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News - VFACTS - Sales 2009 - June

Business boosts June new-car sales

Winner: Sales of Hyundai's i30 small car soared 155 per cent June-on-June.

Third highest new-car sales month on record as business buyers flood market in June

3 Jul 2009

AUSTRALIA’S stagnant new-car market received a significant shot in the arm from business vehicle buyers in June, which was the third highest selling month on record, according to official VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

The total of 102,847 new passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicle sales last month is eclipsed only by figures recorded last June, when 106,541 vehicles were sold, and June 2007, when 105,097 sales were recorded. It is only the fourth time new-vehicle sales have topped the 100,000 mark in a single month.

Despite being 3694 sales or 3.5 per cent down on June 2008 levels, last month’s boom result was up 27,406 vehicles or 36.3 per cent on May 2009, when 75,441 vehicles were sold.

At the halfway mark of 2009, the Australian car industry has sold 455,223 new vehicles – now down just 16.1 per cent or 87,472 vehicle sales on the mid-2008 total.

Toyota continued its reign at the top of Australia’s new-car sales charts, with a June total of 21,410 vehicle sales, ahead of Holden with 12,167 and Ford with 10,194. Compared with last June, Ford’s sales of locally-built vehicles rose 2.9 per cent and Holden’s rose 12.2 per cent.

Year-to-date (YTD), Toyota now leads Holden by a margin of 38,801 sales, or 8.4 market share points, with a total of 94,233 sales (for a 20.7 per cent market share), followed by Holden on 56,152 sales (12.3 per cent) and Ford on 46,456 (10.2 per cent).

106 center imageFrom top: Toyota HiLux 4x2, Subaru Impreza and Holden Commodore.

Toyota’s June fortunes were bolstered by the best-ever month of HiLux sales at more than 4700, to be the Japanese maker’s best-selling model last month. Toyota sold more than 21,400 vehicles for the month – its best result since June last year.

Mazda went one better by posting its best sales month ever in June, when it retailed 8406 vehicles to eclipse the company’s previous best of 7565, set in March 2008. Following best-ever sales of the new Mazda3 and BT-50, the company has upped its 2009 sales target to 70,000 vehicles.

Subaru’s Impreza also posted an all-time sales record in June of 1568, helping it to a total of 3757, while Dodge sales were up 16.5 per cent in June, when Volkswagen sale were up 23.1 per cent.

Hyundai continued to be among the biggest movers, however, with its best ever month of sales - 7862 vehicles, which was up a massive 44.3 per cent in its June 2008 performance - achieving a 7.6 per cent market share, it's highest monthly share since December 2001 and up from just 5.1 per cent in June 2008.

As the only top ten brand to post a YTD sales increase, Hyundai's sixth consecutive instalment of monthly year-on-year growth saw the Korean brand rank fifth for 2009 sales for the third monthin a row.

Of the luxury players, BMW’s sales were down 13.9 per cent in June, with Lexus down 38.2 per cent and Jaguar down 22.6 per cent. Those in the black included Alfa Romeo (up 29.1 per cent), Volvo (up 27.5 per cent), Audi (up 23.4 per cent) Mercedes-Benz (up 8.8 per cent) and Porsche (up 12.3 per cent).

Business purchases in June accounted for 46,679 sales – a 12 per cent increase on a year ago – with sales of utes, vans and light trucks surging by 26.9 per cent compared to June 2008. Light truck sales surged by 3101 vehicle sales (up 15.5 per cent), while the heavy commercial vehicle segment decreased by 179 sales (down 5.0 per cent) month-on-month.

Meantime, however, the overall passenger vehicle market decreased by 5659 vehicle sales or 9.2 per cent from the same month last year, while SUV sales fell by 957 sales or 4.5 per cent. Year-to-date, passenger car sales of 262,055 vehicles is down 53,841 sales or 17.0 per cent on 2008, while SUV sales of 91,269 is 18,549 vehicles or 16.9 per cent down.

FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar said June new-car sales were boosted significantly by the federal government’s extension of an increased 50 per cent tax allowance on capital expenditure for businesses, which includes motor vehicles.

“The June results are encouraging and a positive sign for the new vehicle market and the Australian economy,” said Mr McKellar.

“The surge in business sales is directly attributed to the federal government’s business tax break and these figures provide clear evidence that this has been a very effective policy measure.

“Our analysis indicates that the business tax break has led to an additional 10,000 vehicles being sold over the past three months. That is a 10 to 12 per cent boost to business sales and a five per cent increase for the total market.

“This is additional turnover of between $300 and $400 million dollars that is providing a direct boost to the car industry as well as other local businesses throughout the Australian economy.

