News - VFACTS - sales 2014
VFACTS: Industry sales trending downward
Weakened sales across segments continue slow start to 2014 new vehicle market
5 May 2014
THE Australian new vehicle market declined for a fourth consecutive month in April, with total new vehicle registrations 5.2 per cent lower than the same month last year, albeit from a month with two fewer selling days than in 2013.
But not so at the pricier end of town, with premium vehicles in the many passenger and SUV segments alike seeing strong sales growth compared to 2013, and volume upmarket brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all continuing to grow sales at a clip.
According to VFACTS sales data, 80,710 new passenger cars and commercials were sold last month, bringing the yearly total to 347,080 units, a 3.1 per cent drop. This figure still puts the market on track for another one million-plus vehicle performance.
The data means each month this year has produced lower sales figures than the corresponding months in 2013. In a marked shift since the middle of last year, nine of the past 10 months have seen sales declines, with the exception being December 2013.
Several of the market’s top-selling brands saw sizeable drops in April, with market-leader Toyota down 11.7 per cent to 14,930 deliveries, fourth-placed Mazda down 10.6 per cent to 7000, sixth-placed Mitsubishi down 20.1 per cent to 4360, seventh-placed Nissan falling 18.6 per cent to 4157 and eighth-placed Volkswagen down 12.3 per cent to 4019.
Holden held firm at 8010 sales (up 0.2 per cent) to finish second, ahead of Hyundai (up 4.3 per cent to 7626 sales), with Ford sitting in fifth on 6449 sales (down 5.6 per cent).
From top: Nissan Juke, Toyota RAV4, BMW X5 and 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
Subaru finished ninth on 2903 sales (up 13.7 per cent), with Honda (2352 and down 25.8 per cent) holding onto tenth spot, narrowly ahead of Mercedes-Benz (2262, up 26.4 per cent), Jeep (2067, up 49.9 per cent) and Kia (1913, down 13.6 per cent).
So far this year a reduction in business and rental sales of 7.4 and 9.4 per cent is being felt, most notably in the light commercial space with year-to-date sales down 9.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, sales of Australian-made vehicles fell a further 12.9 per cent as the countdown to closure in 2017 hastens. The locally-made Ford Falcon and Territory, Holden Cruze and Toyota’s Camry and Aurion all fell. Only the Commodore made ground.
In April, total passenger sales fell 8.9 per cent, with the Micro (down 46.1 per cent) and sub-$25,000 Light (down 15.1 per cent) segments experiencing notable drop-offs.
Australia’s most popular segment, sub-$40k Small vehicles, fell 9.6 per cent, while 22.6 per cent fewer sub-$60k Medium vehicles were sold. Furthermore, 27.2 per cent fewer sub-$80k Sports vehicles found homes than this month last year.
Bucking the trend was the Large segment, thanks to the continued strong sales of Holden’s 12-month old VF Commodore, up 61.3 per cent in April and 62.1 per cent YTD. The Ford Falcon and Toyota Aurion, both also Australian-made like the VF, dropped 8.9 per cent and 33.9 per cent.
Also making gains were luxury cars in the $40k-plus Small (up 19.5 per cent last month and 47.2 per cent this year), $60k-plus Medium (up 39. per cent), $100k-plus Upper Large (up 75.0 per cent), $80k-plus Sports (up 25.3 per cent) and $200k-plus (up 10.0 per cent) segments.
Moving over to SUVs, the market saw a gain of 4.0 per cent in April, improving the YTD growth to 0.8 per cent. Sales at this end of town continue to grow, then, but not at the stellar clip they were for the preceding few years.
Non-premium Small SUVs were up a massive 51.6 per cent for the month, thanks to incremental volume from a host of new-to-market models such as the Holden Trax, Ford EcoSport, Peugeot 2008, Nissan Juke and Suzuki S-Cross.
Likewise, non-premium Medium SUVs grew, albeit by a smaller 0.5 per cent, while non-premium large SUVs (down 12.1 per cent) and non-premium Upper Large (down 27.2 per cent) contracted.
Reflecting the passenger market, premium SUVs across the $70k-plus Large SUV (up 20.6 per cent) and $100k-plus Upper Large (down 13.6 per cent) fared better than their mass-market fellows.
The $40k-plus Small SUV market grew 14.7 per cent, while 1.5 per cent fewer $60k-plus Medium SUVs were delivered.
The light-commercial market contracted 8.8 per cent in April and is down 9.3 per cent for the year thanks to weaker business sales, a reflection of reduced market confidence and a slow-down in several key industry sectors including mining.
Segments spanning light vans (down 18.3 per cent in April), mid-sized vans (down 14.9 per cent), heavy vans (down 8.0 per cent), 4x2 pick-ups and cab chassis’ (down 4.1 per cent) and 4x4 PU/CC (down 11.1 per cent) all took hits.
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