SUVs and light-commercial vehicles have driven industry new-car sales figures to a record May, according to new official stats.
May’s six percent year-on-year improvement has helped 2017 sales close the gap to 2016’s record year. Where 2017 had trailed last year by nearly three per cent at the end of April, the difference is now less than one per cent (0.9%) – at 465,381 units.
The HiLux topped May with 4154 sales, though 2016’s best-selling vehicle is finding the rival Ford Ranger a stubborn opponent this year.
Ranger was close behind last month with 4069 sales, and remains less than 1500 units behind after the first five months of 2017. It once again won the 4x4 segment, and leads the biggest ute sub-segment overall.
In the battle of the small cars, the Toyota Corolla extended its lead over the Hyundai i30 and Mazda 3. The Korean hatch’s sales were down nearly 30 per cent on May 2016, though, despite the recent introduction of a new-generation model. The Mazda 3 has fallen 20 per cent, though is well clear in fourth place in year-to-date figures.
Mazda’s CX-5 is unmoved as the best-placed SUV, in 6th overall for May, with other top-10 high-riding-wagon representatives including the Hyundai Tucson (9th) and Nissan X-Trail (10th).
The Toyota Camry is a top 10 regular, yet its 2233 sales for May were up 54 per cent on its figure for the same month last year.
With three Toyotas in the top 10 and the usual swag of other positive results, the Japanese brand had its best May since 2012. Its 19,876 sales for May outsold the second- and third-placed brands for the month – Mazda (9903) and Hyundai (8312), respectively.
Ford finished fourth (7617), much on the strength of the Ranger and its popular Mustang sports car, ahead of Holden (6917).
Volkswagen was just three units shy of matching Nissan (5080 v 5083), though both join Ford, Holden and Hyundai as brands currently registering lower year-to-date sales.
Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Kia and Subaru are the top 10 brands currently posting positive year-to-date results.
May 2017 – Top 10
Toyota HiLux - 4154
Ford Ranger - 4069
Toyota Corolla - 3160
Hyundai i30 - 2683
Mazda 3 - 2594
Mazda CX-5 - 2298
Toyota Camry - 2233
Hyundai Tucson - 2135
Nissan X-Trail - 1992
Holden Colorado - 1924
2017 Top 5 Most Popular Vehicles – to end of May
Toyota HiLux - 17,917
Ford Ranger - 16,587
Toyota Corolla - 15,624
Mazda 3 - 14,562
Hyundai i30 - 11,066