The Bavarian Motor Works put some distance between itself and fast-chasing German rival Audi with a 58 percent jump in sales compared with April 2015. Key passenger cars such as the 1 Series hatch, 3 Series and 4 Series coupe contributed, though it was BMW’s SUVs most responsible for sales riding high – with increases for the X1, X3, X4 and X5 ranging from 106 to 366 percent. BMW continues to be the fastest-growing brand of the high-volume luxury marques, though Mercedes-Benz still leads the luxury race.
Outsold its long-time rival Holden for the first time in the 21st century, even if by just 132 units (6842 to 6710). Ford Australia last had bragging rights way back in September 1997 but edged ahead with a 33 percent year-on-year increase in April owing to good performances from the Focus small car and Mondeo medium car, plus further strong showings from the Mustang sports car and the 4WD variant of the Ranger ute.
The Korean brand hurdled Mazda into second spot in April, courtesy of lifting sales by a fifth compared to the same period last year. Stand-out models were the Hyundai i30 hatch and Accent city car, which jumped 80 percent and 177 percent, respectively, thanks to generous driveaway deals. The i30 has put itself in the running to be Australia’s best-selling car.
Hyundai’s sister brand also enjoyed a successful April, with a 31 percent year on year improvement. The Carnival people-mover, Cerato small car, Optima mid-size sedan and Sportage SUV all played a starring role for the month.
The Swedish brand’s small car, the V40, and its two key SUVs, the Volvo XC60 and XC90, helped to bump year-on-year sales by 58 percent, even if from a relatively low base compared with its key luxury car rivals.
Another luxury brand with a relatively small volume, though a 186 percent jump in April thanks to the XE is still impressive.
The new 500X SUV hasn’t managed to help the Italian brand out of a sales freefall. A 54 percent year on year drop reflects an overall, year-to-date slump of 52 percent.
Every model in the Japanese brand’s showroom except one endured losses in April, leading to an 18 percent year-on-year decline. Its only saving grace was the HR-V baby SUV – though even that was a lowly 1.5 percent increase.
2016 is proving to be a challenging year for the FiatChrysler Group. After Jeep sales fell 20 percent in 2015, the American 4WD brand’s sales are already down 50 percent this year – not helped by a 49 percent slump for April. No single model has yet to record positive growth for the year.
The Peugeot-Citroen (PSA) Group is also struggling to catch compatriot Renault in the local market. Peugeot sales slipped 9 percent in April for an overall deficit of 13 percent compared to April 2016, while Citroen fared worse last month with a 45 percent year-on-year decline (now down 27 percent year to date).
The rise and rise of Hyundai and Kia must be tough for fellow Korean brand Ssangyong, which had another tough month – down 52 percent to see sales almost halved from this time last year.
The niche British sports car maker didn’t sell a single model in April.