IF YOU want to see the combined impact of the strong Australian dollar and the mining boom, look no further than the new-car sales results for June 2012.
It was a record month in the history of Australian motoring, with 112,566 deliveries - up 17.1% on the same month last year, and up 3.5% on the previous record set in June 2010.
The Toyota HiLux was the top-selling vehicle for the third month in a row and the Mazda3 small car was the most popular passenger vehicle for the sixth consecutive month.
However, official figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show that the HiLux and other utilities were buoyed by strong demand in the mining states: Queensland, West Australia and the Northern Territory (up by between 18 and 37% compared with the same month last year).
As the number of small soft-roaders increases, so too does their demand. SUV sales were up 46% in June and 33% so far this year. Meanwhile, the bad news gets worse for locally-made large cars.
After witnessing the Ford Falcon's sharp decline in the past few years (it's now outside the top 20 sellers) the Holden Commodore slipped to eighth - its lowest monthly ranking ever - behind the Volkswagen Golf hatchback by just three sales.
If Toyota had combined the sales of its Camry four-cylinder sedan and Aurion V6 sedan (effectively the same car but with different engines) they too would have outsold the Commodore.
Official VFACTS figures also reveal that if Hyundai combined i30 hatch with the Elantra sedan sales (they are twins under the skin), Hyundai would have the top-selling passenger car in Australia (the combined 4089 sales would have edged ahead of the Mazda3's tally of 3924).
The totals for Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla include both sedan and hatch variants. Holden had a month it would rather forget as it waits for supplies of its all-new Colorado utility to ramp up.
Top 10 cars
- Toyota HiLux: 4308
- Mazda3: 3924
- Toyota Corolla: 3804
- Holden Cruze: 3057
- Nissan Navara: 3034
- Hyundai i30: 3024
- Volkswagen Golf: 2746
- Holden Commodore: 2743
- Toyota Camry: 2303
- Mitsubishi Triton: 2186
Top 10 brands
Year-to-date June 2012
- Toyota: 106,035 - 24.6%
- Holden: 56,183 - 10.2 %
- Mazda: 52,133 - 19.0 %
- Hyundai: 45,306 - 5.4 %
- Ford: 43,430 - 4.0 %
- Nissan: 39,879 - 17.4 %
- Mitsubishi: 31,139 - 1.1 %
- Volkswagen: 26,966 - 31.5 %
- Subaru: 21,341 - 14.5 %
- Honda: 16,153 - 1.2 %
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