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VFACTS: Market takes a dive in September

Holding on: Holden’s sales decline continued in September, with its 4651 vehicles sold good enough for 10th place and a 32.4 per cent decrease over the corresponding month in 2017.

Australian new-vehicle annual sales under serious threat of first decline since 2014

3 Oct 2018

WITH the Australian new-vehicle market taking a 5.5 per cent dive in September – its second largest monthly loss this year – annual sales are increasingly likely to backtrack for the first time since 2014.
According to VFACTS data released today, 94,711 vehicles were sold in September, taking the market’s year-to-date total to 881,005 – 0.9 per cent behind the first nine months of 2017 but still on track for a ninth consecutive year of million-plus sales.
This sales slump was prompted by half of the top-10 best-selling brands declining in volume for the month, led by Holden whose 32.4 per cent decrease saw it hold onto 10th place, at 4651 units.
Mazda was surprisingly the second worst performer in September, with its sales dipping by 31.5 per cent, to 7070 units. This slump meant it finished in fourth position instead of its usual second spot.
Ford also put in a negative performance for the month, declining by 25.7 per cent to 5084 units. Nonetheless, it still ended up in sixth position.
Market leader Toyota was steady during September, with its 17,386 sales up 0.1 per cent and well ahead of second-placed Hyundai (8110, -0.2%).
While Mitsubishi (7622 units, +7.9%) continued its climb up the sales ladder, claiming third spot, it was fellow Japanese brand Nissan (5167, +29.1%) that recorded the largest increase in volume in the top 10 while assuming fifth position.
Seventh-placed Kia also put in a strong performance, up 7.3 per cent to 5003 units, while Subaru was one spot behind, with its 4758 vehicles sold equating to a 2.5 per cent rise.
Volkswagen was only 64 units adrift, in ninth position, but its sales were down 4.2 per cent, while an improving Honda (4528, +2.1%) just missed out on the top 10.
In the premium segment, Mercedes-Benz Cars continued to stave off its German peers, BMW (1859 units, -2.5%) and Audi (1583, -11.6%), despite its sales decreasing by 24.3 per cent, to 2969 vehicles.
SUVs continued their rise in popularity among new-vehicle buyers, up 6.2 per cent on the back of surging small (+25.7%) and upper-large (+10.4%) SUV segments, while passenger cars (-20.1%) dipped significantly and light-commercial vehicles (-2.3%) were relatively steady.
Toyota’s HiLux ute was again the most popular model, up 13.5 per cent to 4338 units, while its main rival, Ford’s Ranger, withstood a massive 25.2 per cent drop in sales to claim second spot, at 3228 units.
Despite a 4.5 per cent dip in volume following the release of its 12th-generation hatch in early August, the Corolla assumed third position with its 2917 sales, ahead of its fellow top-four small car, the Hyundai i30 (2508 units, +9.0%) 
Mitsubishi’s hot-selling ASX small SUV (2138 units, +40.1%) took fifth spot, while Nissan’s X-Trail mid-size SUV (1908, +43.1%) was one position behind and on a tear of its own alongside its ninth-placed Navara ute sibling (1742, +48.4%).
The Triton ute (1857 units, +7.2%) was another significant contributor for Mitsubishi, in seventh spot, while the Mazda3 (1842, -33.6%) showed its age with declining volume.
The year-to-date sales race continues to be led by Toyota (164,988 units, +1.3%) and its HiLux (38,762, +10.0%) in the brand and model fields respectively.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive Tony Weber was optimistic about the Australian market’s year-to-date tally as new-vehicle buyer preference continue to change.
“What we are seeing is a slightly slowing market, after the industry has produced five years of record sales over the past six years,” he said. “This demonstrates the inherent strength of the market.
“The decline in passenger-vehicle sales and corresponding growth in SUVs also shows that the traditional family car continues to evolve in Australia.”

Top 10 selling brands September 2018

Ranking Brand Sales Variance% Share%
1 Toyota 17,386 +0.1 18.4
2 Hyundai 8110 -0.2 8.6
3 Mitsubishi 7622 +7.9 8.0
4 Mazda 7070 -31.5 7.5
5 Nissan 5167 +29.1 5.5
6 Ford 5084 -25.7 5.4
7 Kia 5003 +7.3 5.3
8 Subaru 4758 +2.5 5.0
9 Volkswagen 4694 -4.2 5.0
10 Holden 4651 -32.4 4.9


Top 10 selling models September 2018

Ranking Make/Model Sales
1 Toyota HiLux 4338
2 Ford Ranger 3228
3 Toyota Corolla 2917
4 Hyundai i30 2508
5 Mitsubishi ASX 2138
6 Nissan X-Trail 1908
7 Mitsubishi Triton 1857
8 Mazda3 1842
9 Nissan Navara 1742
10 Toyota RAV4 1611

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