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VFACTS: Volkswagen sales growth stalls

Slipping: Volkswagen sales might have been down 6.0 per cent last month, but the company’s top seller in Australia, the Golf, still managed a creditable 1705 sales.

VW’s October sales down 6.0 per cent as dieselgate sales suspension bites

VFACTS logo5 Nov 2015

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia’s decision to suspend sales of certain diesel models pending a fix for the dieselgate software problem had a knock-on effect in showrooms last month, with VW vehicle sales down 6.0 per cent on the corresponding month last year.

It was the first month this year that VW recorded a year-on-year decline, ending nine straight months of growth for the brand, official VFACTS sales figures show.

However, VW sales are still up 11.9 per cent year to date, with the company still hoping for a record annual tally this year, eclipsing 2013’s 54,892.

Sister company Audi shrugged off its involvement in the scandal, smashing its October record with 2030 sales, a rise of 25.9 per cent over last October’s 1613 units.

In doing so, it eclipsed arch rival BMW’s October effort of 2001 vehicles, despite a 4.9 per cent rise in Beemer sales compared with October last year.

Another VW Group brand, Skoda, also did not miss a beat last month, with sale up 16.4 per cent for 412 units.

The overall market sales tally of 94,321 – up 3.4 per cent on the same month last year – represents the second best October in history, just behind 2013’s 96,924 vehicles.

With 957,153 vehicle sales already in the bag, the industry is looking forward to smashing through the million-vehicle barrier this month and perhaps cruising to a new annual record by December 31.

SUVs again led the charge, with sales of the popular wagons up a whopping 20.5 per cent for the month, mainly on the back of big rises in small and medium-class SUVs.

This SUV growth helped make up for declines in passenger car and light-commercial vehicle sales, down 5.3 and 1.9 per cent respectively.

This year, SUVs have accounted for more than 35 per cent of sales, compared with 31.5 per cent to the same point last year.

Toyota again led the sales charts in October, with 16,964 sales for the month – a decline of 2.4 per cent.

The Japanese giant had four of the top-10-selling vehicles in the land, with the all-new HiLux ute landing with a bang to take out top position with 3339 sales.

HiLux 4x4 variants achieved their best October sales on record with 2601 units shifted.

Its Toyota stablemate, the Corolla, came second with 3271 sales, ahead of Hyundai’s discounted i30 small car on 2669.

In all, Toyota had an impressive four vehicles in the top 10, with its locally made Camry coming in seventh (2142) and the RAV4 medium SUV at 10th (1685).

Hyundai, with 9003 sales in October, edged out Mazda (8532) for second place, even though Mazda enjoyed an impressive 24 per cent lift in October sales, thanks mainly to its popular SUVs, the new CX-3 and mid-sized CX-5.

The latter was Australia’s best-selling SUV for the month, with 2037 sales.

Holden reversed its declining fortunes with a 7.2 per cent gain last month, largely because of added-value specials on a wide spread of models, including the Captiva 7, Barina Spark and Colorado 7.

The new VF II Commodore made a slight gain of 1.5 per cent over the same month last year, with its 2243 units giving it sixth place in the sales race.

Ford’s Ranger ute was a bright spot for the Blue Oval brand, clocking up 2597 sales – 42 per cent of Ford’s 6098 sales for the month.

Seventh-place Mitsubishi (5508 sales) edged up 7.7 per cent, to stretch its lead over Volkswagen (4480).

Apart from the diesel software problems that have halted sales of diesel variants of models such as Golf, Caddie, Tiguan, Jetta and B7 Passat, the German brand also was hamstrung by a shortage of Caddys and T5 LCVs, which are in run-out ahead of new models before Christmas.

Despite the diesel issues, VW’s top seller, the Golf, still managed a commendable 1705 sales – down 2.8 per cent on October last year – to remain in the top 10 vehicle on the market.

Driven by a mega 400-plus per cent rise in sales of its Outback and Liberty twins, Subaru recorded 4112 sales – up 2.7 per cent – while Honda’s HR-V light SUV propelled Honda to 3261 sales, up 24.2 per cent on October 2014.

Top 10 selling brands October 2015
Brand Sales % Variation
Toyota 16,964 -2.4
Hyundai 9003 7.2
Mazda 8532 24
Holden 8088 7.2
Ford 6098 -3.8
Nissan 5961 3.5
Mitsubishi 5508 7.7
Volkswagen 4480 -6.0
Subaru 4112 2.7
Honda 3261 24.2
Top selling models October 2015
Model Sales
Toyota HiLux 3339
Toyota Corolla 3271
Hyundai i30 2669
Ford Ranger 2597
Mazda3 2582
Holden Commodore 2243
Toyota Camry 2141
Mazda CX-5 2037
Volkswagen Golf 1775
Toyota RAV4 1685

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