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Market Insight: Slow sellers in a hot market

What passenger models are selling slowly in hottest-ever Aussie new-vehicle market?

6 May 2024

SALES figures released by industry statistician VFACTS for April show the Australian new-car market is running in overdrive but the good news celebrated by most importers is not shared by sellers of certain models within each segment that trail the pack by a significant margin. 


Whether these vehicles are failing to ignite the flame of interest with the buying public due to price, age, appeal, or a combination of those factors is subjective but the numbers speak for themselves. 


This week, GoAuto looks at the cold hard data to see which passenger car models thrive, and which are unlikely to survive. In future Market Insight reports we will analyse sportscar, SUV, and light commercial vehicle sales splits. 


In a Micro segment that has just two saleable entrants this year, there is a gulf of 1163 deliveries between the top-selling Kia Picanto (1351 sales year-to-date) and the Fiat 500 (188). 


The slightly sub-$30K light passenger car segment is also slim with just four competitors among which there is a difference of 3077 sales between the top and bottom entrants – the MG 3 with 3779 units YTD and the once-popular Toyota Yaris with just 702. 


Raise the price somewhat, and the light passenger car over $30K segment sees far fewer sales with a tighter differential between high and low. Just 603 sales separate the top-selling Mini hatch (607) from the bottom-rung Citroen C3 (4). 


The popular sub-$40K small passenger car segment continues to bubble along nicely. The Toyota Corolla, a perennial favourite of the Australian new-vehicle market, leads the pack with YTD sales of 8508 units, 8308 deliveries ahead of the underrated Skoda Scala (200). 


In the dearer small passenger car over $40K sector, overall sales are rather slow. The best-selling model in the field, the all-electric MG 4, managed a modest 1181 sales to the end of April and – excluding the last few examples of discontinued Mercedes-Benz B-Class and Renault Megane models – the slowest seller was the Peugeot 308 with 59 delivered (a difference of 1122 units). 


Sales of sub-$60K medium passenger cars favour the Toyota Camry (6307) by a margin of 6275 units over the 32 Honda Accords sold (the model is undergoing a generational change this month), while the higher-priced medium passenger car over $60K segment sees the Tesla Model 3 (6865) smash the Genesis G70 (13) by 6852 units. 


Australia’s once flourishing sub-$70K large passenger car under segment now has just two entrants – the Skoda Superb (85) and Citroen C5 X (12) – separated by 73 sales. 


The premium large passenger car over $70K segment has 12 entrants, of which the best and worst sellers are separated by a margin of 229 units. Leading this part of the market is the BMW 5 Series (231 sold YTD) while the wooden spoon goes to both the Jaguar XF and Maserati Ghibli with six units a piece. The hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai (two deliveries) has been excluded from this analysis due to its experimental nature and unavailability for retail sale. 


Sales of upper large passenger cars are topped by the Porsche Panamera with 16 delivered YTD over the Mercedes-Benz EQS with two – a difference of 14 units. However, combining BMW 7 Series and i7 sales (the same car in petrol or electric guises) puts the 7er at the top with 10 and 14 units respectively, making the electric version of BMW’s flagship limo its better seller in Australia and extending the segment’s split from best to worst performer at 22 units. 


Next up is the people mover segment, divided in price at the $70K mark. Under that point, the Kia Carnival wins out with YTD sales of 2354, a convincing lead over the Volkswagen Caravelle with just three (a 2351-unit difference). 


Over $70K, the people mover segment has the Volkswagen Multivan (179 sold) at its pointy end, well ahead of German competitor the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQV (seven), a difference of 172 units. To be fairer, combined Mercedes Vito Tour and eVito Tour sales totalled 21 units, just behind the Toyota Granvia’s 26, putting the segment split at 158 deliveries). 



T1 passenger car sales for 2024 (high versus low)*: 








Kia Picanto 



Fiat 500 



Light <$30K 



MG 3 



Toyota Yaris 



Light >$30K 



Mini Hatch 



Citroen C3 



Small <$40K 



Toyota Corolla 



Skoda Scala 



Small >$40K 



MG 4 



Peugeot 308



Medium <$60K 



Toyota Camry



Honda Accord 



Medium >$60K 



Tesla Model 3 



Genesis G70 



Large <$70K 



Skoda Superb 



Citroen C5 X 



Large >$70K 



BMW 5 Series 



Jaguar XF/Maserati Ghibli



Upper Large >$100K 



BMW 7 Series/i7



Mercedes-Benz EQS 



People Mover <$70K 



Kia Carnival 



Volkswagen Caravelle 



People Mover >$70K 



Volkswagen Multivan 



Toyota Granvia




*Data supplied courtesy of the FCAI.

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