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VFACTS: Ford fights back

Trucking on: Ford’s Australian-developed Ranger is leading the sales recovery for the Blue Oval.

Ranger, Mustang help Ford reverse sales slide with 32.5 per cent gain in April

4 May 2016

FORD’S Australian-developed Ranger one-tonne ute and born-again Mustang muscle car were the stars of a much-improved April sales performance by the Blue Oval that contributed to an industry record high for the month, official VFACTS sales figures show.

With a massive 32.5 per cent gain in sales volume compared with the same month last year, Ford recorded 6842 sales to claw its way up to fourth place on the April sales ladder and score a rare win over arch rival Holden, which finished fifth.

It was the first time since last century that Ford has topped Holden in any month, although Holden still leads on a year-to-date basis.

While Ford always enjoys giving Holden a poke in the eye, even if it is only for one month, most pleasing for Ford was that its Ranger 4x4 topped the 4x4 ute charts, ahead of Toyota’s market-dominating HiLux 4x4.

The overall market achieved an April record 87,571 sales last month – up 7.2 per cent on last April’s 81,656 units – with light commercial vehicles (+14.1 per cent) and SUVs (+7.1 per cent) again showing the way.

Perennial market leader Toyota enjoyed an 8.3 per cent sales gain to top the charts with 16,567 units.

Second was Hyundai (8643, +19.9 per cent), thanks to another stellar performance by its i30 small car that, propelled by a $19,990 driveaway sales campaign, secured 4143 sales to score back-to-back monthly wins over rivals such as the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3.

Second best-selling vehicle for the month was Toyota’s HiLux, with 3384 sales, despite the 4x4 version (2452 sales) lowering its colours to the Ranger 4x4 (2534) for the first time.

When 4x2 variants are included, Ranger came third overall, with 2973 sales, just ahead of Toyota’s Corolla (2959) and Mazda3 (2512).

Mazda came third with a steady 8461 sales (+4.9 per cent), with a revitalised Ford in an unaccustomed fourth spot.

This time last year, Ford sales were on a downward trajectory, slumping 18.9 per cent for the year as its Australian-built models lost favour with buyers.

Since then, the company has embarked on a rebranding campaign, trumpeting its improved dealer service via free loan cars and also advertising its investment in vehicle development in Australia.

The arrival of the new Mustang at the start of this year not only gave the company a headline-grabbing halo model but also a sales boost. Last month, the Mustang’s 690 sales made it not only the top-selling sportscar in the land but also the brand’s second-best selling vehicle behind the Ranger, outselling mainstream Ford models such as the Focus (502), Territory (654) and Falcon (410).

Year to date, Ford is running 18.2 per cent ahead of the same period last year, while Holden has gone the other direction, down 8.2 per cent.

Last month, Holden’s sales tally of 6710 units represented a fall of 5.1 per cent on the corresponding month last year.

Along with Nissan (4044, -3.4 per cent), Holden was the only top-10 company to report a drop in vehicle sales in April.

Volkswagen edged up to sixth place in the sales rankings with a 3.5 per cent gain, to 4732 sales, while fellow German brand Mercedes-Benz grabbed ninth place with 3303 sales – a 24.5 per cent rise.

Among the biggest rises was BMW’s whopping 58 per cent gain, from 1554 in April last year to an April record 2456 last month, thanks mainly to a huge 183 per cent boost in BMW SUV sales (1158). In this, BMW’s X1, X3, X4 and X5 all played a major role with triple-digit rises.

Top 10 selling brands April 2016
BrandSales% Variation
Top 10 selling models April 2016
Hyundai i304143
Toyota HiLux3384
Ford Ranger2973
Toyota Corolla2959
Holden Commodore1908
Volkswagen Golf1811
Mazda CX-51675
Mazda CX-31604
Hyundai Accent1555

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