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Best-selling SUVs could soon overtake passenger cars

By Kellie Buckley, 05 Jul 2016 Car News

Mazda CX-5

2016 is on track to be the first year that Australians buy more SUVs than passenger vehicles, according to the latest VFACTS figures.

The point at which SUVs become more popular in Australia than passenger cars is edging ever closer with the latest VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries revealing the gap is fast reducing. 

While passenger cars still outsold SUVs during the month of June, with 53,832 new passenger cars compared to 46,011 new SUVS sold, it’s when you compare the figures to the same period last year that the cracks in the passenger car market start to appear. 

Compared to the four-week period of June last year, the passenger car market experienced a decrease of 2554 units (4.5 percent) while the SUV segment was up by 3755 units (8.9 percent) in the same period. 

And while each segment is made up four sectors; private sales, business sales, government fleet vehicles as well as rentals, digging down into the private sector of each segment highlights the change in Australian consumer behaviour. 

Toyota RAV4

The private passenger car segment recorded a decline of 1797 units (5.2 percent) over the same period in 2015, while at the same time the number of SUVs sold to Australia’s private sector grew by 1019 units, which represents at 3.7 percent increase over the same 2015 period. 

And as for which vehicles Australian consumers are purchasing, for the month of June, Mazda’s CX-5 outsold any other SUV with 2643 new units changing hands in the four-week period, a result which is reflected in the year-to-date figures also, with 12,593 new CX-5-badged SUVs sold in the first six months of 2016. 

Next in line for June was Mitsubishi’s ASX (2182 units) followed by Toyota’s RAV4 with 2088 new units sold. RAV4 trails Mazda’s CX-5 in the year-to-date figures with 9728 units sold in the first six months of this year, followed by the Hyundai Tucson with 9609 units with Nissan’s X-Trail hot on its heels at 9426 units. 

Mitsubishi ASX

With more and more manufacturers jumping on the SUV bandwagon, the country’s most popular brands don’t necessarily reflect the individual vehicles purchased. For the month of June, Australia’s most popular SUV brand was actually Toyota with 13.4 percent of June’s market share (6186 of the total 46,011 units). Second in line was Mitsubishi (10 percent of the share with 4584 units) followed by Mazda in third place with its 4571 SUVs sold making up 9.9 percent of the month’s market. Nissan came a close fourth with 4280 new SUV units moved in June for a 9.3 percent share of sales. 

Interestingly, it’s a different story again for brand market share when you consider the year-to-date figures. Toyota remains top-dog for the first six months of 2016, with 14.3 percent of the half-yearly market share. Mazda, with a 10.2 percent share is in second place, with Nissan in third on 9.3 percent.


Rank Model Sales
1. Mazda CX-5 2643
2. Mitsubishi ASX 2182
3. Toyota RAV4 2088
4. Nissan X-Trail 1908
5. Mazda CX-3 1790
6. Holden Captiva 1741
7. Honda HR-V 1696
8. Hyundai Tucson (2015) 1481
9. Mitsubishi Outlander 1413
10. Toyota Prado 1357