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VFACTS: Holden topples Toyota again

Numero uno: Mazda's 3 small-car was king of the sales hill in June, edging out the Holden Commodore to take top spot.

Holden on top as Toyota stock drought turns annual June sales into a fizzer

5 Jul 2011

HOLDEN claimed top spot in the Australian motor market for the second month in a row as long-time leader Toyota’s traditional end-of-financial-year sales feast failed to materialise due to lingering stock shortages caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Toyota’s worst June in a decade helped to drag down the overall market by 11.6 per cent from last June’s record high, to 96,157 vehicles – the industry’s poorest June sales in eight years, official VFACTS figures show.

The industry rounded out the first half of 2011 down 6.6 per cent, with passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks all in negative territory.

Not all Japanese car companies were feeling the pinch from the quake, with Mazda’s Mazda3 small car achieving a company record 4212 sales to beat Holden’s Commodore (3809 units) for top spot on the bestseller’s list.

The Mazda3 has now edged ahead of the big Holden year to date – 21,212 to 21,032 – as the popular small car threatens to end the Commodore’s 15-year reign.

Holden’s own small car, the Cruze, also soared to new heights, scoring 3387 sales to take third spot in June as volumes of the new locally made Series II model arrived in showrooms.

106 center imageStrong performers: Ford Territory, Holden Cruze, Mazda2, Volkswagen Golf, Honda Jazz.

The success of Cruze even helped to reverse the long-term decline in sales of Australian-made cars, which crept up 2.2 per cent in June.

Despite the June hiatus, the industry has sold a tick under half a million cars (496,236) year to date, giving rise to hopes that it can still top the magic one million by year’s end.

FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar said the June market had been constrained by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

“Manufacturers and distributors affected by the Japanese natural disaster are reporting a reliable return of supply,” he said. “We would expect the effect to dissipate over coming months.” Toyota still leads the year-to-date sales charts, with 85,128 units to the end of June (down 20.8 per cent), despite having to cut production at its Australian Camry plant for a month due to parts shortages.

Toyota’s market share has slipped to 17.2 per cent – down from 20.2 per cent at the same time last year – but still well ahead of Holden’s 12.6 per cent (12.9 per cent in 2010) and Ford’s 9.1 per cent (9.3 per cent).

Toyota’s June sales tally of 12,514 vehicles was way short of June 2010’s 21,257 vehicles, and even shorter of its June record 25,624 in 2008.

Except for the new FJ Cruiser that did not exist last year, not one of the 19 Toyota models was in positive sales territory compared with June 2010, with half of then down by 50 per cent or more.

The Japanese company is not only looking forward to increased supply of vehicles as its parts-makers recover from the March quake, but also a raft of new models such as the new Yaris and facelifted HiLux that should see normal business resumed.

Toyota senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said production had returned to normal in Australia, Thailand and Japan - the three countries that provide cars for the local market.

"During July, we will receive almost all the vehicles we ordered earlier in the year," Mr Buttner said.

"As the month progresses, customers will have access to a full complement of cars with a much wider choice of grades and colours.

"By August, the number of vehicles available to our dealerships will be back to normal, putting us and our dealers in a position to satisfy customer demand." Holden sales were down 7.3 per cent to 12,827 units in June, marking a slight improvement in its year-to-date running rate which is now down 8.9 per cent on 2010.

Cross-town rival Ford held on to third place, despite recording an 8.0 per cent sales fall in June.

The Blue Oval brand was helped by pent-up demand for its facelifted Territory, which was finally shipped out to the market in June after last-minute delays to fix a computer glitch.

The locally made SUV clocked up 1634 sales for the month, making it the largest-selling SUV in the land – unless you count Holden’s Captiva 5 and Captiva 7 as one model, which collectively grabbed 1873 sales.

While Territory sales improved, Ford’s other Australian-made car, the Falcon, was down 30.3 per cent to just 1847 sales – about 2000 units behind Holden’s Commodore.

The Falcon ute also struggled, down 23.6 per cent to 664 sales – about half the volume of the Holden equivalent which was boosted by the Thunder special edition.

Riding on the success of its top-selling Mazda3 and Mazda2 light car, which also topped its segment in June, Mazda’s 8626 sales last month was up 7.5 per cent on the corresponding month last year, lifting its monthly market share to 9.0 per cent.

The number-one importer’s 43,796 sales YTD is slightly ahead of its 2010 half-year total, putting it just 1428 units behind third-placed Ford.

Korean importer Hyundai is fewer than 1000 units behind Mazda, in fifth place, with 42,978 sales this year – up 1.4 per cent on 2010.

In June, Hyundai managed 5.9 per cent growth, to 8534 vehicles, despite 34.5 per cent drop in sales of its long-time sales leader, the Getz (1524), which is in runout.

Sixth-placed Nissan, which is enjoying modest growth year to date, lost traction in June with a 9.7 per cent sales fall, to 6374 units, as imports dried up in the wake of the earthquake.

Likewise, Mitsubishi sales also fell 13.9 per cent for the month, to 6203 units, as it retained its seventh placing YTD date with 6.3 per cent share – 0.5 percentage points behind Nissan.

Among the biggest movers for the month was Volkswagen, which consolidated its position in the top 10 with a 7.0 per cent sales gain in June, to 5090 vehicles – a record month for the brand in the modern era.

Bolstered by strong Golf sales, VW has now moved ahead of both Honda and Subaru and into eighth place, with Subaru down 11.7 per cent and Honda slipping 26.4 per cent.

All market segments registered sales declines in June, with passenger cars slipping 10.7 per cent, SUVs down 12.5 per cent, light commercials easing 12.4 per cent and heavy trucks down 15.4 per cent.

Even the golden performers of recent years, the compact SUVs, slumped 10.6 per cent in June, although the sub-segment is still in positive territory year to date, up 1.5 per cent.

In the six months to June, large cars and sportscars are the biggest sufferers, down 23.5 per cent and 25.8 per cent respectively, while 4x4 utes are up the most (5.7 per cent).

Top ten makes June 2011:
Brand &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Sales &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Movement % Share % &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp
Holden 12,827 -7.3 13.3
Toyota 12,514 -41.1 13.0
Ford 9216 -8.0 9.6
Mazda 8626 -7.5 9.0
Hyundai 8534 +5.9 8.9
Nissan 6374 -9.7 6.6
Mitsubishi 6203 -13.9 6.5
Volkswagen 5090 +7.0 5.3
Honda 4162 -22.5 4.3
Subaru 3003 -26.1 3.1

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