The full impact of the changes to the fringe benefits tax (FBT) rules are expected to revealed with the release of August’s new vehicle sales figures, with last month’s data failing to show a significant downturn following the Federal Government’s controversial announcement on July 16.
New vehicle registrations totalled 90,235 across Australia last month – up 4.1 per cent over July 2012 – and were only slightly off the pace of the industry’s 4.6 per cent 2013 year-to-date growth.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) – the same body responsible for compiling monthly VFACTS sales data – last week predicted the FBT changes could wipe more than 100,000 sales from the market per year (approximately 8500 per month).
While July was seemingly too early to show any real impact of the changes, August’s figures are expected to reveal some level of buyer backlash, with businesses putting on hold acquisitions of new salary-sacrificed and employer-provided vehicles until after the federal election.
The Toyota Corolla was once again the top-selling car in July, stretching its lead over the Mazda 3 – Australia’s favourite car for the past two years – which currently sits in third position behind the Toyota HiLux for the year. With the Mazda 3 now in run-out mode ahead of the launch of the all-new model in January, the Corolla appears in prime position to claim the 2013 sales crown.
Holden’s locally made duo enjoyed a strong month, with the Commodore and Cruze ranking fourth and fifth respectively.
The Toyota Camry made it three Australian-made cars inside the top seven, while the Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton and Holden Colorado ensured four utes occupied positions inside the top 10.
Toyota led the way from a brand perspective from a resurgent Holden, whose sales increased 13.4 per cent in July after slumping 8.3 per cent in the first half of the year.
Mazda and Hyundai also enjoyed growth ahead of the industry average, and Ford maintained fifth position despite a 2.5 per cent drop-off and a 65 per cent increase from sixth-placed Mitsubishi.
Volkswagen sales declined 6.5 per cent – leaving it almost 11 per cent off the pace of the industry as a whole – potentially revealing some impact of June’s highly publicised DSG recall.
Nissan endured an even tougher month, with sales down 17.6 per cent on the previous July.
The Hyundai i20 (1262 sale) was the top-selling city car, edging out the Toyota Yaris (1156) and Mazda 2 (1106).
The Ford Focus (1514) was the next best in the small car class after those in the top 10, with the Volkswagen Golf (1225) and Nissan Pulsar (1132) also posting decent numbers.
The Mazda 6 (762) ranked second to the Camry in the medium segment, with the BMW 3 Series (487), Ford Mondeo (429) and Mercedes-Benz C-Class (355) filling the top five.
The Commodore dominated the large car segment, claiming a 67.6 per cent share of the market. The Toyota Aurion (604) climbed into second position ahead of the Ford Falcon (594), which once again slumped to its lowest monthly figure on record.
The Hyundai ix35 (1401) enjoyed a convincing win over the Nissan Dualis (944) and Mitsubishi ASX (841) in the small SUV class, while the Mazda CX-5 (1638) just held off the Toyota RAV4 (1521) to claim medium SUV honours.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee (1196) won a tight tussle with the Toyota Prado (1059) and Holden Captiva 7 (1016) in the large SUV segment, as the Ford Territory was bumped to fourth (966).
The HiLux once again claimed both 4×2 (873) and 4×4 (2098) ute categories, heading the Ranger (565) in the former and the Triton (1410) in the latter.
Top 10 Best-selling Vehicles – July 2013
Top 10 Best-selling Vehicles – 2013 to date
Top 10 Best-selling Brands – July 2013 (growth over July 2012)
Top 10 Best-selling Brands – 2013 to date (growth over 2012 to date)