The hottest car brands in Oz

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With the local automotive industry taking a hit in production, many foreign brands are taking circles on Australian shores these days. Luxury brands have displayed a growing tendency, and Japanese imports are sweeping the market. Of the top high performing brands, at least five Japanese companies make the top ten cut.

Even after recently confirming that they will shut down their manufacturing unit in Australia, Toyota continues to dominate the Australian market, with Mazda together accounting for more than 100,000 SUVs sold in 2015. Toyota’s Corolla was the best performing car of the year, followed closely by HiLux and Camry. The Mazda 3 was the second best performing car and its CX-5 also made it to the top ten.

Among other winning Japanese models, the Isuzu Ute has done surprisingly well for a small company, sweeping past leading names like Pajero and Pathfinder. Mitsubishi, Honda and Subaru are also in the top ten. Honda’s HR-V, especially, and the Jazz have been instrumental in reviving the brand after a pretty dark period in the past few years.

That is not to say that other European brands are ready to quit just yet. Renault has made quite the headway on the back of its excellent after-sales services and Clio, its best performing model.

Of course the Japanese are doing well, but is it good enough to beat the reputation of European brands when it comes to quality and luxury? For instance, Volkswagen continues to roll in big numbers despite the humungous controversy last year and other European makes are continuing to populate the cities, including Porsche, Skoda, Mini, Lexus and Maserati.

Although Holden has made it to the top ten brands, its market share has consistently declined in the past year, and it cannot hope to hold on much longer. With relief on imports of cars and other revisions in law expected by 2018, foreign imports will continue to rise. Now, it will essentially be a battle between Europe, Asia and America. Korea’s Hyundai has also done well, placing fourth in the top ten brands of 2015. The Hyundai i30 is taking more than a few rounds on Australian streets.

So that’s it for last year’s best selling brands in Oz. I’d like to make an honourable mention of an underappreciated brand that is just not living up to its potential. The Kia Pro_cee’d GT and Kia Rondo are two amazing models whose sales, for reasons unknown, have been maddeningly disappointing. Give a shot to the stylish Pro_cee’d GT and the $30K something hatchback that is Rondo, and you just might get pleasantly surprised. Maybe the marketing of the brand could be a little better, but once you try these wheels; well, quality speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

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