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VFACTS: Trade utes carry new-car sales into record territory

By Barry Park, 05 Jun 2017 News

VFACTS: Trade utes carry new-car sales into record territory

The Toyota Hilux was again Australia’s best-selling vehicle last month, as the Toyota Corolla takes the passenger car crown

TRADE utes helped push Australian new-cars sales into record-breaking territory in May as passenger cars and SUVs helped swell the numbers.

May’s VFACTS sales figures, released today, showed a record 102,901 vehicles were sold in the month, a 6.4 percent gain over the same month last year. The Toyota Hilux stood out as the best-performing vehicle with 4154 sales for the month, followed by the Ford Ranger with 4069. Four-by-four trade utes are now the nation’s fourth largest volume segment.


The Toyota Corolla was the best-placed passenger car, posting 3160 sales. It was then daylight to the Hyundai i30 (2683), in run-out ahead of an all-new model’s arrival, while the recently refreshed Mazda 3 (2594) finished third.

SUVs have once again overtaken the sales of traditional passenger cars, with 39,629 sales versus 38,842 in May.


The Mazda CX-5, which has rolled out an all-new model, was the best-selling SUV with 2298 moved, followed by the Hyundai Tucson with 2135 and the Nissan X-Trail with 1992.

One industry source told Wheels that many of the brands had brought end of financial year deals in a month early in an effort to boost sales.

Toyota (19,876) ended the month crowing that it managed to outsell second-placed Mazda (9903) and third-placed Hyundai (8312) combined. As well as the Corolla, Toyota benefitted from strong sales of the locally made Camry sedan (2233), the RAV4 mid-size SUV (1977) and the Toyota Prado off-roader (1619).

The Nissan X-Trail (1992) and Qashqai (1028) SUVs, along with the Navara trade ute (1498) helped the Japanese car brand jump several rungs on the best brands ladder to snare seventh place.


Ford (7617) again overtook Holden (6917). Both had only one entry each in the to 20 passenger car lists; the latter with the strongly dipping Commodore (1841 sales) and the former bucking in with a record month for the Mustang (1351) as supplies of the sports coupe and convertible freed up.

Stocks of the Ford Falcon, built before last October’s shutdown of local manufacturing, appear to be dwindling with only 12 sold for the month – that was still strong enough for a 0.5 percent share of the large car segment. In contrast, Ford sold 138 Ford Territory large SUVs.

There’s some previously strong nameplates missing from this month’s top 20 passenger cars; the Subaru Impreza (1112), Toyota Kluger (1145) and the Honda Civic (1131) just missing out on a place on the bottom rung.

In the luxury car stakes, Mercedes-Benz (3686) grew compared with May last year. In contrast, rivals Audi (1914), BMW (2081) and Lexus (767) all lost ground.


Ferrari, meanwhile, had a cracking month, growing its year-to-date sales by a third to snare 21 buyers in May alone. But that’s not as good as Lotus, which so far this year has sold 23 Elise, Evora and Exige coupes to finish the first five months of the year up an astronomical 283 percent compared with the same period last year.

TOP 20 PASSENGER CARS FOR MAY*

RANK MODEL SALES CHANGE (%)**
1. Toyota Corolla 3160 -5.2
2. Hyundai i30 2683 -28.9
3. Mazda 3 2594 -20.0
4. Mazda CX-5 2298 +5.8
5. Toyota Camry 2233 +54.4
6. Hyundai Tucson 2135 -22.2
7. Nissan X-Trail 1992 +29.6
8. Toyota RAV4 1977 +16.6
9. Holden Commodore 1841 -18.4
10. Mitsubishi ASX 1742 +40.0
11. Kia Cerato 1735 +69.6
12. Toyota Prado 1619 +37.9
13. Mazda CX-3 1542 +6.3
14. Volkswagen Golf 1534 -12.5
15. Mitsubishi Outlander 1405 +34.4
16. Hyundai Accent 1353 +8.1
17. Ford Mustang 1351 +337.2
18. Subaru Forester 1208 -9.6
19. Kia Sportage 1206 +46.0
20. Subaru Outback 1195 +13.3
*Source: VFACTS **Versus May 2016

TOP 20 BRANDS FOR MAY*

RANK BRAND SALES CHANGE (%)**
1. Toyota 19,876 +15.6
2. Mazda 9903 +3.1
3. Hyundai 8312 -7.7
4. Ford 7617 +15.7
5. Holden 6917 -6.6
6. Mitsubishi 6521 +6.0
7. Nissan 5083 -9.0
8. Volkswagen 5080 +11.3
9. Kia 5005 +41.3
10. Subaru 4146 +3.6
11. Honda 3820 +43.3
12. Mercedes-Benz 3686 +9.3
13. Isuzu Ute 2377 +26.2
14. BMW 2081 -18.9
15. Audi 1914 -4.4
16. Suzuki 1626 -5.0
17. Renault 1091 +40.1
18. Lexus 767 -5.3
19. Land Rover 704 -28.9
20. Jeep 701 -28.1
*Source: VFACTS **Versus May 2016