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VFACTS: Ford’s Mustang gallops ahead

Hi and mighty: The Ford Mustang was a big winner last month but the overall best seller was the Toyota HiLux on 4154 units.

Ford and Toyota the big winners in May as Hyundai and Holden take a sales hit

5 Jun 2017

A TWO-STAR crash safety rating has not dimmed the popularity of the Mustang sportscar, with Ford recording 1351 sales last month, a record haul for the American-built model and more than double the sales of the next best selling Ford, the Escape SUV.

Last month’s record and the continually strong sales of the Mustang shows that sportscar buyers are less concerned about Australasian New Car Assessment Program’s (ANCAP) safety ratings than people buying an SUV or traditional passenger car.

The Mustang was famously slapped with a two-star rating in January this year, thanks in part to a poor showing in the safety assist category, with ANCAP also scolding Ford over inadequate child occupant protection.

Its result is particularly impressive given the Mustang, which ranges in price from $45,990 to $66,205 plus on-road costs, outsold the likes of more more affordable passenger car fare such as Honda’s Civic (1311) and the Subaru Impreza (1112).

Ford continued its good sales run in May with 7617 sales representing a 15.7 per cent increase over the same month last year, with the Ranger ute maintaining its popularity with a 4069-unit haul, making it the second best-selling car in Australia last month.

The renamed Escape mid-size SUV hit 537 sales, the second best result for the Kuga/Escape model since its launch in early 2012. The Everest also picked up the pace, growing by 50 per cent to 378 units, while the Falcon must surely be down to the last few examples, with 12 sedans finding homes last month.

But it was Toyota that had one of the biggest turnarounds after a slow start to the year, recording 19,876 sales, its best May sales in five years and a 15.6 per cent increase over last May.

The HiLux edged out the Ranger by just 85 units last month, recording 4154 sales, while retaining its spot as the top-selling model in year-to-date sales.

Other top performers in its stable included the Australian-built Camry, up 54.4 per cent to 2233 units and the RAV4 SUV which hit 1977 (+16.6 per cent) to creep into the top 10, but the Corolla dipped by 5.2 per cent.

Overall May sales reached 102,901 units, which is a 6.4 per cent lift over May 2016, but the year-to-date total of 465,381 remains 0.9 per cent off the first five months of last year.

All four vehicle categories – passenger, SUV and light and heavy commercials – grew last month, with SUVs up 9.4 per cent putting it 787 units ahead of the passenger market, that was up by 1.6 per cent.

Micro cars, large and upper-large passenger cars had triple-digit drops, while the small-SUV category was the only SUV segment to go backwards (-3.5%).

Mazda’s haul of 9903 was its best May ever, with its new-generation CX-5 leading the charge on 2117 sales, while the CX-3 crossover extended its lead in the small-SUV segment with 1451 sales.

The CX-9 seven-seater hit 770 sales, an increase of more than 1000 per cent over last May.

Hyundai dipped by 7.7 per cent to grab 8312 sales, with the new-gen i30 dropping by 29 per cent, but the Korean car-maker was aided by some sales love for the Tucson SUV that lifted by 30 per cent to 2135.

Holden slid by 6.6 per cent to 6917 units, with the few bright spots coming from the Astra hatch (828 sales) and the Colorado ute which grew by 66.7 per cent for the 4x2 and 32.8 per cent for the 4x4 models.

The home-grown Commodore, which is in its final months of production, dropped by 18.4 per cent to 1841 units, while the Cruze has almost sold out completely, with just two sales last month.

Mitsubishi picked up some pace in May, increasing its sales by 6.0 per cent to 6521 on the back of double-digit growth for the ASX, Outlander and Pajero Sport SUVs as well as the 4x4 Triton.

Nissan’s recent model cull has seen its sales fall further, this time down by 9.0 per cent to 5083, despite a strong showing from the refreshed X-Trail (1992) and the Qashqai (1082).

Volkswagen pulled ahead of last May by 11.3 per cent to 5080 – just three units behind Nissan – with the Golf (1534) and Tiguan (960) leading the brand’s sales as its Amarok and Passat dropped.

Kia’s recent impressive sales form continued last month, with the Korean car-maker nabbing 5005 sales, a 41.3 per cent boost over last May, with double-digit lifts for the Cerato, Carnival, Picanto, Rio, Sorento and Sportage – and triple digits in the case of the Soul.

An impressive 140.7 per cent lift for its Impreza, as well as a massive 428.6 increase for its WRX, has helped Subaru to a 3.6 per cent lift over last May to 4146 units. Its haul kept Honda (3820) and Mercedes-Benz (3686) out of the top 10 for another month.

Honda lifted by 43.4 per cent last month on the back of a strong showing for Civic (1311).

The other two German premium brands lost ground last month, with Audi dipping by 4.4 per cent and BMW down by 19 per cent.

Top 10 selling brands May 2017
BrandSalesVariance %
Top 10 selling models May 2017
Toyota HiLux4154
Ford Ranger4069
Toyota Corolla3160
Hyundai i302683
Mazda CX-52298
Toyota Camry2233
Hyundai Tucson2135
Nissan X-Trail1992
Toyota RAV41977

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