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VFACTS: November vehicle sales smash 100,000

Top truck: Toyota’s HiLux outpointed Ford’s Ranger in the November sale race to top the monthly best-seller list.

Australian cars slip out of sight as imports drive record November sales

5 Dec 2017

AUSTRALIAN November new-vehicle sales broke through the 100,000-unit mark for the first time last month as the industry maintained its record pace for 2017, official VFACTS figures show.

But for the first time in history, not one of the top-10 sellers was made in Australia.

Toyota’s Camry and Holden’s Commodore – both of which ceased production in Australia in October – last month followed the Ford Falcon out of the leadership group that is now dominated by imports from Japan and Thailand.

In October, the once-dominant Commodore came fifth on the sales ladder, with Camry two spots behind, in seventh.

But last month, Camry slipped to 11th, with sales plummeting 35 per cent compared with the corresponding month last year, while Commodore managed 14th, with sales down 12.1 per cent.

At the top of pile in November were a pair of Thai-built one-tonne utes, the Toyota HiLux (4103 units) and Ford Ranger (3576), followed by Japanese-built small-car rivals Toyota Corolla (2959) and Mazda3 (2464).

All up, Australian buyers snapped up 101,365 vehicles last month, which is 2428 units or 2.5 per cent more than the same month last year.

This record November total took the 2017 tally to 1.086 million vehicles, up 0.6 per cent on the same period of last year and on track for a record annual tally nudging 1.2 million, barring some sort of disaster over the last few weeks.

In a good sign for the economy, business buyers were out in force in November, especially in the SUV and light-commercial vehicle segments where business purchases were up 12.9 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively.

However, private sales were down 3.4 per cent for the month, and government purchases were down 4.5 per cent.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said that with less than one month remaining, he remained confident that the industry would surpass last year’s record total.

“The momentum built in the market over the past few months appears to be continuing so we’re on target for another record year,” he said.

SUVs and 4x4 utes again drove the rise in the November market, although sales of small cars rose 6.4 per cent against the general decline of passenger cars this year.

Long-time market leader Toyota continued on its merry way in November, lifting its sales by 3.5 per cent to 18,804 units to again claim market dominancy.

The Japanese giant has already sold 199,485 vehicles this year, meaning it is guaranteed of topping 200,000 units for the sixth year in a row and taking the industry crown for the 16th year.

Mazda is bumping along in second place, even though its sales slipped 5.0 per cent, to 9330 vehicles, last month. Apart from the consistent Mazda3, Mazda sales were again buoyed by the CX-5 which was again the top-selling SUV in the land with 2358 sales.

Third-placed Hyundai lifted 9.9 per cent, to 8781 sales, while 2017 market whipping boy Holden reversed its fortunes a little, enjoying a 2.6 per cent sales gain, to 7955 vehicles, despite a decline in Commodore sales.

One of the most improved car-makers in 2017, Mitsubishi, maintained its climb, with sales gaining 13.7 per cent, to 6678 units and fifth place.

Year to date, Mitsubishi is now sitting fewer than 1000 units behind Ford – 72,525 to 71,635 – setting up an interesting race to the finish for fifth place.

Ford, which had stabilised its sales decline in recent times, fell back into the red with an 8.1 per cent dive last month, to 6275 units.

Its locally developed Ranger ute and related Everest large SUV between them accounted for an astonishing 64 per cent of all Ford sales in Australia last month.

Volkswagen appears to have shrugged off its dieselgate woes with a 10.3 per cent sales gain, to 5364 vehicles and seventh place in November, while Nissan’s struggle continues, its November sales down 19.9 per cent, to 5077 vehicles.

The top 10 was rounded out by a resurgent Honda (4431 vehicles, +26.5 per cent) and fast-growing Kia (4305, +20.5 per cent), which edged out Subaru (4265, +3.0 per cent).

Top 10 selling brands November 2017
BrandSalesVariance %

Top 10 selling models November 2017
Toyota HiLux4103
Ford Ranger3576
Toyota Corolla2959
Mazda CX-52358
Hyundai i302227
Hyundai Tucson2121
Toyota RAV41950
Mitsubishi ASX1948
Hyundai Accent1914

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