Holden Commodore VE
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In 2006, car sales drop by 2% in Australia to 962,666 units, and larger models suffered greatly from the petrol price surge. The Holden Commodore needed the help of its new VE generation to reduce a sharp 30% drop over the first half of the year. Launched in August, the VE delivers 6%+ shares all the way through to December, peaking at 6.8% in October. All in all the fall at year-end is ‘just’ 15% to 56,531 sales and 5.9% share, still the Commodore’s lowest annual volume in 15 years (since 1991) and its lowest market share ever.
Massive event in second place: for the first time since the launch of the Ford Falcon in 1960, it is not occupied by either a Ford or a Holden but by a Toyota! The Ford Falcon is hit hard at -20% and drops to third place with 42,390 sales and 4.4%. Reversely, the Toyota Corolla ranked #1 twice this year, in June and July (both times at 6.1%), and finished 2006 at a best-ever 2nd position, the highest ever year-end ranking by a Japanese model in Australia, with 46,256 sales and 4.8%, its highest ever volume in Australia.
Record showing for the Toyota Hilux, up to a best-ever 4th spot with 36,894 sales, up 18% and 3 ranks on 2005. It climbed onto the monthly Australian podium for the first time ever in April and passed the 4,000 monthly units mark for the first time in June. Below the Mazda3, stable at #5, the Toyota Camry drops 17% to #6 but thanks to the new gen launched in July, it is #3 with 4% in October, above the Falcon for the first time. The Toyota Yaris is the best new entrant in the Top 10 in 7th with 27,990 sales and 2.9%, a big improvement on the 2005 17th place of the Echo it replaces.
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