Small cars and SUVs, together with a continued strong demand for light commercials, have driven Australia’s new vehicle market to a record October sales result, according to data released by the motor industry’s official statistical service, VFACTS.
October sales reached a new high of 95,763, surpassing the previous October record set back in 2012. Two small cars and a light commercial vehicle were the nation’s top three sellers for October, reflecting the surge in demand within those segments. With two months remaining, total industry sales are 0.5 per cent ahead of last year’s record. Total industry sales year to date are at 984,931, compared with 980,433 this time last year. Six record months of sales have now been posted during 2017.
Australia’s overall passenger car sales declined by 3.8 per cent in October despite the 9.7 per cent upsurge in the demand for small passenger cars. Year to date, passenger cars are down by 6.9 per cent on the same ten-month period in 2016. However, SUVs and light commercials continue their strong climb. The SUV market grew by 1.2 per cent for the month of October, compared with the same month last year, while light commercials soared by 18.5 per cent in the same period on the back of a very strong market demand for 4X4 cab-chassis models (up by a remarkable 25.2 per cent in October, compared with the same month in 2016).
Both business (+19.1%) and private (+15.6%) light commercial sales were strong during October. Within the SUV segment, the star performers for October were in the small category (up 12.6%) and medium category (up 6.1%). Among the states and territories, Western Australia posted the largest sales increase, up by 11.6 per cent on October 2016. South Australia recorded the second largest gain of 7.0 per cent, followed by Queensland (+5.9%), the Northern Territory (+4.3%), the ACT (+2.6%) and Victoria (+2.0%). Only NSW (-1.2%) and Tasmania (-3.5%) declined.
Japan remains our biggest source of imported vehicles (27,062 during October), followed by Thailand (22,826) and Korea (15,395). Toyota remained Australia’s marker leader with an 18.6 per cent share of the October market. Hyundai surged to second place with an October share of 9.2 per cent, followed by Mazda (8.4%), Holden (8.1%) and Ford (6.0%).
The nation’s best-selling vehicle during October was the Hyundai i30 (3,983), followed by the Toyota Hilux (3,812), Toyota Corolla (3,088), Ford Ranger (3,074) and Holden Commodore (2,418).
The October 2017 market of 95,763 new vehicle sales is an increase of 2,406 vehicle sales or 2.6% on October 2016 (93,357) vehicle sales. October 2017 (25.4) had the same number of selling days as October 2016, which resulted in an increase of 94.7 vehicle sales per day.
The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 1,421 vehicle sales (-3.8%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is up by 429 vehicle sales (1.2%); the Light Commercial Market is up by 2,986 vehicle sales (18.5%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 412 vehicle sales (13.7%) versus October 2016.
Toyota was market leader in October, followed by Hyundai and Mazda. Toyota led Hyundai with a margin of 9,036 vehicle sales and 9.4 market share points.
Sales dipped in September
October was a great result after the overall market dipped 2.4 per cent in September compared with the same month last year.
A total of 100,200 new vehicles sales were recorded nationally for September, a fall of 2.4 per cent compared with September 2016.
Pick-up and cab-chassis 4X4 light commercial vehicles, together with small and medium Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) were the three growth segments during September. The 4X4 light commercials were up 11 per cent, small SUVs rose 7.9 per cent and medium SUVs increased 3.3 per cent compared with September 2016.
SUV and light commercials remain the two robust areas of the market, accounting for a 58.8 per cent share of total sales year to date, up from 56 per cent in 2016. Importantly, the overall market remained slightly ahead (0.2%) of last year’s record total on a year to date basis.
All passenger car segments were affected by the downturn although sales of sports cars (+4.1%) and people movers (+5.0%) remain ahead of 2016 year to date.
All the states and territories experienced a decline in sales although New South Wales ( 0.7%), Victoria (-2.3%) and Queensland (-2.7%) were the least affected. On a year to date basis, Victoria’s 3.3 per cent growth significantly outstrips that of all the other states and territories.
Private sales of light commercial vehicles provided stimulus during September, increasing by 9.6 per cent over the same month last year. Business sales of light commercials, too, were up by 7.9 per cent, with 4X4 utilities and cab-chassis models as the segment’s strongest sellers. Diesel remains the overwhelming engine type preference in the light commercial market, up by 10.5 per cent in September to both private and non-private buyers. In a month where SUV sales were down 1.3 per cent overall, business (+1.7%) and government (+6.7%) sales both absorbed some of the shortfall from an 8.5 per cent decline in private sales.
Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Tony Weber, said that while there was a modest sales fall in September, strong activity was recorded across several key segments.
“Any month over 100,000 total sales has to be seen as a strong outcome, proving there is continued value for the consumer in the market,” Mr Weber said.
“To keep this outcome in perspective, it has to be remembered that the September results of 2015 and 2016 were both very strong, and both those years ended in records.”
Market leader Toyota recorded a 1.07 per cent rise in sales during September for a dominant 17.3 per cent share overall, followed by Mazda with 10.3 per cent, Hyundai (8.1%), Mitsubishi (7.1%) and Holden (6.9%). The Ford Ranger light commercial was Australia’s top-selling vehicle for September with 4,318 sales, followed by the Toyota Hilux (3,822), Toyota Corolla (3,055), Mazda 3 (2,776) and Holden Commodore (2,547).
- The September 2017 market of 100,200 new vehicle sales is a decrease of 2,496 vehicle sales or -2.4% on September 2016 (102,696) vehicle sales. September 2017 (25.6) had the same number of selling days as September 2016, which resulted in a decrease of 97.5 vehicle sales per day.
- The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 3,929 vehicle sales (-9.3%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is down by 494 vehicle sales (-1.3%); the Light Commercial Market is up by 1,485 vehicle sales (8.1%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 442 vehicle sales (15.4%) versus September 2016.
- Toyota was market leader in September, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 7,049 vehicle sales and 7.0 market share points.