AUSTRALIAN new car buyers hit the accelerator in February, pushing sales 6.7 percent higher than the same month last year.
The latest VFACTS sales data, released today, shows the big winners in the month's 96,443 sales include Toyota and Mazda, which remain the most popular makes in the country.
The race for the bestseller list swapped as Toyota Corolla took over from the Mazda 3 at the top of the market, with Toyota increasing its market share by another 2.0 percent to reach a dominant 15.8 percent. That’s less than this time in 2015, when it boasted 17.3 percent share, but Toyota has already sold 28,644 vehicles this year, building up a solid lead over next-best Mazda.
Mazda’s 20,221 sales year to date – it has achieved more than 10,000 back-to-back monthly sales for the first time in its history – eclipses its solid position a year ago, when it had sold 18,063 vehicles. The Mazda 3 was its best performer, and second most popular model behind the Corolla. The Mazda CX-5 and CX-3 continue to perform strongly, too, giving the brand an 11.8 percent market share for the first two months of 2016.
The arm-wrestle between Holden and Hyundai has seen the Korean maker nudge 548 sales ahead of its General Motors-owned rival. Good news for Holden, however, was that while still well off last year’s pace, the Commodore jumped back into a top five spot on the passenger car sales charts after languishing in 11th spot in January.
Australia’s love affair with pick-ups continues, as the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger traded blows, with the Hilux outselling the Ranger with 3261 sales against the Ford’s 2655. Both are considerably up in this time last year, with Hilux still leading year-to-date over the Ranger.
The new car market overall is outperforming 2015, up 4.8 percent year-to-date. The SUV segments continue to spearhead the rise in sales, with the SUV Medium category – the likes of the Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson – up a massive 31.8 percent year-on-year. In sheer numbers, 20,718 medium SUVs had found buyers this time last year; this year that figure swelled to 27,302. Total SUV sales are now only 2702 behind passenger cars.
Also up year-to-date are people movers (+29.9 percent to 2041 sales), led by the Kia Carnival (+115.3 percent, 745 sales) and sports cars (+32.4 percent to 4248). Micro car sales, where the likes of the Nissan Micra (398 sales), Mitsubishi Mirage (316) and Fiat 500 (224) kick sand at each other, continue to decline, falling 34.7 percent to so far in 2016.
Mercedes-Benz continued its dominance of the luxury car contest, with its 3236 February figure giving it a tally of 6335 sales year-to-date. That’s up on this time last year (5338) and also easily ahead of BMW (4823) and Audi (4149).
Lexus posted a record month, with 816 sales, and is having its best year so far with 1451 vehicles sold so far in 2016. Jaguar’s 407 year-to-date result may seem paltry, but it’s significantly more than the 167 cars it moved in the first two months of last year.
After a slow start to the year with only 4156 sales in January, the number of Australian-made vehicles leaving showrooms jumped to 6439 in February with Holden snaring one out of every two sales for the month.
For Ford, the Falcon sold 421 sedans, 198 utes and 580 Territory SUVs. Holden, meanwhile, added just 968 Cruse sedans and hatches to the Commodore’s tally in the wake of the announcement last month that it would end local Cruze production in October, a year ahead of the locally made Commodore’s demise. Toyota capped its month with only 1457 Camry sedans sold after moving only 503 in January, and only 145 Aurion sedans.
Top 20 passenger cars in February
Top 20 brands in February