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News - VFACTS - Sales 2005 - May

May VFACTS: Mitsubishi stars

In demand: New GLX-R variant increased Triton 4x4 sales by 50 per cent.

Class of 2005 continues its record sales run, as Mitsubishi stages comeback

8 Jun 2005

THE booming Australian automotive industry showed no signs of slowing in May, when a seven per cent rise made it the fifth consecutive month of record new-vehicle sales.

According to official VFACTS statistics, total 2005 sales of 397,060 cars, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and trucks is now running 5.5 per cent ahead of last year, when an all-time record of 955,215 was set.

Of the 83,730 vehicles sold last month – up from the May 2004 record of 78,279 – Toyota remained the most popular vehicle brand with 16,841 vehicles sold for a market share of 20.1 per cent.

It placed ahead of Holden’s 15,465 (18.5 per cent) and Ford’s 11,177 (13.3 per cent).

While Toyota’s overall year-to-date share is down from 20.9 to 19.2 per cent (and its sales down from 78,611 to 76,431), the Japanese company still holds a 3311-unit lead over Holden in 2005.

For its part, Holden’s sales are up, to 73,120 (from 70,879 at May 2004), though its 18.4 per cent YTD share remains below last year’s YTD figure of 18.8 per cent.

Similarly, Ford sales YTD are also up, to 53,793 (from 51,020), but its 13.5 per cent share remains one percentage point behind its May 2004 YTD figure – despite recording its best May sales since 1997.

And while Mitsubishi recorded a staggering 27 per cent monthly sales increase to place fourth with 5382 sales, fifth-placed Mazda (5259) still leads Mitsubishi overall this year.

Mitsubishi claimed 6.4 per cent of the market in May compared to Mazda’s 6.3 per cent, but the full-line importer still commands a 7.0 per cent share YTD, ahead of Mitsubishi’s 6.5 per cent.

With the exception of sixth-placed Nissan, it is business as usual for the rest of the top 10, with Honda, Hyundai, Subaru and Kia all posting sales and market share increases above 2004 levels.

Small car sales contributed the most growth in May, posting a 24.3 per cent increase on the same month last year and accounting for 3429 of the total market’s 5451 increase.

Medium cars (up 910 sales or 27.6 per cent) and light cars (up 818 sales or 12.3 per cent) were also big movers, while the steady growth of medium SUV sales also continued.

Thanks largely to Ford’s Territory 4WD, which has now been on sale for 12 months, the medium SUV segment was up 856 units or 16.6 per cent on May 2004.

Heavy commercial vehicles posted the greatest increase in May, up 13.3 per cent or 311 vehicles over May 2004.

The big rigs were followed by the passenger vehicle market, which was up 4252 vehicles (9.2 per cent), ahead of light trucks (up 611 or 4.2 per cent) and SUVs (up 277 or 1.8 per cent).

In YTD terms, SUV sales are booming at 75,730 – up 8166 units or 12.1 per cent over 2004 – led by medium SUVs (up 8480 or a massive 41 per cent) and compact SUVs (up 1293 or 4.2 per cent).

However, failing to match their 2004 performances are large SUVs (down 11.9 per cent) and luxury SUVs (down 6.9 per cent).

Despite being up by 11,499 vehicles or 4.9 per cent (to 244,065) thus far in 2005, the overall passenger vehicle market also contained mixed results. Most segments are up in YTD terms, including small cars (17.2 per cent), medium cars (14.6 per cent), light cars (6.5 per cent), prestige cars (8.3 per cent), people-movers (12.6 per cent) and sports cars (13.2 per cent).

Large car and luxury car sales have slumped, with the former down 9.4 per cent and luxury cars down 9.8 per cent.

"At the current rate of growth, the motor vehicle market is well on track to reach the chamber’s forecast of 980,000 sales by the end of the year," said FCAI chief executive Peter Sturrock.

"Given that interest rates on motor vehicle finance remain relatively low and the five percent tariff cut at the beginning of the year improved the value-for-money proposition of many models, we believe the market will continue to run ahead of last year’s levels."

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