A record year of new car sales is still a strong possibility after new car sales rose 3.4 per cent in October compared to the same time last year.

The result means sales are up 3.6 per cent for the year and on track to top 1.1 million again. Australia’s record new car sales year was 2013, when sales totalled 1,136,227.

With two months left in the year, 2015 sales were at 957,153, meaning Australians must buy just over 179,000 new cars in the last two months of the year to set a new record. Sales for October were 94,321, so it is a distinct possibility.

SUVs lead the way

The growth of the SUV market has been the main driver of sales, with a 20.5 per cent increase in total SUV sales in October 2015 compared with October 2014. Small SUV sales were up 37 per cent, medium SUVs up 20.1 per cent and large SUVs 11.8 per cent. Overall, sales of new SUVs are up 15.9 per cent for the year to date – that’s an increase of more than 46,000 vehicles.

SUVs have increased their share of the market to 35.2 per cent for the year to date, but the passenger car segment is still the largest, accounting for 44.9 per cent of new car sales in 2015, and 43.3 per cent in October.

Passenger vehicle sales down

Although passenger vehicles are still the biggest-selling segment, sales are falling, down 13,000 on the same time last year.

Toyota on top

Launched in October, the Toyota HiLux (3,339 sales) was the best-selling vehicle that month, ahead of its stable-mate the Corolla (3,271). In third place, more than 600 units behind, was the Hyundai i30 (2,669), followed by the Ford Ranger (2,597) and the Mazda3 (2,582).

Rounding out the top ten were Holden Commodore (2,243), Toyota Camry (2,141), Mazda CX-5 (2,037), Volkswagen Golf (1,705) and Toyota RAV4 (1,685).

Toyota vehicles made up 18 per cent of sales, almost twice that of the next best-selling brand, Hyundai (9.5 per cent). Mazda captured 9 per cent of the market, Holden 8.6 per cent and Ford 6.5 per cent.

The top selling brands for October were: Toyota (16,964), Hyundai (9,003), Mazda (8,532), Holden (8,088), Ford (6,098), Nissan (5,961), Mitsubishi (5,508), Volkswagen (4,480), Subaru (4,112) and Honda (3,261). Toyota, Holden, Ford and Nissan have sold fewer cars for the year to date in 2015.

The Ranger is easily the best-selling Ford and is the only model from the brand that has reached five-figure sales for the year.

WA and NT sales fall

Sales rose in every state and territory, with the exception of Western Australian and the Northern Territory, which respectively experienced 10.5 per cent and 5 per cent drops in sales from October 2014. Tasmania saw the most growth, with sales up 15.5 per cent on the same time last year. Sales rose 10.3 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory, 7.4 per cent in Queensland, 4.6 per cent in New South Wales, 3.7 per cent in Victoria, and 3.5 per cent in South Australia.

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