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VFACTS: Holden, Kia lift in January sales

Holden on: Holden recorded a 57.8 per cent increase in sales for its Australian-built Commodore range last month, ahead of the arrival of the European-built replacement later this year.

Kia and Holden off to a strong start in 2017 as Huyndai, Nissan and VW fall

VFACTS logo3 Feb 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

HOLDEN has shown the early signs of a sales recovery following months of declining registrations, with official VFACTS sales figures revealing that GM’s Australian outpost could bounce back in 2017.

The car-maker regained some ground in January and crept back into third spot overall after being consistently beaten by South Korean rival Hyundai, with a haul of 7184 units, a 5.3 per cent increase over the same month in 2016.

The other winner last month was Kia, which stormed into eighth spot on the overall sales charts with 4015 sales, a 28.9 per cent gain over last January, beating Honda, as well as Subaru and Volkswagen – two brands that usually outsell the Korean brand.

Its Cerato continued to make its presence felt in the small car category, with 1372 sales (+90.6 per cent), while the Carnival, Sorento and Soul all recorded double- or triple-digit percentage gains as well.

Overall sales in Australia for the first month of the year were steady, up just 0.6 per cent to 84,910 units, with SUV sales continuing to grow (+3.2 per cent) as passenger cars (-0.8) and light commercials (-3.9) contracted slightly.

As expected business and government fleet sales were down in all categories, while private sales increased compared with last January in all but the light-commercial segment.

Market leader Toyota maintained its dominance last month but its 12,554 registrations represented only a slight lift of 0.8 per cent, which is unsurprising given its massive haul of close to 20,000 last month on the back of aggressive end-of-year deals.

The Camry may have found 4850 homes in December, but that number contracted dramatically to just 580 in January, mirroring the model’s sales story from the previous December and January.

Mazda held on to second place in January with 10,067 sales, just 0.5 per cent ahead of the same month last year despite a triumphant return to the top of the sales charts for its popular Mazda3 range, with 3473 units shifted last month.

Holden’s sales turnaround was a result of strong interest in a number of its key models, including the Australian-built Commodore (1960 units), which grew by 57.8 per cent over January last year.

The Commodore may have been boosted by buyers snapping up an example of the Aussie icon ahead of the plant’s closure on October 20 this year. Holden announced the closure date on January 13.

The updated Colorado pick-up range is proving to be a winner for the brand, just missing out on a top 10 placing by less than 30 units, while the soon-to-be-replaced Captiva SUV recorded 1251 sales, a 136 per cent boost.

Holden’s Trax crossover was another bright spot with 774 units shifted, up 50.6 per cent year on year, but the heavily promoted new European-sourced Astra continued its slow start, with just 418 sold last month.

The car-maker announced earlier this month that it had cut Astra pricing after feedback from dealers and buyers that the original prices were too high.

Hyundai had a slower start to the year, dipping by 4.2 per cent, despite solid results for its big hitters including the Santa Fe SUV (732), Tucson (1678), i30 (2018) and Accent (1075).

Ford maintained its momentum from last year with a 7.4 per cent boost over January 2016 to 5912 sales.

Drops in sales for models such as the Falcon and Falcon Ute which would be down to the last few examples following the factory’s closure last October, and the Kuga that switches to the Escape nameplate with a facelift this month were countered by increases for the Ranger 4x4 (+12.3 per cent), Mustang (+50), Mondeo (+41.8) and a surprising boost for the Focus (+47.3).

Mitsubishi was steady last month (+1.4 per cent), but Nissan fell by 9.9 per cent after running out of stock of the discontinued Micra and Pulsar hatches.

Its SUV range kept it afloat last month with the Pathfinder achieving its best sales result (933 units) since it switched from a rugged off-roader to a family friendly seven-seater in 2013, while the X-Trail and Qashqai maintained their good form.

Subaru grew by 17.7 per cent with the new Impreza small car accounting for most of the growth, thanks to its 897-unit haul, a 128.8 per cent lift over last January.

Volkswagen (3995 units) held off Honda (3470) to take tenth spot last month, but that figure was 8.0 per cent off where it was in January 2016.

Double-digit declines for the Golf, Jetta and Passat passenger cars were countered with strong gains for light commercials including the Transporter (+20.3 per cent) and freshly updated Amarok 4x4 (+3.4), as well as the new Tiguan SUV (717 units).

The big three Germans had a quiet start to the year, with Audi down 5.5 per cent, BMW up by just 1.4 per cent and Mercedes dipping by 4.1 per cent thanks to supply issues of its SUV range.

Top 10 selling brands January 2017
Brand Sales Variance %
Toyota 12,554 +0.8
Mazda 10,067 +0.5
Holden 7184 +5.3
Hyundai 6705 -4.2
Ford 5912 +7.4
Mitsubishi 5075 +1.4
Nissan 5012 -9.9
Kia 4015 +28.9
Subaru 4009 +17.7
Volkswagen 3995 -8.0
Top 10 selling models January 2017
Model Sales
Mazda3 3473
Toyota Corolla 2943
Toyota HiLux 2702
Ford Ranger 2622
Hyundai i30 2018
Holden Commodore 1960
Mazda CX-5 1924
Nissan X-Trail 1759
Hyundai Tuscon 1678
Mazda CX-3 1486

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