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VFACTS: Kia shines in a gloomy market

Losing traction: The Toyota HiLux was still the national number-one seller in October, but drought and other negative factors have pummelled its sales by more than 20 per cent.

Kia hits new heights as Australian motor market slumps another 9.1 per cent

6 Nov 2019

KIA made the best of another bad month in the Australian motor industry in October, increasing its sales by more than 10 per cent over the same month last year to grab fourth spot on the sales ladder for the first time.


The South Korean company’s 5062 sales was a company record for October, earning it a 6.1 per cent market share – a new monthly benchmark for the brand, according to official VFACTS sales data.


Kia’s stablemate, Hyundai, was one of the few other major motor companies to edge into the black – up 0.3 per cent with 7455 sales last month – as most of the industry leaders slid backwards, dragging the overall market down 9.1 per cent.


The industry sold 82,456 vehicles in October, 8262 fewer than in the corresponding month last year, thus marking 19 months of continuous decline.


Sales this year are now running 8.0 per cent behind 2018, with all major segments – passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles – showing weakness as economic woes such as the drought and low wage growth bite.


Long time leader Toyota again showed the way in October, topping the sales list with 16,988 sales – down 4.6 per cent – for a market share of more than 20 per cent.


While Toyota’s HiLux was again the best-selling vehicle in the land, the popular ute’s sales were down 20.1 per cent in October – from 4401 last year to 3516 last month – in a sign that should have warning bells ringing in Canberra.


Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries CEO Tony Webber said the drought and other domestic conditions were impacting the market, but the FCAI’s key concern was the effect of over-regulation of the financial sector.


“The FCAI and our members have been concerned about the risk averse approach to lending in Australia for some time and see improved access to finance as a key to driving economic growth in 2020,” he said.


“Of particular interest is the fact that sales are down across all buyer types, with private sales down 5.2 per cent compared to October 2018, business sales are down 8.2 per cent and government sales are down 7.3 per cent.”


Last month, Hyundai moved up to second place behind Toyota, with Mazda relegated to third with 6370 sales – a decline of 22.1 per cent.


Kia moved ahead of Ford and Mitsubishi, thanks mainly to a strong performance from its Cerato small car – up 36.5 per cent to 1827 sales for the month.


Year to date, Kia is ranked sixth with 51,422 sales, but is now little more than 2000 units behind fifth-placed Ford with two months of 2019 to go.


Ford’s sales last month fell in line with the market, down 8.8 per cent to 4891 units, while Mitsubishi – in the middle of model changeovers – dived 22.6 per cent, to 4811 units.


Holden made it back into the monthly top 10 after dropping out for the first time in its history in September, but its sales were nothing to write home about – down 41.3 per cent to 3086 units.


The Colorado ute made up almost 40 per cent of Holden sales last month as its passenger car sales continue to wane.


Holden ended up 10th, behind Subaru (3301, -24.4%) and ahead of Honda (2761, -10.0%).


Holden’s heavy advertising for its SUV range paid some dividends, with the large Acadia and Trailblazer both putting on sales compared with October last year.


In the luxury sector, Mercedes-Benz shrugged off the economic gloom to increase car and SUV sales by 19.4 per cent, to 2586 units.


Likewise, BMW sales were up 4.9 per cent, to 1784 sales, but Audi trailed, down 28.1 per cent to 1246 units.


Top 10 selling brands October 2019

Ranking Brand Sales Variance%
1 Toyota 16,988 -4.6
2 Hyundai 7455 +0.3
3 Mazda 6370 -22.1
4 Kia 5062 +10.5
5 Ford 4891 -8.8
6 Mitsubishi 4811 -22.6
7 Volkswagen 4220 -12.7
8 Nissan 4011 -5.4
9 Subaru 3303 -24.4
10 Holden 3086 -41.3

Top 10 selling models October 2019

Ranking Make/Model Sales
1 Toyota HiLux 3516
2 Ford Ranger 3160
3 Hyundai i30 2216
4 Toyota RAV4 2132
5 Toyota Corolla 2117
6 Kia Cerato 1827
7 Mazda CX-5 1708
8 Hyundai Tucson 1693
9 Nissan X-Trail 1592
10 Mitsubishi ASX 1517

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