“The tax break is classic stimulus it is giving businesses the confidence to invest in their own future and securing jobs in the industry.” Federal industry minister Senator Kim Carr echoed the FCAI’s comments, adding that the 12 per cent June-on-June increase in business vehicle sales – making it the biggest month on record for company car sales – proved its business tax incentive to be more effective than “expensive” scrappage schemes in other countries.

“It is proof positive that the government’s carefully targetted investment incentives are working extremely well,” said Senator Carr.

“This strong outcome means Australian vehicle sales performance has exceeded sales in most other major economies. In June 2009, US sales fell by 27.7 per cent and Japan by 14.5 per cent.

“We’ve outperformed Europe, where the latest figures show a 4.9 per cent drop, despite the fact that many European economies have adopted expensive scrappage programs aimed at stimulating vehicle sales,” he said.

Light cars:

Light-car sales were down 780 sales or 6.3 per cent to 11,309 in June, totalling 57,884 vehicles year-to-date – down 8376 sales or 12.4 per cent. Hyundai’s Getz (2263 sales for a 20.0 per cent segment share) outsold the Toyota Yaris (2194, 19.4 per cent) in June, with the Suzuki Swift (1208) and Mazda2 (1202) vying for third.

YTD, the Yaris holds a 500-car lead over the Getz (10,098 v 9526), with the Mazda2 (6464) more than 500 sales ahead of the Swift (5905). The Yaris holds 17.4 per cent of the segment, followed by the Getz (16.5 per cent), Mazda2 (11.2 per cent) and Swift (10.2 per cent).

Light cars over $25,000:

PEUGEOT’S 207 led the premium light-car segment in June with 84 sales for a 35.3 per cent share, followed by Fiat’s Punto (57, 23.9 per cent) and the same brand’s 500 (41, 17.2 per cent).

YTD, the 207 is streets ahead with 534 sales for a 50.9 per cent share (despite being 44.7 per cent down on sales), ahead of the 500 (199, 19.0 per cent) and the Punto (136, 13.9 per cent).

Small cars:

Small-car sales were down 2551 or 10.5 per cent in June, to be 20,600 sales or 16.7 per cent down YTD.

Toyota’s evergreen Corolla was the only car to attract more than 4000 buyers in June with 4066 sales and a 19.3 per cent share, ahead of the Mazda3 (3741, 17.8 per cent) and Hyundai’s popular i30 (2742, 13.0 per cent).

The new Mazda3 remained Australia’s top-selling small-car to June this year, however, with 18,196 sales (up 4.2 per cent) and an 18.3 per cent share. The Corolla follows with 17,573 sales (down 28.0 per cent) and a 17.7 per cent share, with the i30 a distant third on 9904 sales – representing an 86.2 per cent lift – and a 10.0 per cent YTD slice.

Small cars over $40,000:

MIXED results in the premium small-car class last month saw BMW’s 1 Series (174 sales, 24.1 per cent share) claim a narrow win over the same maker’s Mini Cooper (163, 22.6 per cent), with Audi’s A3 (132, 18.3 per cent) and the Mercedes-Benz B-class (129, 17.9 per cent) vying for fourth.

All entrants are down in YTD terms, with the A3 (884, 26.1 per cent) down the least to lead the Cooper (796, 23.5 per cent) and 1 Series (622, 18.4 per cent).

Medium cars:

DESPITE its sales being down 21 per cent in June and 28 per cent so far in 2009, Toyota’s Camry led the medium-car category last month (1783, 32.2 per cent) and YTD (8443, 31.1 per cent).

The Mazda6 led the mid-size also-rans with 948 June sale for a 17.1 per cent share (4417, 16.2 per cent for the year), ahead of Honda’s Accord Euro, which attracted 625 buyers and an 11.3 per cent share in June, to amass 3422 sales and a 12.6 share YTD.

Medium cars over $60,000:

UNLIKE all their mid-size premium rivals, sales of BMW’s 3 Series and Audi’s new A4 were both up in June, with the 3 Series finding 734 homes for a 35.9 per cent share and the A4 (390, 19.1 per cent) being outsold by the Mercedes-Benz C-class (567, 27.8 per cent).

In YTD terms, the C-class leads the way (despite being 8.9 per cent down) with 3088 sales and a 33.3 per cent share, ahead of the 3 Series (2438, 26.3 per cent) and the A4 (1939, 20.9 per cent), which is the only model of the trio not to be less popular in 2009.

Large cars:

HOLDEN’S Commodore was back in favour with buyers last month, attracting 4748 sales (for a 43.6 per cent share), which is 11.1 per cent up on June 2008 numbers. Second was Ford’s Falcon, which was just 2.1 percent down June-on-June with a solid 3410 sales and a 31.3 per cent share.

