In Australia, it looks like the trend towards fuel-efficient cars will have as its victim the venerable Holden Commodore. The Commodore has been the best-selling car in the Australian continent for the past 15 years. Up to five years ago, the Commodore, together with the Ford Falcon, were consistently first and second in the sales charts. However, a combination of factors such as ever-increasing fuel prices and changes in buyer preferences have seen these once dominant models being ignored by people who choose to buy a Japanese car. Compared to the small fours in compact cars or turbocharged diesels in popular SUVs, the standard six cylinder engines in the Commodore and Falcon are now deemed too thirsty for the times. Because of the realization that fuel prices will only keep increasing in the future, Australians have turned to more fuel-efficient cars, so much so that small cars now represent seven out of Australia's 10 best-selling models. But fuel prices do not tell the whole story, as even the recent introduction of an LPG-powered Ford Falcon failed to increase sales significantly. It seems that a new generation of buyers do not want to be identified with designs that are decades old and prefer the fresher designs, as demonstrated by people who buy a Japanese car.
If one looks at the vehicle sales figures for Australia in November 2011, the top 10 are broken down into 5 compact cars such as the Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, Hyndai i30 and Holden Cruze. The only full size car is the Commodore. The rest of the top is made up of crossovers and pickups, or utes, as the Aussies call them. Tellingly, the vehicle in the number 3 spot for November is the Toyota Hilux, a pickup.