THE Toyota Corolla may have been the best-selling passenger car in September, sales figures for the month show, but it was the trade ute war that sparked the most interest for the month.
The Ranger, which will soon add a high-performance Raptor-badged variant to the more cooking varieties, outsold the Hilux 4318 to 3822, with the Corolla on 3055 placing third on the monthly sales chart. The Ranger easily outsold the Hilux when just 4x4 variants come into the equation, 3769 to 2907, with Toyota’s more workmanlike 4x2 models outselling the Ranger.
Rounding out the top five passenger cars, sitting underneath the Corolla, were the Mazda 3 (2776), the Holden Commodore in its last full month of local production (2547), the Hyundai i30 (2300), the Toyota Camry that ended local production this week (2251).
The month’s result was a good one for the Holden Commodore, due to end production on October 20 but expected to remain on sale well into 2018; it’s the strongest result for the large sedan and wagon since June 2016, when sales spiked in response to the limited-run Black series.
The figures show Australia’s car market was softer in September, falling 2.4 percent compared with the same month last year to 100,200 sales, as private buyers kept their money folded. The divide between SUV and passenger cars narrowed to fewer than 1000 sales for the month, although SUVs still dominate.
Sales of Australian-made cars plummeted 28 percent month-on-month to just 5512, with Ford selling a single ute, two Falcon sedans and 31 Ford Territory SUVs in September. Toyota ended the first nine months of the year – the last full month it was classed as an Australian manufacturer – ahead of where it was at the same time in 2016; its 2465 sales in September take its running tally to 20,768, 1729 units ahead of where it was in September last year. Holden, meanwhile, sold 3013 Commodore sedans, wagons and utes to take its annual tally to 21,030, more than 11,400 behind last year’s numbers.
In the battle for SUV supremacy, the Mitsubishi Outlander (2021) placed second behind the Tucson. Rounding out the top five in this segment were the Mazda CX-5 (1910) followed by the smaller Mazda CX-3 (1762), the ageing Mitsubishi ASX (1526), and the Toyota RAV4 (1452) in what appears to be an unexpected slip in form for the usually stronger-performing mid-size SUV.
Toyota remains the top-selling brand in 2017, ending September with 17,337 sales to give it a 17.3 percent share of the market for the month, but down on the 18.3 percent average over the course of the year. Mazda (10,328 sales for a 10.3 percent share) has once again stayed ahead of Hyundai (8130, 8.1 percent), while traditional rivals Ford (6845) and Holden (6882) came within 37 units of each other for the month as the Ranger’s showroom performance quadrupled that of the Colorado (1039).
Another brand performing well for the month included Peugeot (534 sales), finding itself after a change of distributorship, stepped up. Mercedes-Benz (3922) also had a stellar month as it charges towards a record sales tally for 2017 if the current trend continues. Honda (4393) had a good month compared with last year to slip into the top 10 brands for September, while Skoda (475) did well, but couldn’t match its 500-plus run of the last couple of months.
Those looking at the numbers with grim expressions include Merc rivals Audi (1790) and BMW (1906), both down sharply on the results for September last year. Nissan (4002) is also struggling, falling to 11th spot on the sales chart sales as everything in the showroom but the Navara ute and the facelifted 370Z sports car underperformed.
Like your sports cars? September was a cracking month for the cashed-up likes of Aston Martin (11 sales), the Mercedes-AMG GT (17) and the Audi R8 (11). Step back to the more affordable models, and in a month alone, Fiat sold 25 Abarth 124 Spiders, Ford still managed 659 Mustangs and the usually slow-selling Subaru BRZ (86) almost matches the Toyota 86 (90) in showroom appeal.
TOP 10 PASSENGER CARS FOR SEPTEMBER 2017*
RANK MODEL SALES (Sep 17) SALES (Sep 16)
1. Toyota Corolla 3055 3423
2. Mazda3 2776 3491
3. Holden Commodore 2547 2366
4. Hyundai i30 2300 2741
5. Toyota Camry 2251 2008
6. Hyundai Tucson 2220 2209
7. Mitsubishi Outlander 2021 1119
8. Mazda CX-5 1910 2662
9. Hyundai Accent 1763 2189
10. Mazda CX-3 1762 1878
TOP 10 BRANDS FOR SEPTEMBER
RANK BRAND SALES (Sep 17) SALES (Sep 16)
1. Toyota 17,377 16,716
2. Mazda 10,328 12,009
3. Hyundai 8130 9319
4. Mitsubishi 7065 6701
5. Holden 6882 8564
6. Ford 6845 7280
7. Volkswagen 4901 4380
8. Kia 4662 3687
9. Subaru 4641 4050
10. Honda 4393 3783