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April new car sales: Holden feels a different type of pain

By Barry Park, 03 May 2018 News

April new car sales: Holden feels a different type of pain

The Commodore still hasn’t caught buyers’ imaginations, and wallets, the latest VFACTS sales data reveals

AUSTRALIA’S new-car market came tantalisingly close to posting another record April last month, its 82,930 total falling just 206 sales shy of the benchmark.

The result was only 0.2 percent lower than the same month last year, which still leaves the 2018 tally 3.3 percent, or two cars shy of 12,000, ahead of last year’s record pace.

After last month’s disastrous result for the brand, all eyes turn to Holden. The good bit is the Red Lion (4576) has improved its standings in the top 10 brands, rising to number six after falling to the bottom rung of March’s results. But it’s even more woe for the Holden Commodore, with 116 of the 587 total attributed to dwindling stocks of the locally built VFII, not the new German one. Do the numbers, and ZB mustered only 471 buyers, meaning it fell behind Astra (497), old stock of the Captiva (521) and the Captiva’s replacement, the Equinox (506) for the month.

READ NEXT: March VFACTS sales: Holden shoots to No.10 with a bullet

If you need a measure of how much Holden must be hurting, Toyota sold 1038 of its now fully imported Camrys – the number is bolstered to 1114 once the legacy Aussie-made stock is added in.

Toyota was again the nation’s best-selling brand, cornering 16,647 sales for a 20.1 percent share of the new-car market. Helping it were Australia’s biggest-selling vehicle, the Hilux (3596), the second-placed Corolla (2979), the 10th-placed Prado (1699).

Mazda (7723 sales, 9.3 percent share) placed second with the fourth-placed 3 (2261) and eighth-placed CX-5 (1725) helping its fortunes. Hyundai (7132, 8.6%) finished April third, the i30 (1903) and Tucson (1816) blocking out sixth and seventh spots respectively. Mitsubishi (5508, 6.6%) claimed fourth spot as its ASX (1706) claimed ninth spot in the top 10, while Ford (4822, 5.8%) rounded out the top five, its Ranger (2796) claiming third spot on the bestseller’s list.

All of the market’s heat came from SUVs, which finished the month with 36,159 sales – 4791 sales ahead of where they finished in the same month last year. Passenger cars (27,553) and light commercial vehicles (16,087) both went backwards.

READ NEXT: VFACTS: SUVs overtake passenger vehicles in February

Even though it claimed two in every five sales in the sports cars costing less than $80,000 segment, the Ford Mustang (381) hit the lowest sales number it has seen since May last year. The only reason it did so relatively well is because the whole segment struggled, falling to just 809 units. What’s the matter, aren’t we rewarding ourselves anymore?

Ninth-placed Honda struggled. Even though it had improved on April last year, month on month the Japanese carmaker had one to forget, sliding more than 2500 sales to 3017. Every single model – the Accord, City, Civic, CR-V, HR-V, Jazz and Odyssey – was comprehensively kicked in the guts.

A similar sentiment must have been hanging around the Adelaide-based boardroom at Mitsubishi (5508), where month-on-month sales slid around 3300 units. Leading the fall were the Pajero Sport (323) and its regular strong-selling staple, the Triton (1055).

With just 3028 sales for the month, Nissan’s struggles were headlined by sharp falls for the Qashqai (625) and X-Trail (1103), neither of which pulled a top 10 effort this time around.

Subaru’s “do” became a “doh!” as a small month-on-month fall in buyers across all but the Liberty accumulated just 4017 sales for the brand, more than 1000 off the pace. But it did do better than in April last year.

READ NEXT: VFACTS: Utes, SUVs lead booming car market

Land Rover (733) likewise struggled to lure buyers. Only its luxury-laden Range Rover (25) posted positive sales, causing it to fall well off the pace of fellow regular top 20 bottom-dweller Lexus (830).

Special mention goes to Ferrari, which notched up another 21 sales in April. Its total for the first four months of the year now stands at 81, meaning its numbers have swelled by almost 40 percent compared with the same time last year. Where’s the Bollinger?




RANKVEHICLE              APR ’18          APR ’17

1. Toyota Hilux                3596                3430
2. Toyota Corolla             2979                2555
3. Ford Ranger                2796                3120
4. Mazda 3                      2261                2313
5. Hyundai i30                 1903                1979
6. Hyundai Tucson           1816                1530
7. Mazda CX-5                 1725                2166
8. Mitsubishi ASX             1706                1451
9. Toyota Prado               1699                1301
10. Holden Colorado         1491                1824
11. Toyota RAV4              1444                1389
12. Volkswagen Golf         1371                1199
13. Mitsubishi Triton         1334                1384
14. Kia Cerato                  1322                1490
15. Mazda CX-3                1172                1195
16. Hyundai Accent           1160                1186
17. Isuzu Ute D-Max         1156                1246
18. Subaru XV                  1139                411
19. Toyota Camry             1114                1885
20. Nissan X-Trail             1103                730    


RANKBRAND                       APR ’18          SHARE (%)

1          Toyota                       16,647             20.1
2          Mazda                        7723                9.3
3          Hyundai                     7132                8.6
4          Mitsubishi                   5508                6.6
5          Ford                           4822                5.8
6          Holden                       4576                5.5
7          Kia                             4502                5.4
8          Volkswagen                3918                4.7
9          Nissan                        3028                3.7
10        Honda                        3017                3.6