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VFACTS: Toyota HiLux tops May vehicle sales
Toyota HiLux takes Australian sales monthly crown as Corolla and Mazda3 skid
3 Jun 2015
TOYOTA’S ageing HiLux ute “did a Bradbury” in Australian vehicle sales last month, emerging as the number-one seller in the market when the usual leaders, the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla, took a tumble.
The HiLux was one of three utes in the top five in May sales as fleet buyers stepped up purchases of light-commercial vehicles (LCV), offsetting a drop in private light truck sales.
The overall May market came in at 93,327 units, a dip of 1.3 per cent on the same month last year. Year to date, sales are still up 2.5 per cent, at 452,577 vehicles.
Sales of small cars dived 16.6 per cent, continuing a downward trend for Australia’s biggest motor vehicle segment this year.
SUVs remain the flavour of the month, with sales of the popular family wagons up 5.8 per cent in May. Light-commercial vehicles also made ground, up 1.0 per cent.
With 3173 sales in May, the perennial top-selling LCV, the HiLux, came in at number one in the overall market, remarkably for the 14th time.
It was the first time it had achieved the feat since June 2013 when it soared to the top on the back of Toyota’s usual end-of-financial year push.
By HiLux standards, its May effort was not an extraordinary performance for Australia’s favourite ute, down 4.2 per cent on the same month in 2014 and trailing even March’s 3346 sales.
But because sales of the market-leading Corolla and Mazda3 fell 30.6 per cent and 12.6 per cent respectively for the month, the HiLux, like Olympic gold-medal-winning skater Steven Bradbury, cruised to victory.
HiLux is effectively in run-out, with the all-new model revealed in Thailand last week ahead of an October roll-out in Australia.
The Mazda3 came second with 2876 sales in May, and Corolla was third on 2688. However, Corolla still holds year-to-date leadership with 17,598 sales to the Mazda3’s 16,300.
A pair of utes, Mitsubishi’s Triton and Ford’s Ranger, rounded out the top five in May sales, with 2683 and 2317 sales respectively.
Long-time market leader Toyota retained its sales crown with 15,928 sales for the month, down 7.6 per cent on the corresponding month last year.
Despite a slip in demand for the Mazda3, second-placed Mazda’s overall sales grew by 12.5 per cent, to a May record 8717 units, mainly due to a strong performance from the all-new CX-3 and mid-sized CX-5.
Hyundai scored third place with 8269 sales, down 1.6 per cent, with Holden bringing up fourth place with 7956 vehicles, down 11.7 per cent.
Mitsubishi again leap-frogged Ford into fifth spot, this time with 6149 sales (+6.4 per cent), while Ford again slumped, down a further 13.8 per cent to 5994 vehicles.
Volkswagen (5534), Nissan (4467), Subaru (3776) and Honda (3086) rounded out the top 10.
Nissan was the big loser in this group, but that can be attributed to a lack of Navara stock as it gets set to launch its all-new model in June.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said LCVs were popular with government and business buyers in May, but fell 2.6 per cent to private buyers.
Nevertheless, LCV sales to private customers are still up 11.2 per cent year to date, he said.
SUVs continue to creep closer to passenger cars as Australia’s favourite mode of transport, with SUV sales growing 5.8 per cent in May, to 32,530 vehicles, as passenger car sales declined 7.3 per cent, to 40,592 units.
Small SUVs are leading the charge, with 17.6 per cent growth last month.
Luxury medium SUVs are also firing on all cylinders, up 62 per cent in May, thanks to big contributions from the segment-leading Audi Q5 (412 sales) and BMW X3 (366).
Australia’s top-selling SUV in May was Mazda’s CX-5, whose 1981 sales represented a 15.5 per cent rise and placed it eighth in overall vehicle sales.
BMW scored a rare victory over arch rival Mercedes-Benz if LCVs are excluded, 2380 to 2345, thanks to galloping sales of vehicles such as the BMW X3 and X5.
However, Mercedes’ sedan range held sway in the passenger segment, with the new C-Class again the best-selling luxury car with 703 retail sales.
State-wise, a buoyant New South Wales continues to hold the national market together with a 4.1 per cent rise in vehicle volume for the month, helping to make up for declines in Victoria (-3.1 per cent), South Australia (-5.8 per cent) and Western Australia (-15.8 per cent).
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