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News - VFACTS - Sales 2010 - April

April VFACTS: HiLux heads business car boom

Long haul: Toyota's ute was Australia's most popular new model last month.

Car sales lift by more than a quarter in April as HiLux outsells Commodore, Mazda3

VFACTS logo5 May 2010

BUSINESS is booming and car-makers are reaping the rewards, with Australia’s new-vehicle market in April gaining a solid 7436 units or 27.3 per cent over the same month last year to make it the seventh consecutive month of growth, driven by an upswing in business and rental vehicle sales.

According to VFACTS sales figures issued today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Hyundai – which struck a shiver down the spine of local car-makers when it unseated Ford as number-three seller in February - slipped from fourth to fifth position overall after being overtaken by Mazda.

Hyundai, sold 6725 vehicles – 62.6 per cent up on the same month in 2009 - for an 8.3 per cent market share in April, but was still eclipsed by Mazda (8.4 per cent, 6805 sales – up 32.9 per cent), although Hyundai still leads Mazda in year-to-date terms, albeit by 19 sales.

Aided by its all-conquering HiLux ute, which outsold the Commodore and Mazda3 to become Australia’s top-selling vehicle bar none last month, Toyota continued its dominance in April with 20.5 per cent of the market (16,697 sales – up 28.1 per cent).

It led Holden with a 12.2 per cent share (9964 sales – up 27.3 per cent), while Ford improved its buffer against the threat posed by Hyundai with a 10.1 per cent share (8192 sales – up 19.8 per cent).

In year-to-date sales, there has been no change to the order at the sharp end of the top-ten makes, with Toyota selling 63,381 vehicles (for a 20.5 per cent share), Holden selling 43,440 vehicles (13.0 per cent) and Ford selling 30,162 units (9.1 per cent).

Nissan (up 25.1 per cent in April) remains ahead of Mitsubishi in sixth place despite the latter selling more vehicles and posting a 52.8 per cent sales spike last month, while Subaru swapped positions with Honda - the former now in eighth position with 13,433 sales, versus ninth-placed Honda with 13,324 sales.

While all segments grew last month, it was the people-movers (up 51.5 per cent), small cars (up 43.3 per cent) and SUVs (up 38.0 per cent) that bettered the average growth for the month.

The Hyundai Getz continued its lead in the light-car class (2192, +67.7 per cent) over the Toyota Yaris (1799, +29 per cent) and Mazda2 (1115, +31.2 per cent). The Getz also continues to lead the Toyota Yaris in YTD sales (7672 and 7378 units respectively).

Small cars continue as the volume-selling passenger-car class, with the majors’ position unchanged - Mazda3 leading with 3079 sales (up 23 per cent) over the Toyota Corolla (2829, +18.6 per cent) and Holden's Cruze, which edged out the Hyundai i30 (2483, +65.5 per cent) by achieving its best ever month of sales of 2514 sedans.

In the medium segment, the number-one Camry posted healthy growth (1434, +31.3 per cent), while second in line Mazda6 took 736 sales (+21.5 per cent) and holds a lead over the Subaru Liberty with 547 units sold (+53.7 per cent), the Six and Liberty are tied in year-to-date sales with 2631 sales each.

Among the key large-car models, the Falcon showed the strongest growth (2763, +24 per cent) but the Holden Commodore was still number one in the segment, albeit slightly down (3165, -0.4 per cent), while Toyota’s third place-getting Aurion improved slightly in volume (1024, +5.7 per cent).

Among the large cars over $70,000, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class continued its lead, with 175 units and 52.6 per cent of the segment for April. Jaguar XF sales were up 31 per cent for the month at 38 units - equal to the Audi A6 sales volume, with both edging out the soon-to-be-replaced BMW 5 Series for April (38, -12.2 per cent).

In the upper-large under $100,000 segment it was business as usual the Holden Caprice (125, +42 per cent) led the Statesman at 37 units - the same number of Statesmans sold in April last year.