Toyota’s Aurion sales were 36.2 per cent down in June to 1628, representing a 15.0 per cent share of the big-six segment, with Honda’s Accord well behind on 745 sales and Nissan’s Maxima being some 426.2 per cent up on June 2008 with 321 sales. Launch stocks of Skoda’s new Superb out-numbered a total of four Grandeurs sold by Hyundai.

After six months of 2009, Commodore sales of 21,587 are just 7.4 per cent down on 2008 levels for a 46.2 per cent share, followed by the Falcon, which is just 2.0 per cent down at 14,781 (25.8 per cent). Third is the Aurion, which with 6588 sales is a big 42.1 per cent off its half-year 2008 result, accounting for 14.1 per cent of the large-car segment.

Large cars over $70,000:

APART from Honda’s Legend and Jaguar’s newly-upgraded XF, sales of which are up more than 50 per cent in 2009, all premium large-cars are down in YTD terms. Despite being due for replacement, the Mercedes-Benz E-class fared the best in June, when 166 examples were sold for a 31.9 per cent share.

Second-best last month was the BMW 5 Series with 138 sales and a 26.5 per cent share, while Audi’s A6 (70, 13.5 per cent) and the XF (67, 12.9 per cent) battled for third.

To June 2009, the E-class is unbeatable with 668 sales and a 33.9 per cent share, ahead of the 5 Series (424, 21.5) and A6 (304, 15.4 per cent).

Upper large cars:

AUSTRALIA’S long-wheelbase class was an easy win for Holden’s Caprice in June, when 177 were sold (up 13.5 per cent) for a dominant 50.3 per cent share. Every other entrant was down – including the same brand’s Statesman, by 67.3 per cent – with Chrysler’s 300C next-best on 105 sales (29.8 per cent). YTD, the Caprice (713, 46.6 per cent) leads the 300C (494, 32.3 per cent) and Statesman (312, 20.4 per cent).

Upper large over $100,000:

LAST month’s two-horse limousine race went to BMW’s new 7 Series with 32 sales (68.4 per cent up) for a 43.2 per cent share, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz S-class, sales of which were 52.9 per cent down at 24 (for a 32.4 per cent share). With half the year gone, the BMW leads with 133 sales (up 62.2 per cent) and a 38.8 share, ahead of the S-class (111, 32.4 per cent) and Audi’s A8 (35, 10.2 per cent).


KIA’S Carnival, with 472 sales and a 38.8 per cent share in June, easily out-sold Toyota’s fading champion, the Tarago (193, 15.9 per cent) because sales of the former were up 80.8 per cent last month, while the latter was 48.4 per cent less popular. Honda’s Odyssey was third with 153 sales and a 12.6 per cent share.

At the halfway mark of 2009, the Carnival (1659, 33.9 per cent) is a runaway winner over the Tarago (840, 17.2 per cent) and Odyssey, which with 458 sales YTD is down even more than the Tarago – by 54.3 per cent.

People-movers over $55,000:

A THREE-HORSE race in this segment was won in June by a rejuvenated Chrysler Voyager with 58 sales and a 53.2 per cent share, from Volkswagen’s Multivan (35, 32.1 per cent) and the Mercedes-Benz Viano (16, 14.7 per cent). With 209 sales YTD, the Voyager is some 38.4 per cent up this year with a 52.8 per cent share, in stark contrast to the Multivan (129, 32.6 per cent) and Viano (46, 11.6 per cent).

Sports cars:

THE overcrowded ‘sports’ car segment was won in June by BMW’s 1 Series coupe and convertible line (213, 21.3 per cent), followed by the Volkswagen Eos (171, 17.1 per cent) and the Mercedes-Benz C-class Sports Coupe/CLC, which found 131 owners and a 13.1 per cent share. So far in 2009, the BMWs are 161.9 per cent up to lead the way with 1092 sales and a 22.7 per cent share, ahead of the Benz (678, 14.1 per cent) and the Eos (596, 12.4 per cent).

Sports cars over $80,000:

A CLOSE race in June between the Mercedes-Benz CLK (181, 24.4 per cent) and BMW 3 Series coupe and convertible (175, 23.6 per cent) was won on the back of retail incentives, with the BMW’s sales down 49.6 per cent and the Benz’s up 141.3 per cent.

For the year, the BMWs lead with 878 sales and a 29.5 per cent share, ahead of the CLK (543, 18.2 per cent), Audi’s A5 (447, 15.0 per cent) and the same brand’s TT (387, 13.0 per cent). YTD sales are down 45.0 per cent for the BMW, up 10.4 per cent for the Merc, up 26.3 per cent for the fresh A5 and down 30.9 per cent for the TT.

