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Welcome back, strong growth. The market has missed you.

March new vehicle deliveries grew 8 per cent over the same month in 2014 — among the strongest monthly growth performances seen in some time.

VFACTS sales figures released today recorded 105,054 new vehicle deliveries for the month, compared with 97,267 in March 2014, with the lion’s share of growth coming from SUVs.

All states and territories with the exception of Western Australia and South Australia experienced good upturns, led by a 12.1 per cent spike in Queensland and 10.2 per cent in New South Wales. WA sales fell 2.9 per cent as the economic boom there continues to cool right off.

mazda 3

Figures show that SUV sales were up 15.3 per cent, in line with their yearly growth rate, to 35,503 units — more than one-third of the total market. Light commercials jumped 10.1 per cent to 18,429 and heavy commercials grew 10 per cent to 2937.

Passenger vehicles — light, small, medium, large, sports cars, and people-movers — grew at a slower rate of 2.4 per cent, but nevertheless the positive result bucked an overall down trend evident over the rest of the year so far.

Notable growth can be seen in the small SUV segment (up 24 per cent), medium SUVs (up 18.7 per cent), 4×4 utes (up 19.7 per cent), light cars (up 19.7 per cent) and medium cars (up 13.5 per cent).

Once again, micro cars plummeted from a low base (down 46.7 per cent), while Australia’s most popular segment, the small-car market, dropped 2.5 per cent as more buyers chose higher-riding crossover SUVs instead.

ix35

The top 10 brands were as follows: Toyota (19,082, up 4.4 per cent), Mazda (a huge 10,217, up 11 per cent), Hyundai (8709, up 1.2 per cent), Holden (8571, down 13 per cent), Nissan (7138, up 18.7 per cent), Mitsubishi (6307, up 16.1 per cent), Ford (6023, down 14.4 per cent), Volkswagen (5525, up 19.8 per cent), Honda (4042, up 75.4 per cent) and Subaru (4002, up 5 per cent).

Ford’s seventh-place finish is particularly notable here.

Knocking down the door of the top 10 brands was Mercedes-Benz with 3482 sales, up 29.5 per cent, with that figure including a staggering 300 AMG models. Next in line were Kia (2932, up 6.2 per cent) and Jeep (2920, up 15 per cent).

Other brands that experienced good relative growth included Mercedes’ German rivals Audi (up 22.4 per cent to 1858) and BMW (up 14.4 per cent to 2310, with the Bavarian brand reclaiming leadership over the Ingolstadt upstart YTD). Lexus also jumped 13.9 per cent to 674.

C-Class

Other strong performances included Citroen (up 32.7 per cent to 150), Infiniti (up 64.7 per cent to 56), Isuzu Ute (up 49.6 per cent to 1678), Land Rover (up 19 per cent to 1020), Mini (up 99.3 per cent to 295 as supply loosens), Peugeot (up 11.3 per cent to 405), Renault (up 21.6 per cent to 958), Skoda (up 52.1 per cent to 426) and Suzuki (up 24.8 per cent to 1973).

High-end brands such as Ferrari (up 240 per cent to 17), Lamborghini (up from 1 unit to 17), Maserati (up 263 per cent to 58) and Porsche (up 87 per cent to 323) also experienced significant relative delivery growth.

Other brands to drop volume beyond those mentioned earlier included Alfa Romeo (186, down 24.7), Chery (down 43 per cent to 34), Chrysler (down 29 per cent to 91), Dodge (down 39 per cent to 104), Fiat (down 11.5 per cent to 429), Fiat Professional (down 12 per cent to 121), Great Wall (down 94 per cent to 18), Jaguar (down 21 per cent to 82), Proton (down 74 per cent to 32), Ssangyong (down 10 per cent to 101) and Volvo Car (down about 8 per cent to 335).

