Top selling cars of 2011

Click here for the year end update Jan 2012

Click here for the year to May 2013 results

From cars, to computer games, to holiday destinations and everything in between, top ten lists are a favourite of hobbyists and enthusiasts the world over. From the fickle (the bar stool top ten) to the rigorous (top tens based on massive amounts of results and research), they reveal more and more about how we relate to the world around us and how we prioritise belongings, experiences and sometimes even personalities. This week we look at the top 10 selling cars (Australian market) so far in 2011 (January to August) and what the numbers mean.

What do the vehicles have in common?

Of the vehicles listed in the piece, 6 can be described as sedan vehicles (there are variations of most of these vehicles however the sedan is most likely to be the highest seller within the model family) and 2 can be described as hatchback vehicles. There is also a utility vehicle and a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) in the list. From this it is safe to say that sedan based cars are still the most relevant vehicles for Australian drivers. It’s also important to note that within this top ten there are only 5 vehicle manufacturers.

Top sellers 2011 (Jan - Aug) Top sellers 2001
1. Mazda3 1. Holden Commodore
2. Holden Commodore 2. Ford Falcon
3. Holden Cruze 3. Toyota Corolla
4. Toyota Corolla 4. Holden Astra
5. Toyota Hilux 5. Mitsubishi Magna V6
6. Hyundai i30 6. Hyundai Accent
7. Mazda2 7. Nissan Pulsar
8. Ford Falcon 8. Toyota Camry (4 cyl)
9. Ford Territory 9. Mitsubishi Lancer
10. Toyota Camry 10.Toyota Hilux

* Info from (VFACTS) and

How have things changed in the last 10 years?

Amazingly very little has changed since 2001. Of the top ten cars there are only 5 new entrants and even the new entrants tend to be similar to the cars they have replaced (Holden Cruze instead of Holden Astra, Hyundai i30 instead of Hyundai Accent). The most remarkable change appears to be the fall of the Mitsubishi's and the meteoric rise of the Mazda brand, with the latter storming in to number one after having no presence just ten years ago.


What does this mean for fleet managers?

While very little has changed in terms of vehicle type, it can be said that the one stand out difference is the rise of Mazda. Consumers and fleet buyers alike obviously see something special in both their Mazda3 and Mazda2 models. In this sense, fleet managers who previously turned away from Mazda should perhaps take a second look. The second most important element of all of this is that big cars are still an extremely prominent part of the Australian car landscape. In this sense it would be difficult to get buy in from any key stakeholders if one was considering replacing a fleet of sedans to a fleet of the more fuel efficient hatchbacks.

******UPDATE Jan 2012******

How the year ended

Apart from a few shifts with the Holden Cruze, the Nissan Navara and the Mitsubishi Lancer the September to December period did not bring major surprises or shocks. The only eyebrow raiser would be the complete fall of the Mazda 2 out of the top 10. As one of the smallest cars in the top ten it was held up as a sign of the changing attitudes of the times. However it would seem that Australian consumers have not bought into the small car idea as wholeheartedly as they appeared to in August.

By model

Rank Vehicle 2011 2010 %diff 
1. Mazda3 41,429 39,003 6.2
2. Holden Commodore 40,617 45,956 -11.6
3. Toyota Hilux 36,124 39,896 -9.5
4. Toyota Corolla 36,087 41,632 -13.3
5. Holden Cruze 33,784 28,334 19.2
6. Hyundai i30 28,869 29,772 -3
7. Nissan Navara 21,675 21,171 2.4
8. Toyota Camry 19,169 25,014 -23.4
9. Ford Falcon 18,741 29,516 -36.5
10 Mitsubishi Lancer 18,717 23,076 -18.9

By Brand

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
10. Honda 30,107 40,375 -25.4

All statistics via VFacts

How things look for the manufacturers

One look at the manufactures figures tells us the grim story behind the job losses at Toyotas Altona plant in Victoria. The manufacturer appears to be haemorrhaging car sales and with a 15.4% drop in sales figures it would take a very upbeat Toyota representative to put a positive spin on 2011. Overall car sales figures were down and the top twenty cars alone dropped 7% on last years results. Despite this there have been some happy stories with Hyundai, VW and Nissan all posting sales increased sales.

Have you thought about buying a car this year, why not find out more about a Novated Lease?

See our tips for the top 10 selling Australian vehicles for 2012

Have a look at what they buy in the 4 most populated countries?

India top ten cars

Indonesia top ten cars

China top ten cars

Brazil top ten cars


What do you think of this years sales figures?

Please comment below.

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