HiLux just helped Toyota post its best new year vehicle sales in Australia in a decade

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/ Getty ImagesToyota’s hi-flyer

It says a lot that Australia’s best-selling car is a ute — the Toyota HiLux — and right now, the country is still going crazy for the light commercial vehicle.

The Japanese vehicle manufacturer, which made its last Camry in Australia in October last year, posted its best January sales in a decade last month.

The HiLux led the way with sales jumping 21.9% on 12 months ago.

Toyota posted 15,306 new-vehicle sales in January, setting a new January record for HiLux with 3,860 deliveries last month. That figure was only just under December’s figure of 3,949 sales, which made it the top-seller that month, around 400 cars ahead of its nearest rival, the Holden Astra.

The company also set a new record with LandCruiser Prado sales up 10% to 1,169 vehicles sold, compared to January 2017, making the Prado the large SUV segment market leader.

Toyota’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley said January’s SUV sales where up a massive 40% compared with a year ago.

“This remarkable growth was almost matched by our light-commercial vehicles,” he said.

Toyota’s good start to 2018 follows a record 2017 for sales — the fourth in five years — with total 12-month sales up 0.9% on 2016 to 1,189,116 vehicles.

Toyota was 2017’s top-selling brand with an 18.2% market share, nearly double its nearest rival, Mazda with 9.8%, followed by Hyundai (8.2%), Holden (7.6%) and Mitsubishi (6.8%).

The HiLux was the top-selling model for 2017 for the second year in a row.

HiLux’s strength drove another climb in light commercial vehicles to a total market share of 19.9% in 2017, up 1.4% on the previous year.

SUV growth continued its upward trend for a 39.2% share of the total market last year. It was the first time SUVs outstripped passenger vehicle sales, which sat at 37.8% in 2017.

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