TRADE utes have dominated the sales chart in October, with both the Toyota Hilux and the Ford Ranger outselling all other vehicles for the month.
The VFACTS sales data for October, released today, shows Toyota’s trade ute snared 3352 sales for the month, while Ford’s version won 3217 buyers. That was enough to put both vehicles ahead of the best-selling passenger car for the month, the Toyota Corolla, with 3210 sales.
The Corolla finished ahead of both the Hyundai i30 (2718) and fifth-placed Mazda 3 (2191) in the passenger car sales race, all cars competing in the small car class that shrunk by 8.8 percent for the month.
The Hyundai Tucson was the best-selling of the SUVs in October, moving 1845 units on sharp drive-away pricing for a special 30th anniversary-badged version that celebrates the brand’s three decades on Australian soil.
It comfortably outsold the Nissan X-Trail (1655) and the Mitsubishi ASX (1650), and the Mazda CX-5 (1612).
Overall, the Australian new-car market tread water in October, falling one percent compared with the same month last year to 93,357 sales. Of interest, the sales gap between passenger cars (37,817, down 7.4 percent) and SUVs (36,442, up 4.9 percent) narrowed even further to fall within a 1.5 percent split of each other.
Business, government and rental buyers featured significantly for the month, with the most interest in SUVs and light commercial vehicles including trade utes. Private buyers also shifted their preference to SUVs.
Significantly, in its last month as an Australian manufacturer, the Falcon large car sold 428 units while the Territory moved 588 units, down only slightly on sales for the same month last year. From this point on, the sales of both models will reflect cars built and stockpiled since the October 7 shutdown. The Falcon ute, which wrapped up production in late July, sold just 88 units.
Despite Ford quitting Aussie manufacturing early in the month, and the plug pulling on local Holden Cruze production, the number of cars made and sold here held reasonably steady at 7179. Ford (1099) was down, but both Holden (3609) and Toyota (2471) grew compared with October last year.
The big movers for the month included sports cars, which bounced 43.2 percent compared with October last year – the second month running sales in the segment has grown by more than a third. Driving up the segment are cheaper sports cars such as the Ford Mustang (584 sales) and Hyundai Veloster 220), as well as the BMW 2 Series coupe and convertible range (129). The newly introduced Abarth 124 Spider – Fiat’s spin on the Mazda MX-5 – snared 77 sales in its first month. But it’s the big spenders, too, driving sales in the segment; Bentley (14), Ferrari (15) and the Porsche 911 (25) all made strong gains.
The market overall, up 2.4 percent year-to-date, is still setting a record-breaking pace. Combined sales are at 980,443, placing it more than 23,000 ahead of the same time last year. With two months to go, expect the full-year figure to easily pass the record 1.155 million sales posted in 2015.
Top 10 sellers in October 2016
Top 10 selling brands in October 2016