per cent (or 27,137 fewer sales) compared with 2010 – which can be attributed to challenging market conditions and significant supply shortages during the year, according to FCAI chief executive Ian Chalmers.

“2011 full year sales are an exceptional result given the effects of natural disasters both at home and abroad throughout the year,” Mr Chalmers said.

“The uptake of new vehicles was impacted early in the year by economic uncertainty, closely followed by natural disasters in the key markets of Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

“Sales were further subdued by Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, with a resulting shortage of export vehicles from that country a secondary outcome of the extreme loss of life experienced by the Japanese people.

“The resilience of the Australian marketplace, combined with strong industry resolve, saw sales recover strongly in the fourth quarter, with total sales finishing just 3.9 per cent behind the FCAI’s forecast of 1,050,000 for the year.”

Sales results
Toyota was the best selling vehicle brand in 2011, with 181,624 sales for a market share of 18 per cent.

Holden and Ford finished second and third with 126,095 sales (12.5 per cent market share) and 91,243 (nine per cent) respectively.

Mazda3 was the best-selling model for the full year, edging out Holden Commodore by 812 vehicles to finish with 41,429 sales.

Toyota HiLux was third overall with 36,124 sales, followed by Toyota Corolla (36,087) and Holden Cruze (33,784).

The small car, Luxury SUV and 4×4 light commercial segments led the sales charge throughout 2011, growing by 2.1, 22.4 and 6.3 per cent respectively.

Looking forward
Mr Chalmers said the FCAI’s outlook for 2012 was cautiously optimistic.

“Once again in 2012 we are predicting the market to top one million sales – a realistic assessment given the recent nature of competitive strategy in the retail sector and strong consumer demand for new models,” he said.

“2012 will require a concerted and collaborative effort by the industry and government to drive the automotive sector in this country forward.

“Top of agenda is the need to finalise a CO2 emission standard in this country, with this industry having led the charge by delivering significant gains in fuel efficiency over the past decade.

“We’ll also be closely assessing the impact of carbon pricing to be introduced from July.

“Significantly, 2012 will be a year where the industry reinforces the pivotal importance of co-investment programs between government and industry in competing for, and winning, important new manufacturing assignments for Australia.”

 

SALES RESULTS

Top 10 manufacturers (market share and volume):

 

Rank

Brand

2011

2010

% diff

1.

Toyota

181,624

214,718

-15.4

2.

Holden

126,095

132,923

-5.1

3.

Ford

91,243

95,284

-4.2

4.

Mazda

88,333

84,777

4.2

5.

Hyundai

87,008

80,038

8.7

6.

Nissan

67,926

62,676

8.4

7.

Mitsubishi

61,108

62,496

-2.2

8.

Volkswagen

44,740

38,016

17.7

9.

Subaru

34,011

40,025

-15.0

10.

Honda

30,107

40,375

-25.4

 

Source: VFACTS

Top 10 individual models (by sales volume):

Rank

Vehicle

2011

2010

% diff

1.

Mazda3

41,429

39,003

6.2

2.