Aussies bought more vehicles in 2017 and here are top selling nameplates

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Toyota Australia
Holden cars are pictured at a dealership located in the Western Australian city of Perth December 12, 2013. Reuters/David Gray

Latest sales figures suggest that Australians now prefer utes and SUVs and are turning their backs on hatchbacks and sedans. Among top ten selling nameplates were utes.

The year 2017 saw Australians purchasing a record number of new vehicles. Demand for sports utilities showed no sign of cooling while buyers continue to shun traditional hatchbacks.

Keeping up with its strong run is demand for commercial vehicles with the light sector up 20.6 percent on December 2016. Sales of heavy vehicles rose 13.7 percent.

Toyota topped the table for all of 2017. Mazda and Hyundai followed. The Toyota HiLux secured the top spot of bestselling vehicle for two consecutive times. The Ford’s Ranger ute and Mitsubishi Triton are among top selling vehicles. Good sales were also recorded for Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and Hyundai i30 hatchbacks.

Kia was reportedly the fastest growing of the mainstream brands, with sales up by 28 percent last year. Below are the top ten brands for 2017.

  • Toyota 216,566
  • Mazda 116,349
  • Hyundai 97,013
  • Holden 90,306
  • Mitsubishi 80,654
  • Ford 78,161
  • Volkswagen 58,004
  • Nissan 56,594
  • Kia 54,737
  • Subaru 52,511

The solid sales of commercial vehicles pointed to strong business spending. In December alone, 102,820 new vehicles have been sold, according to the Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS report.

That was an increase of 4.1 percent compared to the same month of 2016. Sales of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) outpaced those of passenger cars last year.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber has revealed that Aussies purchased 465,646 SUVs last year for a 39.2 percent share of the total market. That was an increase from 37.8 percent in 2016. Sales of SUVs in December were up 15.7 percent on a year before while passenger vehicles declined 13.3 percent.

“The shift in industry dynamic we observed last year has now become entrenched in our market,” Weber said, adding the growth pattern is expected to continue. Sales for utes are increasing at double-digit rates.

Toyota Australia President Matthew Callachor said sales of SUVs have increased by 14 percent while sales of light commercial vehicles have grown 18.9 percent. He added the surge in demand for vehicles like HiLux can be perceived as an extension of SUVs’ popularity.

“Our most popular HiLux, accounting for one-in-four sales, is a (top-spec) SR5 four-wheel-drive with an automatic transmission,” reported Callachor as saying. He added that Australians have passion for sports-related vehicles and he suspects there will be more moves in that area.

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