TOYOTA’S Camry, runaway leader of the medium car sales sector almost since Noah took to four wheels, suffered a huge drop last month with sales down 50 per cent compared to September 2017.

The Toyota stalwart found just 1145 buyers, compared to 2251 in the same period last year.

However, it still comfortably led its sector, outselling nearest rival Mazda6 by more than five to one.

The steep decline was due largely to the ongoing swing from passenger cars to SUVs, although the market overall was down 5.5 per cent.

Passenger cars were down 20 per cent, SUVs up 6 per cent.

The sole performers in the passenger category were micro cars, up strongly from 642 to 927, and small SUVs, which had a 26 per cent leap to 13,263 for the month.

Kia’s Picanto micro king stormed to 82 per cent jump over last September’s 351, with 640 sales last month and second-placed Mitsubishi Mirage had even more spectacular statistics with a 221 per cent surge from 71 to 223. Third was Fiat 500 on 55.

Corolla led the small car sector with 2917 sales, from Hyundai’s i30 (2508) and Kia Cerato (1574).

In the pricey part of the small cars, those of more than $40,000, Audi’s A3 led from A-Class Mercedes with 364 to 328, with BMW 1 Series third on 224.

The light car segment was Hyundai Accent territory on 1288 sales from Toyota Yaris (832), Suzuki Swift (794) and Mazda2 (671).

Good to see MG back on the charts. Its MG3 notched up 105 sales.

Among the medium cars with a $60K-plus price tag, Mercedes CLA-Class led on 363 sales from C-Class on 356.

It was a massive drop for C-Class, though, down 61 per cent on last year’s 910, while BMW 3 Series took third on 296 — an 80 per cent leap over its 2017 figure.

The imported Holden Commodore had the bulk of the large car class with 672 sales, followed by Kia Stinger (130) and Skoda Superb (63).

The upper large lads with $100,000-plus tickets were led by Merc S-Class on 22 sales, sharply up fro last September’s 5 with Porsche Panamera second with 11 buyers. Maserati tripled its 2017 figure with Quattroporte, which found three buyers as opposed to just one last September.

Kia Carnival led the people movers from Honda Odyssey and VW Multivan, and Ford Mustang remained the most popular sports car on 422, down 36 per cent. Next came BMW 3 Series Coupe (101) and Toyota 86 on 69.

Porsche 911 was the most popular of the over $200K sports division with 57 sales nationwide and Bentley ran second on 36 sales — a big jump on the 7 cars sold in September 2017.

Defying the odds, Mitsubishi’s ASX dominated the small SUVs with 2138 sales from Hyundai Kona 1513, Honda HR-V (1247) and Subaru XV (1224). Merc’s GLA-Class led the luxury models.

SUV medium was a closely-fought affair between Nissan X-Trail (1908), Toyota RAV4 (1611), Mazda CX-5 (1506) and Subaru Forester (1470).

Toyota was on top in the large SUVs with its Prado shading Kluger 1518 to 1042, with Subaru’s Outback third on 936, while BMW led the $70K+ category with 211 sales of its X5.

Overall, the market was again led by a couple of utes: Toyota Hilux (4338) from Ford Ranger on 3228.

Corolla and i30 kept the passenger car flag flying taking third and fourth places — and  fifth was Mitsubishi’s ASX.

The times, as philosopher Bob Dylan once said, certainly are a-changin’.

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.