THE Australian car industry is no longer a two-horse race between Holden and Ford.
Last year, 41,429 new Mazda 3s were sold around Australia, which was more than any of its competitors.
The new car on the block triumphed over the second placed Holden Commodore by almost 1000.
Lismore Mazda was busy in 2011 breaking records of its own and it sold its most cars to date.
General manager of Lismore Mazda, Karl Meir, said Mazda 3s have become popular because Australia's car culture is going through a transformation.
"There's a big change now and people don't generally want larger cars - they want value for money," Mr Meir told The Northern Star. "People are into the economy side of things."
He said customers are increasingly asking him for fuel-efficient cars.
According to Mr Meir, the Mazda 3 model accounted for "more than 40%" of the total Mazda market and ladies have been its biggest buyer.
"We get young ladies driving the cars, old ladies and mums with their families," he said.
"The 20-something ladies are mainly buying the cars - they like the look.
"There's a very futuristic front on the car."
Australian men have traditionally been attracted to bigger cars with lots of horsepower, Mr Meir said, and he didn't expect everyone to like the smaller Mazda 3.
"There's a massive following of V8 cars and you'll always get your guys who want to drive big powerful cars," he said.
"But beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
Unlike Holden and Ford, Mazda has not sold fleet vehicles to governments or organisations, making it a real people's favourite, Mr Meir said.
Lismore Mazda will expand further into the car market when it opens a new showroom in town next month.
So, now when someone asks if you're a Holden or a Ford person, spare a thought for Mazda.
AUSTRALIAN CAR SALES IN 2011
Mazda - 41,429
Holden Commodore - 40,617
Toyota Hilux - 36,124
Holden Cruze - 33,784
Hyundai i30 - 28,869
Nissan Navara - 21,675
Toyota Camry - 19,169
Ford Falcon - 18,741
Mitsubishi Lancer - 18,717
What's your favourite car? Leave a comment below.