Utes were the big movers in April as passenger cars fought back against SUVs but the overall market continued to slow.
New-car sales posted a five percent year-on-year decline with 83,135 units for the month, according to unnofficial industry figures seen by Which Car. The result contributed to a three per cent year-to-date drop.
Light commercial vehicles were the only growth sector for April, with the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Holden Colorado leading the ute charge. Hilux was April’s best-selling vehicle with 3430 sales, with the second-placed Ranger not too far behind with 3120 units.
The small cars were third and fourth, with the Corolla registering 2555 sales and 2313 Mazda 3s leaving showrooms.
A new-generation Mazda CX-5 helped the medium-sized SUV place 5th with 2166 units, putting it ahead of the Hyundai i30 that sold half the numbers it did in April 2016 owing to the upcoming launch of an all-new replacement.
The Commodore wasn’t Holden’s best-selling model last month, either – with the Colorado ute taking that honour with 1824 sales. Holden’s large car dropped out of its usual place in the top 10, placing 12th with 1441 sales.
There’s still no budging Camry from this chart (7th, 1885 sales), while Hyundai’s Tucson (9th, 1530 sales) continues to be a strong performer.
A surprise model stole in for the final, 10th spot – Kia’s Cerato small car, which sold 1490 units thanks to a 41 percent year-on-year increase.
April’s top four mirrors the year-to-date table for best-selling vehicles. It continues to be a close race between the HiLux, Ranger and Corolla, while the Mazda 3 isn’t out of the running – and well clear of the fifth-placed i30, for now.
SUVs had outsold passenger cars in February and March but the traditional order was resumed last month. There were 32,147 passenger car sales in April compared with 31,368 SUV sales.
SUVs maintain a slight year-to-date lead, however.
In the battle of the brands, Toyota was predictably top in April – with its 16,090 sales almost double that of second-placed Mazda despite a 3 per cent year-on-year drop.
Holden (4th) and Ford (5th) were separated by just two sales, while Kia made a big jump into 7th with a 36 percent year-on-year sales increase.
Mercedes-Benz came close to entering the top 10, finishing just 38 units behind Nissan. The German luxury brand’s 3312 total for April outsold Audi and BMW combined for the month.
April 2017 – Top 10
Toyota HiLux - 3430
Ford Ranger - 3120
Toyota Corolla - 2555
Mazda 3 - 2313
Mazda CX-5 - 2166
Hyundai i30 - 1979
Toyota Camry - 1885
Holden Colorado - 1824
Hyundai Tucson - 1530
Kia Cerato - 1490
2017 Top Five Most Popular Vehicles – to end of April
Toyota HiLux - 13,763
Ford Ranger - 12,518
Toyota Corolla - 12,464
Mazda 3 - 11,968
Hyundai i30 - 8383