Sports cars over $200,000:

SALES of the Porsche 911 were up 20.0 per cent in June, to 24, for a 30.8 per cent share of the supercar segment, but remain 49.6 per cent down YTD at 125 (28.9 per cent of the segment). A distant second was Maserati’s entire range, which enticed 10 customers in June for a 12.8 per cent share, rising to 64 for the year (down 51.9 per cent) for a 14.8 per cent share.

Compact SUVs:

SUBARU’S Forester (1506, 16.3 per cent) won the small SUV sales race in June from Hyundai’s Tucson (1446, 15.7 per cent) and Toyota’s RAV4 (1341, 14.7 per cent), and continues to be unassailable in YTD terms with 7550 sales (up 9.3 per cent) and an 18.2 per cent share. The RAV is second on 6142 sales (down 20.1 per cent), with 5286 sales (up 48.4 per cent) and a 12.8 per cent share.

Medium SUVs:

WHILE Toyota’s Prado reigned over its medium SUV rivals in June with 1442 sales and an 18.3 per cent share, Ford Territory (1259, 16.0 per cent) and Toyota’s Kluger (1255, 16 per cent) scrapped for third ahead of Holden’s Captiva (1093, 13.9 per cent). The latter was up 16.5 per cent June-on-June, while the Territory was up 2.3 and the Toyota’s were down 2.4 per cent (Kluger) and 17.6 per cent (Prado).

YTD, the Prado still leads with 6336 sales (down 19.3 per cent) and an 18.2 per cent share, ahead of Kluger (5929, 17.0 per cent) and Territory (5021, 14.4 per cent), which is narrowly ahead of the Captiva (5014, 14.4 per cent).

Large SUVs:

TOYOTA’s LandCruiser (702, 62.0 per cent) remained king of large SUVs in June despite being 38.0 per cent down, ahead of Nissan’s Patrol (396, 35.0 per cent) and Jeep’s Commander (34, 3.0 per cent). It’s the same story YTD, with the ‘Cruiser (3630) leading the Patrol (1483) and Commander (82), and sales of all models down by around a half.

Luxury SUVs:

THE Mercedes-Benz M-class (295, 13.1 per cent) topped the luxury SUV sales chart in June, from the new Lexus RX (199, 8.8 per cent) and BMW’s X5 (194, 8.6 per cent), whose sales were down 61.0 per cent. YTD, despite also being down 35.9 per cent, the X5 (1358) leads the RX (1307, 13.4) and M-class (943, 9.7 per cent).

Commercial vehicles:

OVER in light commercial world, Toyota’s HiAce bus continued its dominance over Ford’s Transit for both the month and year, despite being 45.0 per cent down, while the Ford is 24.1 per cent up YTD.

In the van segment it was HiAce (904, 26.4 per cent) and Transit (473, 13.8 per cent) again, this time with Hyundai’s iLoad splitting them with 549 sales and 16.0 per cent of the class. YTD, the order is HiAce, iLoad, Mitsubishi Express and Transit, with the Toyota down 27.5 per cent and the Hyundai up 49.7.

The 4x2 ute battle in June went to Toyota’s runaway HiLux (2098, 24.4 per cent), sales of which were up 15.8 per cent, with Holden’s Ute second on 1577/18.3 per cent, Ford’s Falcon Ute third on 1491/17.3 per cent and Mitsubishi’s Triton fourth on 1195/13.9 per cent. The Holden was up 29.4 per cent, the Falcon Ute was up 18.1 per cent and the HiLux was up 15.8 per cent.

YTD, the 4x2 ute segment is a Toyota benefit, with the HiLux notching up 7917 sales (down 16.1 per cent) for a 23.7 per cent share, ahead of the Holden Ute (5823, 17.4 per cent) and Falcon Ute (5760, 17.3 per cent). Sales of all three utes are down 16.1, 20.6 and 7.3 respectively.

Pick-up/cab-chassis 4x4 sales in June also went to the HiLux (2658, 24.8 per cent), from Nissan’s Navara (2266, 21.1 per cent), Mitsubishi’s Triton (1848, 17.2 per cent), with a similar story in YTD terms. Six-month HiLux sales (1196) are down 11.8 per cent, with Navara (8822) up 0.8 per cent and Triton (6043) up 14.5 per cent.

Top 10 makes, June 2009:
Rank Make Sales % Share
1 Toyota 21,410 20.8%
2 Holden 12,167 11.8%
3 Ford 10,194 9.9%
4 Mazda 8406 8.2%
5 Hyundai 7862 7.6%
6 Mitsubishi 6912 6.7%
7 Nissan 6050 5.9%
8 Honda 4354 4.2%
9 Volkswagen 4068 4.0%
10 Subaru 3757 3.7%

Read more:

Commodore sales boom in June

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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