There was an upset in the people-mover segment when the Hyundai iMax finally overturned the Kia Carnival for number one in the class, with 277 and 257 sales respectively. The iMax’s 267 per cent growth in YTD sales will no doubt taper off but it is only a couple hundred units away from segment leadership. The Toyota Tarago clocked 170 units at growth rate of 5.8 per cent over April last year.

106 center imageFrom Top: Holden Commodore, Mazda3, Hyundai Getz, and Toyota Prado.

Sportscar sales are a bellwether for a healthy economy and April sales were patchy. Manufacturers found 18 per cent more buyers this April than last for sportscars costing less than $70,000, while 4.1 per cent fewer for sportscars costing more than $80,000 and 1.6 per cent more for $200K-plus sports cars were sold.

BMW led the under $70K category with the 1 Series (188, -4.6 per cent), followed by the Mercedes-Benz CLC-class (166, +88.4 per cent) and the new two-door image-leader for Kia, the Cerato Koup, at 133 sales for April.

It was a close call for $70K-plus sportscarsk, with the Audi A5 pipping the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible at the post (112 and 111 sales respectively). The tables were turned in YTD figures (Mercedes-Benz with 497 versus 496 for Audi), but both were second-place getters to the BMW 3 Series Coupe/Convertiblem with 520 units sold YTD.

In terms of sportscars costing more than $200K, the Porsche 911 led with 24 sales, accounting for 37.5 per cent of the segment, over Maserati (11 sales) and Aston Martin with seven.

Compact SUVs were up 34.0 per cent in April, with the segment again led by the Subaru Forester (1116, -9.9 per cent), followed by the Toyota RAV4 (1020, +15.3 per cent) and the Mitsubishi Outlander (813, +121.5 per cent).

Toyota’s new Prado (1488, +91.5 per cent) led the medium SUVs, followed by the Holden Captiva (1095, +85 per cent), which narrowly outsold the Ford Territory (1085, +70.9 per cent) again.

It was a two-horse race in the large SUV segment as the Jeep Commander finally bowed out, leaving the Toyota LandCruiser 200 and the Nissan Patrol. The LandCruiser still owned the class, with 644 sales over the Patrol’s 243 sales - and also sold almost three LandCruisers to one Patrol in YTD sales - but Patrol showed a healthier growth in percentage terms than LandCruiser over April last year (33.5 per cent versus 13.0 per cent).

Luxury SUVs sales were up a third over last April, with the segment led by the Audi Q5 (206 sales), with BMW’s X1 (197 sales) and X5 (189 sales) rounding out the top three.

Hyundai exhibited its growing sales momentum in the van segment, as sales of its iLoad van grew 204.1 per cent for the month, although with 447 sales it was not enough to trounce the Toyota HiAce with 614 sales (up 18.5 per cent). In third place sat the new Volkswagen Transporter, with 157 sales (up 63.5 per cent).

The 4x2 ute market was dominated by the HiLux, which owned 27 per cent of the segment with 1271 sales - up 15.3 per cent. The Holden Commodore Ute was second (812, -2.9 per cent) followed by the Ford Falcon Ute (794, -0.1 per cent).

The HiLux continued to take a sizable chunk of the 4X4 ute market too, with 2148 sales notched up in April - up 40.4 per cent. The Nissan Navara was second with 1327 (up 1.2 per cent), while the Holden Colorado was third (874, +14.0 per cent) and Isuzu’s D-Max posted an outstanding 124 per cent sales lift to 381 utes last month.

Top 10 makes, April 2010:
Rank Make Sales % Share
1 Toyota 16,697 20.5%
2 Holden 9964 12.2%
3 Ford 8192 10.1%
4 Mazda 6805 8.4%
5 Hyundai 6725 8.3%
6 Mitsubishi 4805 5.9%
7 Nissan 4660 5.7%
8 Subaru 3216 4.0%
9 Honda 3063 3.8%
10 Volkswagen 2846 3.5%

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