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News - VFACTS - Sales 2004 - August

VFACTS: It's the best August sales ever

Making a splash: The Ford Territory led a boom in medium SUV sales.

The Australian car industry was back to its booming best in August

7 Sep 2004

NEW vehicle buyers stormed back into showrooms last month, setting an all-time sales record for the month of August and returning the Australian automotive industry to its booming recent form after it failed to set a sales record in July.

While sales of large cars and large SUVs slumped, a boom in medium SUV sales – led largely by Ford’s Territory – has helped put total 2004 sales almost 31,000 vehicles ahead of the same period in 2003, when annual sales posted an industry record of 909,811 sales.

Industry statistician VFACTS reports an unprecedented August figure of 79,244 new vehicles were purchased last month, eclipsing the previous August sales record (set in 2003) of 76,173 by 3071 units – an increase of four per cent or more than 120 vehicles per day.

August was also 2209 units or 2.9 per cent up on July (77,035 vehicles), but with 1.5 fewer selling days the increase over last month is magnified in daily rate terms to an extra 254.5 vehicles per day or 8.9 per cent more sales.

The big mover in August was the burgeoning SUV segment, which attracted 2729 more sales than in August last year (up 22.4%), with increases in the SUV Medium (up a staggering 2481 units or 83.5%) and SUV Compact (466 units or 7.7%) segments more than compensating for falls in large SUV sales (down 162 or 8%) and the SUV Luxury segment (down 56 or 5.1%).

Light truck sales are up 1151 vehicles or 9.6 per cent on August 2003, with the Pickup Cab Chassis 4x4 segment up 507 (12.7%), the Pick-up/Cab Chassis 4X2 segment up 487 (8.1%), the 2.5 Tonne truck segment up 118 (92.2%), the Van segment up 61 (3.4%) and Heavy Truck sales up 411 (19.6%). Only the Light bus segment failed to achieve August 2003 volumes (down 22 or 16.2%).

Surprisingly, August sales growth came in spite of a drop in passenger vehicle sales as well, which numbered 1220 fewer than 12 months ago to be down 2.4 per cent.

Biggest August-versus-August sales decreases were experienced by large cars (down 1541 vehicles or 9.3%), small cars (down 1427 or 9.2%), luxury cars (down 225 or 7.4%) and sports cars (down 75 or 8.9%).

Going some way to reducing the August passenger car sales deficit were increases in buyers of medium cars (up 860 or 22.9%), light cars (up 602 or 9.2%), people-movers (up 299 or 29.2%) and prestige cars (up 287 or 10.9%).

Year-to-date, however, passenger vehicles sales of 386,223 units are just 43 units down on August YTD 2003, with prestige car sales up 7524 units (44%), light cars up 4463 units (8.7%), medium cars up 2196 units (7.4%), people-movers up 2039 units (25.9%) and small cars up 1677 units (1.4%).

YTD, sports cars are still the slowest sales performers (down 1709 units or 23.8%), followed by large cars (down 15,916 or 11.8%) and luxury cars (down 317 or 1.4%).

YTD SUV sales continue to post massive increases over the same eight-month period in 2003, with medium SUVs up 13,298 (54.3%), luxury SUVs up 1962 (26.3%), compact SUVs up 114 (0.2%) and only large SUVs down, by 959 units or 5.5%. The SUV segment, at 114,897 vehicles, is now running 14,415 vehicles (14.3%) ahead of 2003.

With total 2004 YTD sales of 629,795 vehicles, this year’s industry tally is 30,898 units (or 5.2% - down from 5.3% last month) ahead of the same period in 2003. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has held steady its total 2004 sales forecast of a record 960,000 units.

Toyota, with 16,361 August sales, again led the charge to be market leader in August with a 16,358-vehicle or 2.6 per cent market share lead over Holden (14,508 sales), followed by Ford (11,647). Toyota’s YTD market share now stands at 21.2 per cent, ahead of Holden (18.6%), Ford (13.8%), Nissan (6.4%), Mazda (6.1%) and Mitsubishi (5.9%).

The following points were also of interest within the August sales result:

106 center image  Evidence that Holden’s $4000 Adventra (left) price cut in July is working came from the fact it shifted twice as many in August as it did in July – 426 versus 212.

 Territory sales held firm at 1658 for the month to again top the medium SUV segment. It now hold a 15.2 per cent YTD share of the segment – more than half of Prado’s 29.6 per cent YTD share.

 Commodore widened the YTD sales gap over Falcon in August with first deliveries of its facelifted VZ model attracting 6030 Commodore sales in August versus 5122 Falcon sales. YTD, Commodore (50,680 sales) leads Falcon (44,064) by 6616 units  Hyundai Getz continued to stamp its authority on the light car segment, posting 1564 sales in August but still trailing Toyota Echo in 2004 - 10,715 units to 11,675. Kia Rio (715) was next best seller in August, followed by Barina (683), Mazda2 – which posted it best sales month ever at 599 units – and Honda Jazz (584).

 Corolla continued its no-contest sales spree in August with 3031 sales to amass 25,609 sales for the year so far.

 Camry again easily led the medium segment with 2144 sales, ahead of Mazda6 – which also posted its best ever sales month with 1310 units – and Subaru Liberty, which posted its best 668 sales – an 83 per cent increase on August 2003 to help Subaru score record August sales of 2658 units.

 Nissan was also on a roll in August, posting best-ever August sales with Navara 4x4 (826) and X-Trail (1043), which again outsold Forester and RAV4.

 Ford recorded its best August sales since 1998 with 11,647 vehicles - an increase of 1197 units or 11.5 per cent on August 2003, giving it its best YTD sales since 1995 (87,532 units).

 Hyundai’s Tiburon posted its best month of sales in its two-and-a-half years on sale (93) to tally third in sports cars behind Monaro (248) and Astra convertible (103).

 Honda’s new Odyssey edged out perennial people-mover favourite Tarago by three units (289 to 286), but Kia’s cut-price Carnival still led the month (366) and YTD, followed by Tarago.

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