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VFACTS: Utes crack August sales record

No stopping it: Toyota’s HiLux dominated the Australia ute market segment in August, with 4287 sales.

Toyota HiLux helps to propel new-vehicle market to a record August high

VFACTS logo5 Sep 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

TOYOTA’S evergreen HiLux and its one-tonner competitors have led the Australian new-vehicle market to a record August sales high – the market’s fourth record month in a row – according to official VFACTS data released today.

HiLux scored a whopping 4287 sales last month – up 33 per cent on the corresponding month last year and a record August for the nameplate – to top the market ahead of arch rival Ford Ranger (3588) and put the big Toyota ute firmly on course for its second successive year at number one.

The overall August market came in at a record 96,662 sales, up 1.8 per cent on last year’s 94,909 sales.

The growth was primarily driven by small SUVs and light-commercial vehicles.

Small SUV sales were up 22.8 per cent, while LCV sales jumped 16.7 per cent to an August record 19,542 units.

Overall SUV sales grew 4.7 per cent, to 38,118 vehicles, while passenger cars continued their sales slide, down 8.2 per cent, to 35,733 units.

Toyota again topped the sales ladder, delivering a healthy 18,511 vehicles, representing 5.1 per cent growth year on year.

That’s not all that surprising when its ace performer, the HiLux, is riding the wave of enthusiasm for pick-ups by Australian car buyers who increasingly see diesel 4x4 twin-cab utes as the new all-round vehicle.

Interestingly, sales of LCVs to private buyers in August were up 23.4 per cent, compared with those to business buyers, up 12.8 per cent. Also, it should be noted that vehicle sales in Australia’s mining states, Western Australia and Queensland, also recovered strongly in August after sitting in the doldrums following the end of the mining boom.

So far this year, LCV sales growth has outstripped the year-to-date increase in SUV sales, 6.2 to 5.1 respectively.

Toyota has taken the biggest chunk of that, increasing its LCV sales volume by 12.5 per cent while growing its segment share from 26.5 per cent in the first eight months of last year to 28.1 per cent this year.

Market runner-up Mazda took a hit last month, with sales down 8.1 per cent to 8511 units.

However, that was still sufficient to keep ahead of third-placed Hyundai, even though the Korean importer’s sales jumped 19.3 per cent to 7800 units.

Hyundai’s Tucson was its star performer, achieving 2206 sales for the month – up 33.4 per cent – to top the SUV sales chart ahead of Mazda’s CX-5 (2048).

Despite another monthly year-on-year slump – this time 8.9 per cent – Holden took fourth place with 6984 sales, ahead of Mitsubishi’s 6649 vehicles (+8.4 per cent).

Year to date, Holden is running 11.4 per cent behind last year, with every model bar Colorado in negative territory.

Ford was just behind Mitsubishi in sixth spot, with 6645 sales – down 3.0 per cent. It sales were anchored by the Australian-designed Ranger, sales of which are up 21 per cent this year, as well as the smash hit of the sportscar market, the American-built Mustang (748 units).

Among the big winners in the top 10 last month was Subaru, which smashed its August sales record by shifting 4579 units – up 36.2 per cent on August last year – thanks to a strong performance from its newest vehicles, the Impreza small car and XV small SUV.

Kia also set a new August company benchmark, with its sales jumping 21.5 per cent to 4507 units.

Volkswagen enjoyed a 21.5 per cent sales jump, to 4730 units and seventh place.

Once again, it was Nissan which took the biggest hit, sliding 27.1 per cent to 4095 units and clinging to 10th place.

In the small-car category, Toyota’s Corolla again reigned supreme, with 2948 sales, ahead of the Mazda3 (2163) and Hyundai’s i30 (2143).

Despite the run of consecutive record months, the Australian new-vehicle market is running just 0.6 per cent ahead of last year.

However, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive Tony Weber said today that as long as economic conditions remain favourable, another record annual sales tally should be achievable.

Top 10 selling brands August 2017
Brand SalesVariance %
Toyota18,511+5.1
Mazda8511-8.1
Hyundai7800+19.3
Holden6984-8.9
Mitsubishi6649+8.4
Ford6645-3.0
Volkswagen4730+21.5
Subaru4579+36.2
Kia4507+21.5
Nissan4095-27.1
Top 10 selling models August 2017
ModelSales
Toyota HiLux4287
Ford Ranger3588
Toyota Corolla2948
Hyundai Tucson2206
Mazda32163
Hyundai i302143
Toyota Camry2107
Holden Commodore2071
Mazda CX-52048
Mitsubishi Triton1970

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