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VFACTS: Holden falls as Toyota rises in January sales

Oh, what a feeling: Toyota sales jumped a mammoth 21.9 per cent last month, helped along by another strong showing from 2017’s top-selling model, the HiLux (3860 units).

Record start to 2018 as Holden feels post-manufacturing pinch, Toyota dominates

5 Feb 2018

WHILE the dust continues to settle on the Australian car manufacturing industry, Holden and Toyota went their separate ways in January, with the former stumbling while the latter surged, according to official VFACTS sales figures released today.

Overall, the Australian market jumped 4.3 per cent to 88,551 deliveries last month, setting a new January record by eclipsing the long-standing 2013 result of 85,430 units.

By contrast, Holden’s 5719 sales in January were 20.4 per cent down over the corresponding month last year – largely owing to the demise of its home-grown models – earning it fourth place behind Toyota, Mazda and Hyundai.

Remaining stock of the locally built VFII Commodore continues to dry up after production ended in October, but the imported ZB Commodore is set to launch later this month and should claw back some of the model's lost volume (871 units in January, down 55.6 per cent).

Similarly, the VFII Commodore ute (120 units, down 61.5 per cent) and WN Caprice (six, down 83.8 per cent) are steeply declining to their ends, while the Cruze small car is no longer on tap, meaning its 281 sales from January 2017 were also missed.

However, the succeeding Astra small car (813 units, up 94.5 per cent) and Barina light car (449, up 84.8 per cent) were bright sparks for the Red Lion brand last month.

Comparatively, Toyota retained first place in January with 15,306 sales, up a whopping 21.9 per cent year-on-year and its best first-month effort in 10 years.

Unsurprisingly, the HiLux pick-up drove this sales success with 3860 deliveries last month, good enough for another gold-medal finish in the rankings of Australia’s most popular new vehicle models.

The Corolla small car was not far behind in fourth spot with 2776 sales, while the seventh-placed RAV4 mid-size SUV (1780 units) rounded out the Japanese car-maker’s three entries in the top-10 sellers list.

Despite ending local production in October last year, the now-imported Camry mid-size sedan lifted its January sales by 30 per cent, to 754 units, but finished well outside of the top 10.

Commenting on the record January sales, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive Tony Weber said: “2017 was a record year for the industry and we’re pleased to see that strength continuing in the January 2018 sales results”.

Specifically, passenger car sales continued to tumble last month, down 8.7 per cent to 31,890 units, while SUV sales kept surging, up 10.9 per cent to 37,859 units.

For the former, the biggest loser was the large-size segment that dipped by 43.3 per cent, while the latter rode the coat tails of its small-size segment, up 25.5 per cent.

However, light-commercial vehicles did not miss out on the action, with sales growing a significant 20.3 per cent to 16,776 units, largely due to surging demand for 4x4 pick-ups, up 26.6 per cent.

The most impressive increase among the mainstream brands came from eighth-placed Honda, which had a knockout sales jump of 32.0 per cent, to 4581 units.

The CR-V mid-size SUV (1474 units), Civic small car (1293) and HR-V small SUV (1002) delivered the strong results needed for such a finish.

Ninth-placed Kia also had a rousing January, with its sales up 12.9 per cent to 4531 registrations, due to the evergreen Cerato small car (1432 units) and Sportage mid-size SUV (1176).

Mazda had a steady start to the year, taking second spot with 10,113 sales representing an 0.5 per cent increase, owing to strong performances from the third-placed Mazda3 small car (3201 units), fifth-placed CX-5 mid-size SUV (2152) and ninth-placed CX-3 small SUV (1582).

Meanwhile, Hyundai sales flew off the line with 6.2 per cent growth yielding 7124 deliveries, its sixth-placed i30 small car (1850 units) helping place the South Korean company third overall.

Ford hit a snag in fifth spot, with its sales dipping 4.5 per cent to 5645 units, but the Blue Oval brand would be pleased with the Ranger pick-up’s performance, claiming second on the podium with 3260 units.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi put forward another strong effort, finishing sixth with sales up 3.7 per cent to 5263 units, due to popularity of its Triton pick-up (1533 units) and Outlander mid-size SUV (951).

Seventh-placed Nissan backtracked to 4707 sales, down 6.1 per cent, but had the remaining two top-10 sellers, with the X-Trail mid-size SUV (1668 units) and Navara pick-up (1578) claiming eighth and 10th respectively.

Rounding out the top-10 brands was Subaru, which had a sales increase of 6.1 per cent, to 4253 deliveries, reflecting success of the XV small SUV (1108 units) and Impreza small car (920).

Among the luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz continued to dominate its rivals, amassing 2899 deliveries – up 9.6 per cent – that placed it ahead of BMW (2110 units, up 0.3 per cent) and Audi (1578, down 22.1 per cent).

Top 10 selling brands January 2018
BrandSalesVariance %

Top 10 selling models January 2018
Toyota HiLux3860
Ford Ranger3260
Toyota Corolla2776
Mazda CX-52152
Hyundai i301850
Toyota RAV41780
Nissan X-Trail1668
Mazda CX-31582
Nissan Navara1578

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