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Small cars stay afloat amid shrinking new car sales

By David Bonnici, 03 May 2019 Car News

Small cars stay afloat amid shrinking new car sales

While not immune to the market downturn, hatchbacks are again well represented among Australia’s most popular cars

Small cars appeared to be back in favour in April, with the Toyota Corolla reclaiming its top passenger-car billing and the Kia Cerato bursting into the top-10.

The numbers need to be put in perspective though, with sales down for most passenger-car and SUV models compared to March and the first four months of 2018.

This reflects an 8.1 percent total market downturn that has seen year-to-date sales (including heavy vehicles) drop by about 30,000 to 344,088, according to VFACTS sales figures released today.

Toyota Corolla

Corolla climbed from fifth spot in April to reclaim third position behind the all-conquering Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger utes, despite having 70 fewer sales relative to March 2019.

Corolla sales have been falling all year, with its improved position due to its main rival, the Mazda 3, transitioning to the all-new model, and yo-yoing sales of the Mitsubishi Triton that fell out of the top-10 after holding third place for the past two months.

Mitsubishi’s ASX crossover and Outlander medium SUV also fell out of the top-10, though this isn’t entirely unusual for the Japanese carmaker, which often clears its shipments quickly leaving a void the following month. The Japanese financial year ending on March 31 may also have had something to do with it.

BRAVE FACE: Toyota unfazed by slowing Corolla sales

The Corolla will have a hard time maintaining third spot, at least until the all-new sedan arrives to bolster the range later this year.

The Mazda 3 meanwhile managed to hold on to fourth spot, with 2195 sales, down from 2642 in March.

Hyundai i30 sales also fell last month, from 2402 in March to 1910, but moved into the void left by Triton to climb to sixth spot behind the Toyota Landcruiser (which includes both the 78- and 200-Series models).

Kia Cerato

The Kia Cerato leapfrogged several models to eighth spot despite its sales being down from 1873 in March to 1650 in April.

Defying the trend

Kia and Mitsubishi are still the only two major brands to sell more cars this year than in the same period in 2018.

Mitsubishi continued to hold third place overall with 4717 sales in April, despite selling 791 fewer cars than April last year. This was the first month the company was in negative territory this year, however a strong first quarter means its 30,016 year-to-date sales remain healthy, up 12.3 percent from the first four months of 2018.

Mitsubishi Triton

Kia meanwhile sold 19,331 for the first four months of the year, up 2.9 percent.

By comparison Toyota is down 6.3 percent (while still holding on to 18.8 percent market share) as is Mazda (-4.0 percent), Hyundai (-12.9 percent), Ford (-9.3), Holden (-23.8 percent), Honda (-18.0 percent), Nissan (-15.6 percent) and Volkswagen (-10.4 percent).

DOWNWARD PRESSURE: Plummeting property sales drive new car sales down

The only other mainstream brands to be in positive territory in Australia this year are Citroen (2.7 percent), Fiat (0.2 percent), Great Wall (148.9 percent), Haval (108.6 percent), Jaguar (25.8 percent and Skoda (26.4 percent).

It’s also worth noting Lamborghini is up by 19.1 percent this year, with its new Urus SUV accounting for 31 of its 56 total sales so far.

Lamborghini Urus

Top-10 brands, 2019 Year to Date sales / market share

  1.        Toyota - 64,753 / 18.8% 
  2.        Mazda - 35,987 / 10.5% 
  3.        Mitsubishi - 30,016 / 8.7%  
  4.        Hyundai - 26,834 / 7.8%  
  5.        Ford - 21,062 / 6.1%  
  6.        Kia - 19,331 / 5.6%  
  7.        Volkswagen  - 15,871 /4.6%  
  8.        Nissan - 15,866 / 4.6%  
  9.        Holden - 15,308 / 4.4%  
  10.        Honda - 14,872 / 4.3%

Top 10 cars, April 2019

  1.        Toyota Hi-Lux - 3621 
  2.        Ford Ranger -3011 
  3.        Toyota Corolla -2429 
  4.        Mazda3 -2195 
  5.        Toyota Landcruiser 78/200 Series- 2034 
  6.        Hyundai i30 -1910 
  7.        Mazda CX-5 -1827 
  8.        Kia Cerato -1650 
  9.        Toyota Prado - 1473 1699 
  10.        Hyundai Tucson - 1355 

Toyota Hilix

Top 5 cars by segment, April 2019

Micro/Light Cars

  1.        Hyundai Accent - 998
  2.        Toyota Yaris - 678
  3.        Mazda 2 - 642
  4.        Kia Rio - 538
  5.        Suzuki Swift - 523

Small Cars

  1.        Toyota Corolla - 2429
  2.        Mazda 3 - 2195
  3.        Hyundai i30 - 1910
  4.        Kia Cerato - 1650
  5.        Volkswagen Golf - 1095

Medium/Large cars

  1.        Toyota Camry - 1274
  2.        Holden Commodore - 629
  3.        Mercedes-Benz C-Class - 371
  4.        Mazda 6 - 205
  5.        BMW 3 Series – 192

Toyota Camry

Small SUVs

  1.        Mazda CX-3 - 1071
  2.        Hyundai Kona - 1030
  3.        Mitsubishi ASX - 1009
  4.        Subaru XV - 964
  5.        Honda HR-V - 691

Medium SUVs

  1.        Mazda CX-5 - 1827
  2.        Hyundai Tucson - 1355
  3.        Toyota RAV4 - 1238
  4.        Mitsubishi Outlander - 1197
  5.        Nissan X-Trail - 1160

Large SUVs

  1.        Toyota Prado - 1473
  2.        Toyota LandCruiser 200 - 1177
  3.        Toyota Kluger - 851
  4.        Subaru Outback - 759
  5.        Mazda CX-9 - 529

People Movers

  1.        Kia Carnival - 495
  2.        Volkswagen Multivan - 107
  3.        Honda Odyssey - 92
  4.        Hyundai iMax - 84
  5.        LDV G10 Wagon – 63

Sports cars

  1.        Ford Mustang - 422
  2.        Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible - 211
  3.        BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 76
  4.        Porsche 911 - 70
  5.        Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible - 55

Ford Mustang

Light Commercial (Utes)

  1.        Toyota Hilux - 3621
  2.        Ford Ranger - 3011
  3.        Isuzu D-Max - 1352
  4.        Holden Colorado - 1252
  5.        Mitsubishi Triton - 1162