News - VFACTS Sales 2017
VFACTS: SUV sales hit high note
Still the one: While SUVs boomed last month, Australia’s top model was still the popular Toyota Corolla.
SUVs outsold passenger cars for the first time in Australia last month
3 March 2017
AUSTRALIAN new-vehicle buyers have once again shown their increasing affection
for SUVs, with high-riding wagons outselling traditional passenger cars last
month for the first time, according to official VFACTS figures released this
In February, 35,497 SUVs were sold in Australia compared with 34,740 passenger
cars (sedans, wagons, hatchbacks, people-movers and sportscars), with a
difference of just 757 units.
Pundits have predicted that SUVs could overtake passenger car sales Down Under
within the next two years, but Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief
executive Tony Weber said the February result does not necessarily mean SUVs
will be the top choice by the end of the year.
“The steady, demonstrable shift in consumer preference which has been occurring
in the past few years has culminated in this February outcome,” he said.
“Of course, this one monthly outcome doesn’t signal a landslide but clearly
Australian buyers are attracted by the features and capabilities of
new-generation SUVs, and how these types of vehicles suit their needs and
Of the passenger segments, only micro cars and sportscars experienced growth
last month when compared with February 2016 as the light, small, medium, large
and people-mover segments all slipped.
Overall sales of small and large SUVs dropped 11.0 and 5.7 per cent
respectively last month, but medium and upper-large SUVs continued to grow.
A number of models in the sub-$60 medium SUV segment made the top 10
bestsellers list last month, including the Mazda CX-5 in its second-last month
before being replaced by the new-generation model, Toyota’s RAV4 and Hyundai’s
Tucson, while Nissan’s X-Trail missed a top-10 placing by 66 units.
The overall market took a dive last month, the 89,025 registrations down by 7.7
per cent over February last year, with passenger car sales falling 12.2 per
cent, SUVs by 3.7 per cent and light- and heavy-commercial vehicles down 5.6
and 9.7 per cent respectively.
This drop was not as dramatic as it sounds considering February 2016 had
unusually high sales and an extra selling day.
Of the top-selling brands, Toyota remained steady with 0.7 per cent growth for
the month (to 16,308 units), the Corolla just pipping its HiLux stablemate by
six units for the overall top spot.
Mazda dipped only slightly (-2.8 per cent, 9923 units) and held onto second
place overall with the Mazda3, CX-5 and baby CX-3 SUV all continuing their
solid recent form. It remains unclear if the changeover to the
second-generation CX-5 will have an impact on sales when it launches late this
Hyundai lost ground by 9.1 per cent last month (to 7001 units), with big drops
in its commercial and people-mover range, and double-digit losses for the i30
Despite a 13.8 per cent downturn compared to February last year, Mitsubishi’s
5758 total for the month was enough to place it ahead of both Holden and Ford,
taking fourth spot. In its favour, almost 2000 Tritons found homes and a strong
showing for the related Pajero Sport was apparent (752 sales, up 90 per cent).
This result forced Holden back to fifth with a 22.0 per cent dip and 5724
sales, pushing it backwards after a strong January.
The loss of the Australian-built Cruze small car has hit Holden’s sales
figures, and while the new Astra is gaining momentum, sales will not really
pick up until the arrival this month of automatic versions of the two top-spec
Ford’s Ranger held on to third spot on the sales charts, but the Blue Oval
brand overall slid by 14.8 per cent to 5669 units after double-digit percentage
losses for all models in its line-up except the Transit and Transit Bus, Ranger
4x4 and Mustang sportscar.
As previously reported, Falcon and Falcon Ute stock is drying up, but the
Territory will likely remain on sale until the third quarter.
Volkswagen and Nissan both lost ground – falling 6.2 (to 4618) and 26.1 per
cent (to 4425) respectively – but Kia grew by a whopping 36.1 per cent for 4174
sales, buoyed by the popular Cerato and Sportage.
Subaru rounded out the top 10 with 3746 sales, a 5.9 per cent increase, after
the new-generation Impreza hit the right note with buyers who snapped up 962
examples last month.
Of the premium brands, Mercedes-Benz again led the way with 3419 sales (+5.7
per cent), just missing out on a top-10 placing, while BMW sales dropped 27.0
per cent to 2006 units but managed to stay ahead of Audi with 1711 sales (-14.7
Top 10 selling brands February 2017
Top 10 selling models February 2017