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Winners and Losers of 2016

Author: Jaedene HudsonDate: 17 January 2017

The Toyota HiLux utility has become Australia's most popular selling car. According to figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), 42,104 HiLuxes were sold in 2016 (11,028 4x2s and 31,076 4x4s). The HiLux – which also set a new national record for 4x4 sales – edged out its stablemate, the Toyota Corolla, which has held the top spot for the last three years.

In total, 1.18 million new cars were sold last year, up two per cent on the previous record set in 2015.

The Toyota Corolla finished second on 40,330 sales and the Hyundai i30 came third with 37,772, while the Ford Ranger (36,934) and Mazda3 (36,107) rounded out the top five.

Toyota also leads overall, with a market share of 17.8 per cent. The silver medal goes to Mazda with 10 per cent and Hyundai takes bronze on 8.6 per cent. Holden (8 per cent) and Ford (6.9 per cent) were fourth and fifth.

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FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber says the past decade has seen a remarkable change, with the HiLux as the nation's top-selling vehicle and the ever-growing strength of SUV sales.

"It is an intriguing and exciting time for industry watchers, as there's little doubt we are observing a significant and dynamic transition in consumer preference,'' he says. "While buyer demand for traditional passenger cars remains healthy, it's clear consumers are gradually transitioning into other segments."

Australia's unquenchable desire for SUVs continues, with the trendy wagons now accounting for 37.4 per cent of the market, up from 35.4 per cent in 2015. SUV sales for the year finished at 441,017 with passenger cars narrowly holding the lead on 481,257. Contributing to the rise in SUV sales, with a 27.1 per cent increase, were large SUVs – these are the tough 4x4s, such as the Toyota LandCruiser and Nissan Patrol.

Spurred on by the strong HiLux and Ranger sales, light commercial vehicles accounted for 18.5 percent of the market, up from 17.2 per cent in 2015. In fact, three utes from Thailand made it into the top 10 best sellers, including the Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton at fourth and ninth respectively.

In contrast, the upper large passenger car segment made the biggest fall, down 23.3 per cent on 2015 as buyers either left the sector or switched to SUVs.

Key highlights and lowlights are as follows:

1. Jaguar +132.8%
2. Infniti +40.6%
3. Kia +26.5%
4. Volvo +18.9%
5. Ford +15.3%

1. Dodge -69.9 % (left market in 2016)
2. SsangYong -62.9%
3. Proton -56.8%
4. Alfa Romeo -54.9%
5. Chrysler -50.1%

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