Hyundai has shocked the Australian motor industry by becoming the top-selling car last month. It’s the first time the South Korean brand has been in the top spot since the plucky Hyundai Excel knocked the Holden Commodore off its perch in June 1998.
More than 5500 Hyundai i30 hatchbacks were delivered last month, easily eclipsing the tally of 4150 Toyota Corollas and 4130 Mazda 3s (although the Corolla is still ahead for the year to date).
The result is more remarkable once you take into account the Hyundai i30 tally is for hatchback sales alone, whereas the Toyota and Mazda totals include both sedans and hatches.
The sedan version of the Hyundai i30 is sold with another badge, otherwise the leading margin would have been even greater (more than 680 Hyundai Elantra sedans were sold in June).
In other upsets, the Volkswagen Golf, driven by sharp discounting to $24,990 drive-away, edged ahead of the Toyota Camry and just behind the Holden Commodore. Seven of the Top 10 brands posted significant gains, but Holden, Ford and Nissan sales were down compared to the same month last year. The Ford Falcon was once again outsold by the Mercedes-Benz C Class (530 deliveries versus 900). Figures for the total market are not due to be published until Friday, however industry insiders believe the car industry is on track for a new record year.
Hyundai cars were introduced locally in 1986 by Perth car dealer John Hughes — who went on to become the company’s biggest retail outlet in the southern hemisphere from 1997 to 2003 — with financial backing by Alan Bond. But with Bond Corportation suffering financial difficulties, the distribution rights in Australia were then handled by a Singapore-based company from 1990 until Hyundai established a head office locally in 2003. Indeed, Hyundai is now a challenger for third place outright if it can overtake Holden and push the former Number One to fourth by the end of the year. Holden is currently third place behind Toyota and Mazda when the year-to-date tally is calculated, but is locked in a bumper-to-bumper battle with Hyundai. Hyundai has been ahead of Holden for three of the past six months, and the two brands are separated by just 1100 sales in the January-to-June tally.
Top 10 cars in June 2015
Hyundai i30 5520
Toyota HiLux 4280
Toyota Corolla 4150
Mitsubishi Triton 3530
Ford Ranger 3370
Holden Commodore 2770
Volkswagen Golf 2680
Toyota Camry 2600
Mazda CX5 2510
Top 10 brands in June 2015
Toyota 21,500 up 3.3 per cent
Holden 11,930 down 3.3 per cent
Mazda 11,520 up 23 per cent
Hyundai 11,005 up 10 per cent
Mitsubishi 9015 up 8.9 per cent
Ford 7250 down 16.8 per cent
Volkswagen 7105 up 7.7 per cent
Nissan 6645 down 16.9 per cent
Honda 5310 up 70 per cent
Subaru 4500 up 16.9 per cent
Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries & news.com.au