Small cars overtook large cars as Australia’s biggest single new vehicle sales segment a few years ago, and since then their popularity has grown almost as much as large car sales have declined.
In the last 12 months, sales of small cars have increased by 6.4 per cent, with the Toyota Corolla – led by the new hatchback -- snatching best-seller honours from the ageing Mazda3, 28,596 to 27,729 units respectively.
Ford’s Focus continues to garner favour with motorists, with the small Ford claiming 7.2 per cent share of the small car market -- up 18.4 per cent on 2012 – while the cost-conscious Toyota Prius v hybrid has surged in popularity, with Toyota delivering 679 examples so far in 2013 -- up 75.9 per cent on the same time last year.
Clever marketing and price repositioning have spelt success for Fiat, with the Italian maker enjoying a sales spurt with its VW Golf-rivalling Giulietta, which is up an astonishing 173.3 per cent on 2012. So far this year it has found 1096 new homes – up from just 401 last year.
The cute Fiat 500 is another 2013 success story, with 1154 examples of the pint-size city-car zipping out of showrooms -- a staggering improvement of 251.8 per cent on 2012 sales figures.
At the premium end of the market, Mercedes-Benz has wowed discerning buyers with the B-Class, almost 2400 of which have been sold – up from 881 in 2012. In the same period, Audi has parked 1183 examples of the A3 hatch in prestigious driveways around the nation.
In contrast and despite considerable price reductions, sales of the BMW 1 Series have slowed, with the Bavarian manufacturer suffering a 2.7 per decline in model sales – 1309 to 1346.
Nissan’s all-electric Leaf also appears to be winning over more environmentally conscious customers, with a hefty price cut helping the hatch to notch up a respectable 47.17 per cent sales increase in 2012, to 100.
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