News - VFACTS - Sales 2016
VFACTS: Getting on with business
Business buyers help drive new-vehicle market to record highs in 2016
5 Jul 2016
AUSTRALIAN business vehicle buyers have brushed off elections, Brexits and other supposedly negative economic sentiments to underpin the biggest month of new-vehicle sales in history in June and cap a record first half for 2016, the latest VFACTS data shows.
With private, government and rental company purchases all slightly down in the annual end-of-financial-year June frenzy, it was left to business buyers to do the heavy lifting and drive the market to a massive 128,569 units – up 2.2 per cent on the same month last year – and put the industry on target for a record-smashing 1.2 million sales this year.
Hyundai’s top-selling i30 small car crunched all comers for the fourth month in a row, peaking at 6432 sales in June, up 16.5 per cent on the corresponding month last year.
This was a record for a small car and the biggest performance by a single model since Holden’s Commodore hit 6837 in June 2005.
Four models – the i30, Toyota HiLux (4613), Toyota Corolla (4427), Mazda3 (4112) and Ford Ranger (4078) – exceeded 4000 sales for the month in a remarkable show of strength.
Hyundai, Mazda, Kia, Subaru and Mercedes-Benz were among the motor companies to report record June sales, mostly on the back of attractive offers that brought buyers flocking in the traditional June bargain hunt.
Toyota was again the number one seller, dishing out 22,083 vehicles – up 2.7 per cent on June 2015 – and keeping it on track for another 200,000-unit year and its 14th successive year of market domination.
Said Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing Tony Cramb: “Across the country, local buyers continue to show confidence, with record sales in June and for the first half – and even an eight-week election campaign has not dented buyer demand.”
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive Tony Weber echoed the sentiment, saying: “The end of the financial year historically is always very busy for the industry but this was an exceptional month.
“This time, the final month of the financial year led right into a federal election and yet despite some suggestions this may stifle consumer sentiment, the market continued its strong momentum.” Mazda came in second in the June market with 12,455 sales – up 8.1 per cent on last June’s record – to edge out Hyundai whose 12,300 sales represented a 11.7 per cent rise.
Despite again suffering a year-on-year slip, Holden scored fourth place with 11,376 sales – down 4.6 per cent.
In the middle of the pack were Mitsubishi (8726, -3.2 per cent), Ford (8316, +14.7) and Nissan (6781, +2.2).
Kia scored the biggest rise in June sales, up 41 per cent to 5170 units, thus sneaking into the top 10.
Volkswagen suffered the biggest downturn – 16.5 per cent – but still hung on to eighth place with 5933 sales.
So far this year, business vehicle buyers – including novated lease purchasers – have snapped up an extra 32,000 vehicles (+15.8 per cent), in a display of business confidence.
Low interest rates and relatively cheap vehicles – many now coming in to the country duty free under free-trade agreements – are also driving this rise.
Business purchases are particularly strong in the light-commercial vehicle area, contributing to a 9.9 per cent rise in sales of utes and light vans in the first half of 2016.
Last month, four one-tonne utes – the HiLux, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton and Holden Colorado – were among the top 10 sellers.
Ever popular SUVs remain popular across the board (up 11.4 per cent year to date), but the slide in passenger car popularity continues, with sales of traditional sedans and hatchbacks down 5.2 per cent.
This impact is being felt most at the small end of the car spectrum, with micro vehicle sales down 27.6 per cent and light cars slumping 15.8 per cent year to date.
Despite a 2.2 per cent dip, small cars – including the i30, Corolla and Mazda3 – control the largest chunk of the market, with 118,012 sales to the end of June.
The i30 is the top-selling new car in Australia so far this year, with 22,857 sales against 21,171 for the HiLux, 20,544 for the Corolla and 20,088 for the Mazda3, while Ford’s Ranger rounds out the top five with 18,199 units.
If the i30 finishes the year at the top of the charts it would mark the first time a Korean-made car has taken the annual sales crown in Australia.
Luxury car sales continue apace, with Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Lexus all running ahead of last year’s pace and, in most cases, smashing records almost monthly.
For the first time, Mercedes has achieved 20,000 units in a first half, mainly because of its new-found strength in SUVs.
A resurgence by the refreshed 3 Series and continued domination of the luxury SUV market has boosted BMW sales by 25 per cent this year, to 15,754.
So far this year, the industry has shifted a record 598,140 vehicles, which is a lift of 3.4 per cent on last year’s 578,427 first half.
Barring an economic downturn or some other unforeseen problem, sales should endanger the annual record of 1,155,408 vehicles set last year.
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