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News - VFACTS - Sales 2011

August VFACTS: Buyers return to showrooms

Rolling on: The Mazda3 was Australia's best selling car in August, helping the Japanese car-maker climb to third place overall for the month.

Toyota returns to form as Holden slips behind and Mazda overtakes Ford for third

5 Sep 2011

AUSTRALIA’S new vehicle market has bounced back from its decline in the first half of this year to stage a solid 7.3 per cent sales increase in August, as buyers returned to the market in the new financial year and industry leader Toyota secured more supplies from earthquake-ravaged Japan.

According to official automotive statistician VFACTS, total new-vehicle sales are now just 4.4 per cent or 30,357 vehicles behind the same point in 2010 following the first month-on-month sales increase, putting the industry solidly back on track to record one million sales for the second consecutive year.

“These positive figures are good news for the automotive industry in Australia and put the industry firmly on track to achieve the one million sales target for 2011,” said Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries acting chief executive Steve Payne.

“We’re continuing to see a recovery in supply from tsunami-damaged Japan, along with stronger sales in Queensland as the state recovers from severe weather events earlier in the year.”

Leading the comeback last month was Toyota, which sold 15,885 vehicles last month – still down 4.5 per cent in August but better than its overall 19.4 per cent slide so far this year – as the first of 20,000 vehicles arrived from Japan for its two-month ‘Toyotathon’ sales campaign in August and September.

106 center imageTop-sellers behind Mazda3 (from top): Holden Commodore, Holden Cruze, Toyota Corolla, Toyota HiLux.

That was enough for Toyota to increase its market share by a full two percentage points, from a lowly 16.0 per cent in July to 18.0 per cent last month, as second-placed Holden slipped 0.3 percentage points, from 13.4 to 13.1 per cent over the past two months – despite increasing sales by 3.5 per cent in August.

While sales of every Toyota model remain down this year – and only the Yaris, HiLux 4x4, LandCruiser wagon and ute improved in August – Holden posted its best August result since 2007, with Commodore placing second overall with its best August result since 2008.

Holden also sold more than 3000 Cruze sedans for the third consecutive month in August – its second-best result since launch in 2009 and 35.7 per cent higher than August 2010 – putting it within 450 sales of Commodore. Together, sales of Holden’s Adelaide-made vehicles surged by 55 per cent.

While Holden expects a spike from both model lines when the MY12 Commodore range is released later this month and the Cruze hatch is added in October, its 11,534 sales in August bring its year-to-date tally to 84,923 units and a 12.8 per cent market share.

That is down from 13.0 per cent at this time in 2010 and just over 29,000 vehicles or 4.3 market share points behind Toyota, which holds 17.1 per cent of the market (down from 20.3 per cent at this point in 2010).

However, last month’s stand-out performer was Mazda, which hoisted itself into third place ahead of Ford with its best-ever month.

Mazda sold 9138 vehicles in August (up a massive 41.2 per cent on the same month last year), including 6783 passenger cars (up more than 44 per cent).

Helping Mazda to a 10.4 per cent share last month was the evergreen Mazda3 – Australia’s best-selling single model in August with 4234 sales, followed by Commodore (3682), Cruze (3234), Toyota’s Corolla (3100) and HiLux (2823) – with a new monthly record for the car, just two months after the previous benchmark was posted.

While next month’s facelifted Mazda3 will further aid Mazda’s cause, the Japanese brand is already up 5.6 per cent for the year and lies just 1416 vehicles short of Ford, which holds a 9.2 per cent market share to Mazda’s 9.0 per cent.

Bolstered by another new monthly sales record for its smallest model, the Mazda2, Mazda has widened the gap to fifth-placed Hyundai by selling 59,918 vehicles year-to-date to the Korean maker’s 57,621 (for a 8.7 per cent), despite Hyundai’s 13.1 per cent sales increase last month - its best August sales result on record.

Hyundai's 7417 August sales gave it a market share of 8.4 per cent and fifth place overall, but in passenger car terms it placed fourth for both the month (with an 11.3 per cent share) and the year.

It was aided last month by the i20's best ever sales result, with 1163 sales and a market share of 10.4 per cent placing it third in the light segment.

While Hyundai is up 3.9 per cent this year, Ford remains 5.3 per cent down, but should expect to post significant gains with its all-new Ranger ute from next month, as well as the first full month of sales for its new Focus and LPG-fuelled Falcon LPi models.

Helping Ford notch up a 1.6 per cent sales lift overall, Focus sales rose some 61.9 per cent in August and continue to be 32.8 per cent up YTD, while Territory sales – aided by a facelift and the first diesel version – were up 48.7 per cent in August to be 2.2 per cent up YTD.

Fiesta sales remained 10.5 per cent stronger last month, about the same as YTD, while Mondeo was up almost 40 per cent in August to be up 42.9 per cent YTD.

However, Falcon sales continued their downward spiral last month, when sedan sales dipped 29.0 per cent (to be down 39.2 per cent YTD) and ute sales fell by 32.3 per cent (down 30.2 per cent YTD).

Nissan, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen and Subaru continued to round out the top nine makes in August, in line with their YTD standings, but Honda again slipped out of the top 10 – making way for Kia – with a 25.7 per cent sales slump last month.

Honda’s market share was just 2.3 per cent in August and is 3.3 per cent YTD – down from 4.0 per cent at this time last year, when it ranked eighth.

Kia, meanwhile, broke into the top 10 with 2102 sales and a 2.4 per cent share, despite stock shortages of the run-out Rio light car (forcing it down 67.7 per cent prior to the launch of the new model). Cerato was the standout, up 92.3 per cent over the August 2010 with 523 new registrations.

Other big movers last month were Renault (up 278.3 per cent to 401 sales in August and up 99.7 per cent YTD), Jeep (up 57.1 per cent in August to be up 24 per cent YTD) and Land Rover (up 47.2 per cent in August and 22.1 per cent YTD).

Luxury SUVs (up 18.9 per cent YTD), 4x4 utes (up 6.7 per cent YTD) and compact SUVs (up 4.9 per cent SUV) continue to drive Australia’s overall new-vehicle sales growth this year.

Of the luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz was up 14.9 per cent in August to be down 4.4 per cent YTD with 13,610 sales and BMW was down 10.2 per cent in August to be down 5.6 per cent YTD with 11,174 sales.

Audi rose 5.8 per cent in August to be 9.0 per cent up YTD and just 1070 sales behind BMW with 10,104 sales while Lexus fared 37.6 per cent better in August to be 6.8 per cent down YTD with 3898 sales.

VFACTS top 10 makesAugust 2011:

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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