News - VFACTS Sales 2017
VFACTS: Mitsubishi makes its sales move
On the up: Mitsubishi’s Triton-based Pajero Sport is one of the reasons the Japanese importer has outsold Holden in both February and March.
Record March market leaves Holden behind as Mitsubishi eyes fourth place
5 April 2017
MITSUBISHI outsold both Holden and Ford for the second successive month in
March to creep within striking distance of leapfrogging the one-time market
leaders from sixth place to fourth in the year-to-date new-vehicle sales
rankings, according to official VFACTS data released today.
While the overall Australian market hit a record March high of 105,410 units –
up 0.9 per cent on the corresponding month last year – Holden’s sales dipped
13.7 per cent, to 7211 units, as the GM subsidiary makes the tough transition
from local manufacturer to importer.
By contrast, Mitsubishi, which completed a similar transition some years ago,
grew sales by 16.3 per cent, to a March record 7583 units, on the strength of
its SUV and
Triton ute performances.
It also outsold Ford (6852), and now sits just 17 units behind fifth-placed
Ford in year-to-date sales (18,433 v. 18,416), and just 1703 behind
Market number one Toyota powered ahead with a healthy 19,652 sales for the
month (+10.1%), including a contribution of 4245 units from its all-conquering
HiLux ute that returned to the top spot on the sales ladder, both for the month
and year to date.
Mazda was steady in second place on 10,472 units, while Hyundai (8700)
comfortably held on to third, despite a 10.3 per cent fall, mainly as a result
of a switch this month to an all-new i30.
Once again, Australians showed their passion for their light trucks, voting
with their credit cards to create an LCV quinella: HiLux (4245) first and Ford
Ranger (3845) second.
But it was Mitsubishi that was the mover towards the top of the table, again
finding favour with customers with its off-roaders and utes.
Sales of the Outlander grew 65.4 per cent, to 1609 units, while its
Triton-based 4x4 wagon, the Pajero Sport, soared almost 130 per cent, to 975
sales. Even its old warhorse, the Pajero large SUV – one of the oldest vehicles
on the market – grew its sales by 70.6 per cent, to 464 for the month.
For Holden, the latest sales figures indicate that, although it is early days,
it is going to take time to gain traction with its imported passenger cars as
it is counting down to the closure of its local manufacturing in October.
Astra Hatch’s 719 sales last month fell short of the 873 achieved by the car
its replaces, the Cruze, in March last year, although the Astra only gained its
mass-selling 1.6-litre automatic variant half way through the month. Also,
Cruze had the advantage of sedan and wagon body styles along with hatch, while
Astra is still awaiting its sedan version.
Barina, Spark, Captiva and Trax were all down again, as was the locally built
Commodore (2081, -18.5%).
On the bright side, Colorado (1927) and Trailblazer (336) both recorded gains.
Although Mitsubishi is breathing down its neck, Ford again reversed its sales
slide of recent years, despite diminished sales of Falcon (33) and Territory
(268) that are now selling in dribs and drabs in runout since the closure of
local Ford manufacturing last year.
Ranger continued to dominate Ford sales with 3845 units in March (+30%), making
up almost half of all Blue Oval volume, although its locally developed wagon
SUV sibling, the Everest (321) slipped slightly.
The new Escape (486) was a big improvement over its Kuga predecessor (306) last
year, while Focus (520), Mondeo (300) and Mustang (622) all were in the black
month on month.
The top-selling small car in March was Toyota’s Corolla (3574) ahead of the
Mazda3 (3039), while Hyundai’s Tucson (2156) pipped Mazda’s CX-5 (2116) for SUV
sales leadership while the latter’s guard was down in the middle of a major
model change this month.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said the
long-running market transition from passenger cars to SUVs appeared to be the
industry’s new norm.
“Two months in succession of SUV sales leading the market is further
confirmation of a trend we’ve been observing for some time,” he said.
“For the first three months of 2017, the SUV segment is now the dominant
sector, whereas this time last year passenger cars led the market by around
10,000 sales. Clearly, the shift in market dynamics is accelerating.”
Kia consolidated its place in the top 10 with a mega 39.2 per cent sales
increase over last March thanks to a 126 per cent jump in Cerato sales (1769)
and 47.4 per cent lift in Sportage (1216).
The South Korean company is now running 34.8 per cent ahead of last year,
locking up a record 12,873 sales in the first quarter.
Of the prestige brands, Mercedes-Benz smashed its March record with 4008 sales,
thumping German rivals BMW (2220) and Audi (1508).
Mercedes’ top seller, the C-Class, outsold arch rival BMW 3-Series 745 to 252.
Subaru eclipsed 5000 units for the first time in March, notching up 5006 units
(+3.8%). It was also Subaru’s second highest sales month ever, topped only by
last June’s 5135 units.
Stars for the Japanese importer were the new Impreza (1168, +79.7%), and
Outback (1202, +4.5%).
Top 10 selling brands March 2017
Top 10 selling models March 2017