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VFACTS: Japanese brands fight back

Work horse: The Triton was a bright spot in Mitsubishi’s line-up, with 2246 sales enough to keep it in the top 10.

Mazda, Subaru, Honda grow in September as market remains steady

5 Oct 2016

JAPANESE brands continued to fight back against the growing strength of the Korean car-makers last month, with official VFACTS figures revealing strong growth from Mazda and Subaru as well as a return to form for Honda.

Mazda returned to the top of the best-selling model chart for the first time since January, with the freshly facelifted Mazda3 small car recording 3491 sales, pipping arch-rival Toyota’s Corolla which achieved 3423.

The Hiroshima-based car-maker says its monthly sales average in Australia has now exceeded 10,000 units, the first time it has achieved this.

Toyota remained the number one car-maker last month, with its 16,716 tally just 0.7 per cent ahead of last September, while second-placed Mazda recorded 12,009 – only the second time it has exceeded 12,000 sales in a month – which represents a 10.5 per cent lift.

The continued popularity of the CX-5 kept Mazda ahead, with the mid-size SUV grabbing 2662 sales – its best month ever – and slotting into sixth spot.

Toyota’s HiLux was the third best-selling model last month with 3209 sold, giving it a year-to-date total of 30,827, but the Corolla is currently the leader with 30,948 sales to the end of September, just 121 units ahead of its workhorse stablemate.

The Hyundai i30 (29,678), Mazda3 (27,898) and Ford Ranger (26,940) round out the year-to-date top five.

Hyundai was steady last month, just 0.1 per cent ahead of last September, but it recorded strong results for the Tucson SUV (2209) and its ageing Accent light car (2189), both of which snuck into the top 10.

Holden’s slide continued, down 8.2 per cent to 8546 units, but despite drops for the Barina (-53.7), Captiva (-12.3) and Cruze (-7.4), September saw a fight-back from the Colorado 7/Trailblazer, which grew by 74 per cent for 712 and the Trax crossover, up 43.4 per cent to 608, while the Commodore was steady on 2366, up 0.8 per cent.

Ford held on to sixth spot thanks to its continued sales growth, with the Blue Oval lifting by 25 per cent to 7280 units.

The Ranger was by far its best seller (2903), but the Focus small car finally attracted some positive attention, lifting by 167.3 per cent to record 866 sales.

While Mustang sales remained strong (786), the Falcon dipped by 17.8 per cent last month to achieve 462 sales in what was its last full month of production before the factories close for good.

Mitsubishi’s Triton had a solid September, nabbing 2246 sales and a top-10 spot, but the car-maker dipped by 3.4 per cent overall on the back of sizeable drops for the Lancer (-53.7 per cent), Pajero (37.6 per cent) and Outlander (13.0 per cent).

Nissan dipped by 1.2 per cent to 5177 units, with the Navara ute and Qashqai and X-Trail SUVs picking up the slack from poor performing passenger cars such as the Pulsar (-51.2 per cent).

Volkswagen’s slide also continued, dropping by 14.5 per cent, but the launch last month of the all-new Tiguan SUV is set to reignite sales for the German car-maker.

Subaru had a stellar month, with solid results for the Outback, WRX and XV driving overall sales up by 11.8 per cent.

Honda regained some ground it had lost in recent months to Korean brand Kia and Mercedes-Benz, lifting by 5.2 per cent – largely on the back of huge results for the HR-V and new Civic – to regain its position in the top 10.

Kia was pipped to a top-10 spot by less than 100 units, but its September haul was 22.8 per cent ahead of last September, with the Cerato continuing its growth spurt, up 44.2 per cent.

The big three German premium brands were relatively steady last month, with Audi up by 1.3 per cent, BMW increasing by only 0.6 per cent, while Mercedes saw 5.4 per cent growth.

A number of other premium brands experienced a lift last month, including Jaguar (+90.0 per cent), Infiniti (+81.8 per cent), Lexus (+3.6 per cent), Porsche (+13.3 per cent) and Volvo (+8.2 per cent).

The September haul of 102,692 units was just 1.3 per cent – or 1304 vehicle sales – ahead of September 2015, with 26 selling days in both months.

Passenger car sales continued to slide, dropping 8.7 per cent over last September, while SUVs continued to grow, up 6.8 per cent, helping to narrow the gap of 366,203 passenger car sales compared to 332,103 SUVs for the first nine months of 2016.

Full year-to-date sales are 2.8 per cent ahead of the same period in 2015, with 887,076 units shifted across all segments.

While the heavy commercial market was steady (+0.6 per cent), light-commercial utes and vans showed their continued strength with a 17.9 per cent lift over last September.

Sales to private buyers fell by 8.2 per cent last month, but business purchases grew by 14.3 per cent and government sales were steady, up 1.9 per cent.

Top 10 selling brands September 2016
Brand Sales Variance %
Toyota 16,716 +0.7
Mazda 12,009 +10.5
Hyundai 9319 +0.1
Holden 8564 -8.2
Ford 7280 +25.0
Mitsubishi 6701 -3.4
Nissan 5177 -1.2
Volkswagen 4380 -14.5
Subaru 4050 +11.8
Honda 3787 +5.2
Top 10 selling models September 2016
Brand Model
Mazda3 3491
Toyota Corolla 3423
Toyota HiLux 3209
Ford Ranger 2903
Hyundai i30 2741
Mazda CX-5 2662
Holden Commodore 2366
Mitsubishi Triton 2246
Hyundai Tucson 2209
Hyundai Accent 2189

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