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VFACTS: Utes smash sales record out of the park

On a Hi: Toyota’s HiLux whistled past the 5000 sales mark for the first time in June to hold out Ford’s pick-up, the Ranger, for top spot on the sales charts.

Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger drive Australian new-vehicle sales record in June

VFACTS logo5 Jul 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

RECORD sales of one-tonne utes led the Australian new-vehicle market to its highest monthly sales tally in history – 134,171 units – last month, official VFACTS data shows.

Sales of the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger both soared past 5000 units for the first time in any month as business and private buyers alike came out in record numbers to take advantage of end-of-financial year sales.

HiLux was again Australia’s top-selling vehicle, with a whopping 5461 sales in June – up 18.3 per cent on the same month last year – while Ford’s locally developed Ranger achieved 5051 units, eclipsing its previous best of 4078 units last June.

The overall market edged up 4.4 per cent over last year’s record June tally of 128,569 and placed the year-to-date sales trend back on track for another annual record (up 0.2 per cent for the first half).

Toyota smashed all comers with a whopping 24,546 sales, up 11.2 per cent over its June 2016 tally, to take the overall sales crown. It missed its all-time monthly sales record – 25,624 in June 2008 – by just 1078 units.

With four vehicles in the top 10, Toyota almost outsold its nearest two rivals – Mazda (12,501) and Hyundai (12,251) – put together.

Mazda’s June tally represented a record month for the market number two, up 0.4 per cent on last June’s 12,455 vehicles.

The sales one-two for HiLux and Ranger in June underscores the new-found dominance of pick-ups – especially the 4x4 variety – in Australia where they increasingly do double duty as family cars and sportscars.

Sales of 4x4 pick-ups are up 9.2 per cent so far this year, while passenger car sales are down 6.8 per cent. SUVs are also booming, up 5.0 per cent.

Ford Australia can take special pleasure out of Ranger’s sales result, as its Victorian-based Ford Asia Pacific Product Development team is responsible for the global development of the Ranger and its SUV sibling, the Everest.

While Ranger is made in Thailand, Australian buyers appear to have adopted it as the new Aussie ute due to its local development heritage.

By contrast, the Blue Oval’s previous best seller, the Falcon, is almost gone from the market, with just 11 of the locally built sedans sold last month as dealers clean up the remnants of stock after the closure of local production last October.

While Ford sales edged up 6.5 per cent over the previous June, to 8853 vehicles, to consolidate sixth place, rival Holden took another hit, its June sales sliding 18.5 per cent, to 9273 units for the month.

Fourth-placed Holden just managed to hold out a fast-rising Mitsubishi which landed 9266 sales in one of its best sales performances since becoming a full-line importer.

While not one Holden model figured among the top 10 vehicles in June, Mitsubishi’s Triton ute came eighth with 2995 sales.

Holden’s one-time market leader, the Commodore, slumped 32.7 per cent, to 2054 units, as it heads towards the end of local production in October.

Another car that is due to go out of local production in October, the Toyota Camry, achieved 3191 sales – up 4.7 per cent – as bargain hunters swooped on discount specials.

Hyundai effectively marked time in June as it wheeled out its all-new i30, but it threw plenty of marketing muscle into its Tucson medium SUV to drive it to 3741 sales and the top of the SUV rankings in June.

This is not only a record for Tucson but thought to be a record for the medium SUV segment where Mazda’s CX-5 usually holds sway.

The biggest mover in the market in June was Kia, which rocketed up 30.3 per cent to a record 6737 units for the month.

This earned it a rare place in the top 10 (seventh), ahead of Nissan which continues to edge downward (6690, -1.3%).

Volkswagen also was one of the better performers, with sales of VW vehicles jumping 8.7 per cent, to 6447 units, in June.

Honda rode the success of its HR-V small SUV (1606) and Civic (1777) to garner 5412 sales – its best monthly performance in almost a decade.

In the battle of the small cars, Toyota’s Corolla came out on top with 3830 sales, ahead of the Mazda3 (3490) and Hyundai i30 (3471).

Top 10 selling brands June 2017
BrandSalesVariance %
Toyota24,546+11.2
Mazda12,501+0.4
Hyundai12,251-0.4
Holden9273-18.5
Mitsubishi9264+6.2
Ford8853+6.5
Kia6737+30.3
Nissan6690-1.3
Volkswagen6447+8.7
Honda5412+2.8
Top 10 selling models June 2017
ModelSales
Toyota HiLux5461
Ford Ranger5051
Toyota Corolla3830
Hyundai Tucson3741
Mazda33490
Hyundai i303471
Toyota Camry3191
Mitsubishi Triton2995
Mazda CX-52487
Toyota RAV42460

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