One again topping the charts as the top-selling model line was the Toyota Corolla with 4261, ahead of the Mazda 3 on 3558. The former’s annual lead is now more than 600 units. Completing the podium was the Toyota HiLux on 3346.

triton

Next in line were the soon-to-be-replaced (and on runout) Mitsubishi Triton with 2940, ahead of the local hero, Holden’s Commodore on 2436. Next were the Ford Ranger (2424), Mazda CX-5 (2344), Toyota Camry (2319), Volkswagen Golf (2116, includes 32 Golf Cabriolets) and Hyundai i30 (2098).

The notable segment-by-segment breakdown is as follows:

Micro — Mitsubishi Mirage (261), Fiat 500/Abarth (243) and Suzuki Celerio (161).

Light — < $25K: Hyundai i20 (1591), Toyota Yaris (1515) and Mazda 2 (1357). > $25K: Mini hatch and Clubman (222) and Audi A1 (197).

Mini

Small — < $40K: Toyota Corolla (4261), Mazda 3 (3558) and Hyundai i30 (2098). > $40K: Mercedes-Benz A-Class (393), BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (229) and Audi A3 (226).

Medium — < $60K: Toyota Camry (2319), Mazda 6 (545) and Subaru Liberty (425). > $60K: Mercedes-Benz C-Class (918), Audi A4 (395) and BMW 3 Series (393).

Large — < $70K: Holden Commodore (2436), Ford Falcon (701) and Toyota Aurion (268). > $70K: BMW 5 Series (130), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (101) and Audi A6 (73).

People-movers — Honda Odyssey (237), Kia Carnival (230) and Hyundai iMax (171).

Commodore

Sports — < $80K: Hyundai Veloster (347), Toyota 86 (334) and BMW 2 Series coupe/convertible (152). > $80K: Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe (499), BMW 4 Series (224) and Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe/convertible (113).

Small SUV — < $40K: Hyundai ix35 (1344), Nissan Qashqai (1250) and Honda HR-V (an impressive 1081 in its second month on sales). > $40K: Audi Q3 (366), Mercedes-Benz GLA (201) and Lexus NX (197).

Medium SUV — < $60K: Mazda CX-5 (2344), Nissan X-Trail (2076) and Toyota RAV4 (1525). > $60K: Range Rover Evoque (252), BMW X3 (221) and Audi Q5 (a slow 141).

Large SUV — < $70K: Toyota Prado (1483), Jeep Grand Cherokee (1197) and Subaru Outback (a huge 1180). > $70K: Land Rover Discovery (322), BMW X5 (302) and Range Rover Sport (232).

Outback

Upper Large SUV — Toyota LandCruiser (914), Nissan Patrol (164) and Mercedes-Benz GL (49).

Small Vans — Volkswagen Caddy (143), Renault Kangoo (60) and Citroen Berlingo (46).

Medium Vans — Toyota HiAce (633), Hyundai iLoad (386) and Volkswagen Transporter (120).

Utes — 4×2: Toyota HiLux (1005), Ford Ranger (542), Mitsubishi Triton (488). 4×4: Mitsubishi Triton (2452), Toyota HiLux (amazingly in second, not first, on 2341) and Ford Ranger (1882).

To break the total result down further, sales to private buyers grew the most in gross terms, up 8.6 per cent to 55,477. Business sales grew 6.2 per cent to 37,215, rentals jumped 13.1 per cent to 5433 and government sales grew 9.2 per cent to 3992.

Top 10 brands in March 2015:

  1. Toyota — 19,082
  2. Mazda — 10,217
  3. Hyundai — 8709
  4. Holden — 8571
  5. Nissan — 7138
  6. Mitsubishi — 6307
  7. Ford — 6203
  8. Volkswagen — 5525
  9. Honda — 4042
  10. Subaru — 4002

Top 10 models in March 2015:

  1. Toyota Corolla — 4261
  2. Mazda 3 — 3558
  3. Toyota HiLux — 3346
  4. Mitsubishi Triton — 2940
  5. Holden Commodore — 2436
  6. Ford Ranger — 2424
  7. Mazda CX-5 — 2344
  8. Toyota Camry — 2319
  9. Volkswagen Golf — 2116
  10. Hyundai i30 — 2098



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