AUSTRALIANS are buying fewer cars and more SUVs, according to January figures.
The Aussie family car is rapidly changing shape. The latest sales figures, released on Friday, show car sales are in decline already in 2012 while sales of SUVs are booming.
Australians who want size and space are shunning traditional sedans and wagons in favour of SUVs. Small, medium and large SUVs all enjoyed double digit growth over January last year, while large cars were down 6.8 per cent.
Six of the top 20 sellers were SUVs with the Toyota RAV4 out-selling every medium and large car in the country, with the exception of the Holden Commodore.
But it is small cars that still dominate the sales charts, with the Mazda3 starting 2012 as it finished 2011, at the top of the charts. After ending the Holden Commodore's 15-year reign as the best-selling car in Australia, this year's top honour looks set to be a three-way small car fight.
Behind the Mazda3 were the Toyota Corolla and Holden Cruze, while the Hyundai i30 (fifth), Ford Focus (eighth), Mitsubishi Lancer (ninth) showed the strength of small car sales in 2012.
In fact, 10 of the top 20 sellers in January were either small or light cars.
Only one large car, the fourth placed Commodore, remains inside the top 20 sellers in January. Next best was the 21st placed Toyota Aurion that pipped the Ford Falcon by 58 sales.
In a month when both Holden and Toyota announced cuts to its local workforce there wasn't much good news for Ford's locally-made Falcon either.
The second-best selling car in the country in 2005, the Falcon has been in sales decline for years. It was out-sold by the Toyota Aurion which means it is currently the worst-selling Australian-made sedan; ahead of only the Ford Territory and Falcon and Commodore-based utes.
Overall the market is up 4.3 per cent on January last year in a positive sign for the industry and the economy.
Top sellers - January 2012
1. Mazda3 - 4045
2. Toyota Corolla - 3383
3. Holden Cruze - 2445
4. Holden Commodore - 2170
5. Hyundai i30 - 1986
6. Mazda2 - 1624
7. Nissan Navara - 1609
8. Ford Focus - 1576
9. Mitsubishi Lancer - 1470
10. Toyota Yaris - 1352
11. Holden Barina - 1318
12. Toyota RAV4 - 1292
13. Toyota Camry - 1290
14. Mazda CX-7 - 1167
15. Toyota Kluger - 1105
16. Mitsubishi Triton - 1098
17. Toyota Hilux - 1080
18. Volkswagen Golf - 1051
19. Toyota Landcruiser - 1003
20. Holden Captiva 7 - 997
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