Toyota’s Corolla has leapfrogged its stablemate HiLux to become Australia’s best-selling car in 2016.
HiLux entered September at the top of the sales ladder with a narrow lead over Corolla, only to see the small-car champion reverse the pecking order by the end of the month.
News that Corolla has grabbed the highest position on the podium coincides with the popular small car celebrating its 50th anniversary and more than 44 million sales around the world.
The local Corolla-HiLux double act has enabled Toyota Australia to achieve higher sales for each of the past six months than in the corresponding months of 2015.
At three-quarter time for the year, Australian motorists have bought more than 155,000 Toyota vehicles – a gain of 3.7 per cent over the same period last year.
Toyota now has a virtually unassailable lead of more than 60,000 sales over its nearest rival as it moves to cement market leadership in Australia for the 20th time, including 14 years in a row since 2003.
Corolla has contributed 30,948 sales so far in 2016, or one-fifth of Toyota’s market-leading total, while HiLux is a mere 121 deliveries away from snatching the crown. HiLux is also the country’s leading four-wheel drive vehicle.
While Corolla has been Australia’s best-selling car for each of the past three years, a full-year victory to HiLux would make history as the first to achieve that feat.
The Corolla nameplate was launched in Japan in October 1966 and went on sale in Australia the following year. The HiLux pedigree in this country is almost as impressive, stretching back to 1971.
Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the company and its dealers would continue to be focused on customers, who Toyota refers to as guests, rather than on bragging rights.
“Business success for Toyota and our dealer network revolves around delivering an exceptional guest experience,” Mr. Cramb said.
“Any sales milestones we achieve are a direct result of how well we implement our guest-first approach while delivering vehicles renowned for their quality and appeal,” he said.