News - VFACTS - Sales 2010

Mazda gives Ford a fright in July sales

Missed by that much: Strong sales of models such as the CX-7 almost helped Mazda to tip Ford out of third place in July.

Just one vehicle separates Mazda from top-three result as its sales jump 22 per cent

VFACTS logo4 Aug 2010


MAZDA came within just one vehicle of a top-three sales result for the first time in July, just failing to relegate Ford to fourth place by the slimmest of margins, 7375 units to 7374, according to official VFACTS figures out today.

Buoyed by strong sales of its Mazda3 small car – the second best-selling car in Australia last month – along with the Mazda2 and the CX-7 SUV, Mazda sales surged 22 per cent over the same month last year as the Japanese importer grabbed a nine per cent monthly share of the Australian new-vehicle market for the first time.

By contrast, Ford’s sales slipped 5.2 per cent compared with July 2009, with sales of its home-grown Falcon sedan and ute both plunging 17.4 per cent, despite cut-price 50th anniversary editions.

It is the second time this year that Ford has come under attack for its long-held top three placing. In March, Hyundai successfully ousted the Blue Oval brand from top spot for the month, before Ford regained the position in April.

Australia’s overall vehicle market was up 9.3 per cent on July 2009, to 82,376 vehicles, which represents a slowing of the growth seen in the first half of the year. Year to date, the market is up 15.6 per cent, partly because of residual sales prompted by federal government tax breaks.

Long-time leader Toyota again topped the sales charts in July, selling 17,250 vehicles (up 3.5 per cent) for a 20.9 per cent share, ahead of Holden, up a similar margin to 10,648 vehicles and 12.9 per cent share.

Among of the big improvers for the month were Suzuki – up 56 per cent to a July record 2002 units, thanks to improved supply of its bargain basement Alto - and Subaru, which posted a record July sales tally of 3253 units.

Hyundai, the big improver in recent years, paused for breath with a modest 4.9 per cent lift in July sales.

106 center imageFrom top: Holden Commodore Sportwagon, Toyota HiLux, Subaru Forester and BMW X1.

Holden’s Commodore - now in run-out ahead of the VE II facelift in October - was again Australia’s best-selling car with 3783 sales, ahead of the Mazda3 small car (3464 sales), Toyota Corolla (3375) and Toyota HiLux light truck (3106).

SUVs again led the charge with an increase of 29 per cent, followed by light commercials (up 13.7 per cent) and passenger cars (up 3.2 per cent).

Among the SUVs, the compact models made the greatest gains, up a whopping 44.2 per cent. So popular are these crossover vehicles with private buyers that they now command a bigger share of the Australian market than large cars – once the dominant species in Australia.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) executive director Andrew McKellar described the sales result for July as a solid start for the new financial year when vehicle sales usually slow.

“These figures provide further evidence that sales to private customers continue to increase strongly – recording a 20 per cent rise compared to this time last year,” he said.

“There is a proliferation of new models on the market at the moment that buyers are finding attractive, particularly in the SUV range.”

Holden’s Korean imports – Cruze, Barina and Captiva – all continue to impress, increasing July sales by 10, 45 and 27.2 per cent respectively over the same month last year.

So far this year, Holden sales are up 19.4 per cent, compared with gains of 4.3 by arch rival Ford and 12.5 per cent by Toyota in an overall market up 15.6 per cent.

A bright spot for Ford in July was its mid-sized Mondeo, sales of which jumped 59.1 per cent to 412 units. However, most of its volume passenger cars slipped into the red, with even the critically acclaimed Fiesta down 3.1 per cent after gaining 28.6 per cent year to date.

Toyota’s local hero, the Camry, lifted in July, up 22 per cent over the corresponding month last year, to 2095 units, thanks to incremental sales of its hybrid variant that hit the market earlier this year.

However, its other locally made car, the Aurion slipped 30.7 per cent, to 970 units.

Toyota’s traditional strength – in rugged SUVs and light trucks – shone in July, with LandCruiser crunching its rivals in both wagon and workhorse guises, while Prado again topped the medium SUV charts with 1265 sales, just ahead of Holden’s Captiva.

The popular compact SUV class was again topped by Subaru’s Forester (1321 units), ahead of Toyota’s RAV4 (1139) and Nissan X-Trail (1034), but gold stars for the biggest gains go Nissan’s Dualis – up a massive 608 per cent to 531 units on the strength of new 2WD models – and Subaru’s new Outback (up 311 per cent, to 543).

In the luxury SUV bracket, BMW’s new baby, the X1, ousted long-time leader and stablemate, BMW X5, 266 to 231.

The battle for the lead in the top-selling small-car class was won by the Mazda3 (3464), ahead of the Toyota Corolla (3375), ahead of the Hyundai i30, Holden Cruze and Mitsubishi Lancer.

Toyota’s Yaris light car win the battle of the midgets with 1697 sales, just ahead of Hyundai’s Getz (1581) and Mazda2 (1305). However, if the Getz and its new stablemate, the i20 (213), are added together, Hyundai has the bragging rights.

The medium brigade was again dominated by Toyota Camry (2095), with the Mazda6 again runner up, despite a 5.7 per cent slip in sales over last year.

The large-car segment slipped back 13.1 per cent in July, with declines registered by all the major players, including Commodore, Falcon and Aurion. However, the segment is still clinging to a 2.0 per cent gain year to date.

Among the luxury cars, Mercedes-Benz’s best seller, the C-class, is top of the pops with 490 sales in July, ahead of rival BMW’s 3 Series (389), effectively reversing the situation of July 2009.

Likewise in the large luxury class above $70,000, the Mercedes E-class sold 140 units to BMW’s 5 Series (72 units), which is early days in the introduction of the latest model.

In light trucks, the 4x4 variety again led the charge, up 27.5 per cent compared with a meager 3.5 per cent gain by the 4x2 workhorses.

The evergreen Toyota HiLux topped the 4x4 utes with 1897 sales, while Nissan’s Navara rampaged up the list with a 51.9 per cent sales gain, to second place and 1270 units.

Of the local utes, Holden’s Ute clobbered the Ford Falcon Ute, 1055 to 610, but Ford’s imported Ranger returned the favour by blitzing Holden’s 4x2 Colorado one-tonner, 468 to 190.

Top-selling brands July:
1. Toyota 17,250
2. Holden 10,648
3. Ford 7375
4. Mazda 7374
5. Hyundai 6531
6. Mitsubishi 5029
7. Nissan 4646
8. Subaru 3253
9. Honda 3150
10. Volkswagen 2922

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