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Oh, what a top feeling
By Paul Gover
January 8, 2004
www.news.com.au

TOYOTA has beaten Holden to the number one spot in the new-car market for 2003.

The Holden Commodore was Australia's favourite car for the eighth straight year, as Holden led passenger car sales for its sixth consecutive year.

But Toyota's all-round strength - and its dominance of the 4WD and light-commercial scene - gave it overall victory in the showroom race.

Total vehicle sales reached an all-time high of 909,811 vehicles, up by a whopping 10.4 per cent over the previous mark of 824,309 in 2002, as Toyota trumped Holden by 10,958.

Nissan's sales of 58,568 gave it a clear win as leading importer, with Mazda's 53,217 sales placing it second.

"The automotive industry has clearly shifted into a higher gear and we expect it to remain there for the immediately foreseeable future," said Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Peter Sturrock.

The 2003 results showed Australians had a growing appetite for 4WDs during 2003, as well as buying more baby and mid-sized cars, but turned away from people movers and sports cars.

Luxury cars also did well, with sales up by 17.5 per cent.

Toyota trumpeted its success but also sounded a warning to its rivals, as it aims to repeat its six years at No. 1 through the 1990s.

"We wish to maintain market leadership. It's our rightful place. We have the best cars," Toyota executive chairman John Conomos said.

He admitted Toyota had failed to accurately forecast demand during 2003 and could have added another 10,000 sales to its total if it had ordered the right vehicles at the right time.

"We got it wrong. We got the forecast wrong. I made a mistake," he said.

Holden was happy to be runner-up, despite Ford snapping at its unbeaten six-year run with the Commodore as the BA Falcon grabbed top spot for one month last year.

Holden attributed the end of its two-year reign as top car company to troubles with its European-built Barina-Astra-Vectra lineup.

"If you look at the specifics it really gets down to a couple of issues. That's pricing of European-sourced cars," said Holden's executive director of sales and marketing, Ross MacKenzie.

"That's really what hurt us. You can tie it back to exchange rates.

"Everything else was good, but you can't get around the price issue in the four cylinder market. That's what killed us."

Mr MacKenzie said Holden was planning to bounce back in 2004, and had trimmed Barina prices by $1000 as Toyota added $250 to the bottom line on its sales-leading Echo.

"I don't see why we can't get back up there (to number one)," Mr MacKenzie said.

Full Article Here

Toyota Echo:


Holden Commodore:


Ford BA Falcon:
 

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That's funny, the Ford is ricier than the ricer burner.

LOL!

*edit*

The poster changed the picture of the Ford, the other one had one of those asian spoiler. Also, he did not include a Commoore picture before.

Also, the Commodore REALLY looks like a buick. The Monaro would have made a great buick...
 

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Originally posted by TAFreak@Jan 7 2004, 10:21 PM
That's funny, the Ford is ricier than the ricer burner.

LOL!

*edit*

The poster changed the picture of the Ford, the other one had one of those asian spoiler. Also, he did not include a Commoore picture before.

Also, the Commodore REALLY looks like a buick. The Monaro would have made a great buick...
The Ford photo was too big - I just found a smaller one, and a good sized one for the current Commodore.
 

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Originally posted by TAFreak@Jan 8 2004, 03:21 AM
Also, the Commodore REALLY looks like a buick. The Monaro would have made a great buick...
Funny you say that. Because the reason the current generation Commodore was designed for LHD is because there was a plan to sell the 1997 VT Commodore as a Buick. Apparantly the unions blocked the idea. So Holden had already engineered the car for LHD, they went searching for other LHD markets, and discovered the Middle East. Now they sell heaps there, and ultimately sell Monaros in the U.S. now too. You could say it turned out better than expected almost by accident.
 

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I had no clue that Holden sold so many cars. That is awsome, why dont they sell the Holden brand in America, besides the GTO. All of their cars look better than most GM cars. Whats with that? Toyota BLOWS
 

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Toyota beats Holden with their much larger range of SUV's. The Landcruiser is a big seller here, and they have something for every segment. Holden have rebadged Isuzus, and they have no small SUV's. Holden outsold Toyota if you only count 'cars'.
 

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It's sad to think that Toyota beat Holden because of trucks. Perhaps Holden could benefit from GM's North American trucks in the same way that Pontiac is benefitting from Holden's great cars. Somehow, the Jackaroo and Rodeo don't really cut it.

Besides, a close #2 to Toyota actually isn't all that bad, considering how well some of Holden's vehicles (e.g., the Commodore line) do despite their age.
 

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Originally posted by Mr_Pringle@Jan 8 2004, 05:24 PM
I know that this is a little off topic- but did anyone notice how the Commodore and Falcon look so very similar?
third that...


block off the front end and I have no idea whos who. I do like the front of the ford better... omg did I just say that? I think I need to go wash my brain out with bleach.
 

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It's interesting to see that Holden was only out-sold by a total of 10,000 vehicles, and Toyota had a much broader range of SUV's and Trucks. Does Toyota sell Lexus in Australia? If so did they count those numbers too?

Since Holden has been so nice to let us have a version of the Monaro for the U.S. market, GM should let Holden use GM's excellent GMT800 truck platform, i.e. Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban. They have the interior room and underhood room to make them right hand drive with some work, V8 engines, stout components, they would be perfect for Australia. I know that many years ago GM did sell many U.S made or designed in the U.S. So why not sell some trucks there to help Holden, the new Colorado and Canyon would be excellent too, as well as the Trailblazer.
 

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Holden sold the Suburban in limited numbers a few years ago. And I know the just retired Holden boss Peter Hanenberger was trying to get the Tahoe to Australia, I guess the biggest hurdle to jump is RHD. I think the RHD Suburbans used to be made in Mexico.

Yes Lexus is sold in Australia, but no they are not counted in Toyota's sales figues.

Also, throughout history the Commodore and Falcon often look similar. This is because both are relatively conservative family cars designed in the same city (Melbourne) at the same time for exactly the same market. Ford tried to be different with the 1998 AU Falcon, but it sold very poorly, so now Ford is back to traeding the same conservative path.
 

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Originally posted by tgagneguam@Jan 8 2004, 02:37 PM
It's sad to think that Toyota beat Holden because of trucks. Perhaps Holden could benefit from GM's North American trucks in the same way that Pontiac is benefitting from Holden's great cars. Somehow, the Jackaroo and Rodeo don't really cut it.

Besides, a close #2 to Toyota actually isn't all that bad, considering how well some of Holden's vehicles (e.g., the Commodore line) do despite their age.
I dont know how the SUV market is there. Would something like a FWD Saturn Vue sell well there? I cant even think of what small SUVs GM north america has....

But, Id happily trade some Chevy Colorados for the VE paltform. Those oughta humilate those little Toyota trucks, I dont know what name they go by there.
 
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