Australia’s total new vehicle market is in a good place. Its growth of 4.2 per cent over the first quarter of this year is a welcome return to positive territory after a flat 2014.
Here is a quick wrap of the five biggest drivers of this growth, with five additional ‘honourable mentions’.
This list contains the cars that have experienced the biggest volume growth — on outright registration figures rather than percentage — over the same period in 2014.
This one isn’t all that hard to explain, give the current-generation model launched in April of last year. The low sales between January and March 2014 were a result of the previous version being in runout.
That said, the X-Trail is flying out the showroom doors at a rate of knots in 2015. It owns 17 per cent share of the medium SUV segment and sits behind only the Mazda CX-5, Australia’s most popular SUV of any size.
It’s also powered Nissan to 20 per cent range-wide growth YTD in tandem with its new-generation Qashqai little brother, which has registered about 30 per cent more sales than its Dualis predecessor did over the same period last year.
There’s a new-generation version launching at the end of this month, but the outgoing model remains an absolute steal.
It lacks the ‘glamour’ of something like the Ford Ranger, but Mitsubishi stacks them high and sells them cheap — not to mention, makes them reliable. The fact it has been in run-out only amplifies this.
The design is old, and it’s only a four-star ANCAP car — precluding it from many large-scale corporate and government fleets —but it’s the top-seller among privateers. It even outsold the mighty Toyota HiLux 4×4 in March.
It will be very interesting to see if Mitsubishi can maintain its pricing advantage over rivals with the new model.
A record March in which it outsold the Ford Territory and Toyota Kluger kept the good times coming for Subaru’s newly released large crossover staple.
It arrived in January with price cuts of up to $10,000 over the overpriced old model — a move that is clearly paying dividends for the Japanese brand’s local distributor.
The lack of a wagon option in the new-generation Liberty range (which also launched at the start of the year and has grown 350 per cent despite now being sedan-only) and the axing of the Tribeca are also redirecting buyers to the new Outback.
Another Mitsubishi. No wonder the brand had a record first quarter.
The ASX isn’t the newest kid on the block, but the illusory Small SUV segment in industry guide VFACTS is the fastest-growing in market. The ASX is the second top-seller behind the Hyundai ix35, and a solitary unit ahead of Nissan’s new Qashqai.
The ASX was given a minor upgrade last May, but true to company form, it sells on value. The ASX is well-equipped for the money and has excellent ownership credentials. More evidence that honest, reliable transport is what a great many people out there want most.
The market leader with 11,672 sales, growth of 13 per cent. Its arch nemesis, the Mazda 3, has in comparison 11,059 registrations, down 8.7 per cent.
Its percentage growth is lower than the others here, but when you’re talking such big volumes overall, it doesn’t matter.
Much of the growth must come from the fact that Toyota didn’t have the new-generation Corolla sedan on sale for the first six weeks of last year. But the Corolla has also bucked an overall drop of 7.1 per cent in the Small Car segment.