Imports again trump Holden in Australia
The Mazda3 small car was Australia's top-selling car last year, as imports continued to swamp Australian-made cars.
A pair of Toyotas - the HiLux ute and Corolla small car - filled the minor placings, while the Holden Commodore continued to slide down the sales charts, finishing fourth.
To rub salt into the wounds, the Commodore was again outsold by the Toyota Camry in December - the third month in a row that the Toyota has been the best selling Aussie-made car.
It was an even bleaker end to the year for Ford’s struggling local hero, the Falcon, with preliminary figures obtained by Drive showing that it was outsold by the petrol-electric version of the Camry and Toyota’s Aurion sedan.
Poor Falcon sales saw Ford slip from third to fifth on the sales charts this year, overtaken by Mazda and Hyundai.
The Falcon managed roughly 14,000 sales this year, compared to a peak of more than 80,000 in 1995.
Overall figures suggest the new-car market was up about 16 per cent in December and 10 per cent for the year, with annual sales reaching a new record of about 1.1 million new vehicles.
SUVs continue to be popular with buyers, with sales up by a quarter in 2012.
Toyota was number one brand for the tenth time in a row, buoyed by strong sales of its locally-made sedans and its continued dominance of the SUV market.
Holden and Ford both lost market share this year, while brands that grew the most included Jeep, Land Rover, Kia, Volkswagen and Chinese newcomer Great Wall Motors.
Official figures are released on Friday.
Top ten vehicles in December
2. Toyota Camry
3. Toyota Corolla
4. Toyota HiLux
5. Nissan Navara
6. Hyundai i30
7. Holden Commodore
8. Toyota Yaris
9. Ford Focus
10. Holden Cruze
Top ten brands in 2012