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2019 car sales off to a nervous start

By David Bonnici, 06 Feb 2019 Car News

Mitsubishi ASX

Weak consumer confidence continues to hang over the car industry, and Ford's Ranger is just one victim

Last year’s slow-down in new vehicles sales have continued into 2019, with January registrations down 7.5 per cent compared to the same time last year, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry's (FCAI) VFACTs figures released today.

A total of 81,994 vehicles were sold in January – down from 88,551 a year ago – with that number bringing mixed results for manufacturers.

Sales were down across all segments, with passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial registrations dropping by 12 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively.

Read next: VFACTS December 2018: Australia’s top models revealed

Tony Weber, CEO of the FCAI, attributed the results to lower levels of consumer confidence.

“The current economic environment is a challenging one, with an imminent federal election, a declining real estate market and tighter lending practices,” he said.

Above: Toyota Hilux

No one seems to have told Toyota, though, with the Japanese motoring giant’s Australian arm selling 15,961 vehicles last month to claim a 19.5 market share.

That’s about 1.0 per cent above its average despite Toyota Corolla sales falling by 12.9 per cent compared to January last year when the previous model was still on sale.

The new Corolla managed 2417 sales last month, which despite being 106 more than December, saw it drop to fourth place, behind the Toyota Hilux (3951) and the Mazda 3 (2831).

Above: Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger (2564) managed to stay in the top three, despite a significant 21.3 per cent drop compared to the same time last year, and 801 fewer sales than December.

It’s not too difficult to see where that 21 per cent went, with the Mitsubishi Triton and Holden Colorado sales up by 10.7 and 11.1 per cent respectively.

Above: Holden Colorado

The Mazda 3’s second spot came despite an 11.6 per cent slump in sales compared to January last year. Numbers were well up on December (where it finished fourth with 2285 sales), thanks mostly to run-out sales in the lead up to the all-new model arriving in May.

READ MORE 2019 Mazda 3 brings sexy back

Above: Mazda 3

Mazda’s January market share jumped slightly from 11.6 percent from 11.4 percent last year, thanks too to strong Mazda CX-5 sales (2347) that were up 9.1 percent.

If January was anything to go by, 2019 looks like being another great year for Mitsubishi, which sold 6669 vehicles to overtake Hyundai (6205) to be the third biggest selling brand, thanks to the Triton’s continued success and a spike in Mitsubishi ASX movements.

The ageing small-SUV’s sales rollercoaster reached another apex with its 1818 registration representing a massive 108.5 per cent jump from last January.

Above: Mitsubishi ASX

Kia also had a good month, pinching fifth place from Ford and increasing its market share from 5.1 per cent to 5.4 per cent.   

Ford’s market share dropped from 6.4 per cent to 5.5 per cent year-on-year, but managed to see off Holden despite the drop in Ranger sales, which still represent more than half the brand’s trade here.

The New Year period saw the introduction of new-generation Ford Focus, and Ford Endura large SUV, which should give the Blue Oval a boost in coming months.

Holden, which still had VF Commodores rolling out of showrooms a year ago, finished January in seventh position with 4167 sales – down 1552, or 27.1 per cent from January 2018 – giving it a 5.1 per cent market share thanks largely to the Colorado.

Above: Holden Commodore

Almost a year since its launch the ZB Commodore managed 403 sales in January, less than half the 871 VF models sold last year.

Holden Acadia sales (272) are yet to take off, while Holden Trax and Holden Equinox remain well below their segment pars with 280 and 331 sales respectively.

The Holden Astra range performed strongly, though, with 1071 sales, up from 813 last January.

Honda (4042), Nissan (3803) and Volkswagen (3617) continued to hold up the top 10, with Subaru again knocking on the door at 11th spot.

Top-10 manufacturers, January 2019

  • Brand
  1. Toyota

Volume

15,961

Share

19.5%   

  1. Mazda

9490

11.6%

 

  1. Mitsubishi

6669

8.1%

  1. Hyundai

6205

7.6%

  1. Kia

4651

5.7%

  1. Ford

4421

5.4%

  1. Holden

4167

5.1%

  1. Honda

4042

4.9%

  1. Nissan

3803

4.6%

  1. Volkswagen

3617

4.4%

 

Top-20 vehicles, January 2019

 

 

  1. Toyota Hilux

Volume

3951

  1. Mazda 3

2831

  1. Ford Ranger  

2564

  1. Toyota Corolla  

2417

  1. Mazda CX-5  

2347

  1. Hyundai i30 

1891

  1. Mitsubishi ASX

1818

  1. Toyota RAV4      

1800

  1. Mitsubishi Triton 

1697

  1. Holden Colorado   

1544

  1. Nissan X-Trail           

1519

  1. Subaru Forester     

1442

  1. Kia Cerato

1426

  1. Toyota Prado

1350

  1. Mitsubishi Outlander   

1314

  1. Mazda CX-3

1308

  1. Toyota Camry  

1237

  1. Volkswagen Golf

1231

  1. Hyundai Tucson 

1147

  1. Kia Sportage 

1116

 

Sales by segment, January 2019

Passenger

28,050

SUV

35,940

Light Commercial

15,809

Heavy Commercial

2195