The Australian new vehicle market stayed on record pace by posting growth of 6.8 per cent in September — a figure driven once again by the continued boom in SUV sales, though a small Korean hatchback was the real star of the show.
Toyota led the race from Mazda, Holden and Hyundai, but it was the latter that topped the individual model tally, with the Hyundai i30 screaming to the top of the charts for the second time in a few months.
Newly released VFACTS figures show that Australian dealers registered a significant 101,392 units last month, up from 94,978 in September last year. This made it the year’s third-biggest month by volume after June and March.
It also takes the annual tally to 862,832, up 3.6 per cent on the YTD figure in 2014 and higher even than the previous record set in 2013. To give context, this figure is a staggering 110,000 units higher than the YTD to September figure in 2011, just five years ago.
Reflecting a pattern we have seen all year, the growth came from the three largest states by volume — New South Wales (up 11.8 per cent), Victoria (up 7.8 per cent) and Queensland (up 7.9 per cent), while Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory all went backwards.
The bulk of sales growth came from SUVs, which were up 23.1 per cent to 36,968 overall. Passenger vehicles stabilised, growing 2 per cent to 46,084. Light commercials dropped 8.7 per cent to 15,476.
It was the regular crowd at the top of the tree, with Toyota (16,594, down 7.2 per cent) topping the charts ahead of Mazda (10,864, up 14.4 per cent), Holden (9326, up 9.1 per cent), Hyundai (9311, up 5.8 per cent), Mitsubishi (6937, up 14.4 per cent) and Ford (5823, down 6.5 per cent).
Rounding out the top ten was Nissan (5242, down 4.4 per cent), Volkswagen (5124, up 14.7 per cent despite recent negative media coverage), Subaru (3621, up 13 per cent) and Honda (3595, up 32 per cent).
The big luxury brands also continued to grow ahead of the market average and in double digits, led by Mercedes-Benz (11th overall on 3381, up 20.8 per cent), BMW (13th on 2408, up 14.2 per cent) and Audi (15th on 2048, up 25.7 per cent).
Other strong performers were Isuzu Ute (16th place on 2026, up 51.8 per cent), Kia (12th on 3002, up 44.7 per cent), Land Rover (1007, up 13.3 per cent), Lexus (676, up 25.4 per cent), Porsche (487, up a massive 130.8 per cent), Renault (1007, up 18.3 per cent), Skoda (458, up 38.8 per cent) and Volvo Car (449, up 47.7 per cent).
Going in the other direction was Fiat Chrysler Australia, with its Alfa Romeo (down 22.8 per cent), Chrysler (down 31.5 per cent), Dodge (down 22.9 per cent), Fiat (down 41.7 per cent) and Jeep (down 26.8 per cent) brands all taking hits. Fiat Professional vans bucked the trend, growing 71.4 per cent.
Heading the individual tally was the Hyundai i30, with a massive 4490 sales thanks to strong campaign pricing (up 76.8 per cent). Add the Elantra sedan to this tally (680), and Hyundai dominated the small car segment ahead of the Mazda 3 (3588, down 10.6 per cent) and Toyota Corolla (3530, down 9.3 per cent).
Fourth was the Toyota Camry (2522, up 16.1 per cent), ahead of the Ford Ranger (2471, steady), Holden Commodore sedan and wagon (2348, down 10.2 per cent, excluding 362 Ute sales), Mazda CX-5 (2321, up 10.9 per cent) and Mitsubishi Triton (2020, steady)
Rounding out the top ten was the superseded Toyota HiLux, which took a hit of 42 per cent while in the changeover to a new generation, with 2001 sales. expect a bounce next month. The Volkswagen Golf (1958) completes the list.
A few interesting tidbits:
Top ten brands September 2015:
Top ten models September 2015: