Australian new vehicle sales were down slightly in March 2016 over last year’s mammoth tally, with 104,512 units registered meaning a drop of 0.5 per cent.
March sales are usually high because it’s the end of the Japanese financial year. However, the top-selling car in March was Korean — the Hyundai i30, skating to first thanks to strong factory drive-away deals.
VFACTS figures released this morning by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show that the March figure was sufficient to keep the market on all-time record pace after the end of the first-quarter of 2016.
The March 2016 figures saw Australia’s most populous state, NSW, continue its recent boom, with registrations there up 6.5 per cent. But every other state or territory bar the ACT (up 3.6 per cent) went backwards, with WA the worst performer, down 7.8 per cent.
As has become the usual fashion, SUV sales grew 8.3 per cent to 38,437, while passenger car sales fell 9.4 per cent to 43,652. SUVs had a market share of 38 per cent, compared to 41.5 for passenger cars. Meanwhile, light commercials grew 7.1 per cent to 19,741.
The fastest-growing segment was Medium SUVs (up 12.9 per cent) to 14,769, making this type of vehicle (led by the Mazda CX-5) the second most popular after small cars (ie. the Toyota Corolla and Mazda 3).
Sales of people-movers (up 12.2 per cent), small SUVs (up 7.6 per cent), large SUVs (up 5.4 per cent), medium vans (up 10.2 per cent), 4×2 utes (up 11.7 per cent) and 4×4 utes (up 6.2 per cent) were also strong.
On the flip side, micro cars (down 24.8 per cent) and light cars (down 18 per cent) fell drastically — are low fuel prices responsible? In fact, every passenger segment bar people-movers was down, as were upper large SUVs (by 9.3 per cent).
Top brands in March 2016
Number one was Toyota with 17,849, down 6.5 per cent. Mazda topped 10K units for the third month in a row for the first time, managing 10,228 units, breaking even. Hyundai (9700, up 11.4 per cent), Holden (8355, down 2.5 per cent) and Mitsubishi (6519, up 3.4 per cent).
Positions 6-10 were occupied by Ford (6481, up 7.6 per cent), Nissan (5811, down 18.6 per cent), Volkswagen (5316, down 3.8 per cent), Subaru (4825, up 20.6 per cent) and Mercedes-Benz (3728, up 7.1 per cent).
This means the German brand beat Honda (3421, down 15.4 per cent) and Kia (3366, up 14.8 per cent). Rounding out the top-15 were BMW (2655, up 14.9 per cent), Isuzu Ute (2509, up 49.5 per cent) and Audi (2011, up 8.2 per cent).
Other strong-performing brands (in alphabetical order) were: Infiniti (103, up 83.9 per cent), Jaguar (273, up 232.9 per cent), Land Rover (1546, up 51.6 per cent), LDV (137, up 280.6 per cent), Lexus (735, up 9.1 per cent), Mini (335, up 13.6 per cent), Porsche (391, up 21.1 per cent) and Volvo Car (530, up 58.2 per cent).
More notable losers in March included (in alphabetical order): Alfa Romeo (85, down 54.23 per cent), Chrysler (29, down 68.1 per cent), Citroen (90, down 40 per cent), Dodge (60, down 42.3 per cent), Fiat (187, down 56.4 per cent), Jeep (1141, down 60.9 per cent), Skoda (370, down 13.1 per cent), SsangYong (44, down 56.4 per cent) and Suzuki (1826, down 7.5 per cent).
Top models in March 2016
Next were the Mazda 3 (3145), ahead of the Ford Ranger (2960), Mitsubishi Triton (2740), Holden Commodore sedan and wagon (2559), Mazda CX-5 (2252), Hyundai Accent (2034) and the Nissan X-Trail (1991). Almost making it were the Toyota Camry (1939) and, quite remarkably, the Isuzu D-Max (1792), ahead of the Volkswagen Golf (1782) and Mazda CX-3 (1755).
The top-selling vehicle in each passenger segment was: Mitsubishi Mirage, Hyundai Accent, Audi A1, Hyundai i30, Audi A3, Toyota Camry, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Holden Commodore, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Holden Caprice, BMW 7 Series, Kia Carnival, Mercedes-Benz V-Class, Ford Mustang, BMW 4 Series and Porsche 911.
The top SUV and light commercial vehicles by segment were: Mazda CX-3, BMW X1, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Toyota Prado, BMW X5, Toyota LandCruiser, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Volkswagen Caddy, Toyota HiAce and Toyota HiLux.
Other key data
The five most popular vehicle types in March 2016 were small cars (18.9 per cent total market share), medium SUVs (14 per cent), 4×4 utes (12.9 per cent), large SUVs (12.1 per cent) and small SUVs (9.6).
Private buyers were a little shy in March, with private vehicle registrations falling 6.3 per cent to 51,976. Government sales also dipped, by 5.4 per cent to 3776. Business fleet sales grew 9.1 per cent to 40,595, while rentals were up 0.9 per cent t 5483.
Australia’s biggest sources of imports were Japan (28,690), Thailand (25,405), Korea (14,683), Germany (7386), all of which accounted for more sales than Australian-made (7360).
Top brands for March 2016
Top models for March 2016
Light under $25K (8693):
Light over $25K (553):
Small under $40K (18,061):
Small over $40K (1698):
Medium under $60K (4133):
Medium over $60K (2336):
Large under $70K (3390):
Large over $70K (352):
Upper Large under $100K (146):
Upper Large above $100K (103):
People-movers under $60K (1016):
People-movers over $60K (60):
Sports under $80K (1643):
Sports over $80K (598):
Sports over $200K (153):
SUV Small under $40K (8791):
SUV Small over $40K (1276):
SUV Medium under $60K (12,065):
SUV Medium over $60K (2614):
SUV Large under $70K (10,575):
SUV Large over $70K (2049):
SUV Upper Large under $100K (927):
SUV Upper Large over $100K (140):
Light Vans (289):
Medium Vans (1582):
4×2 utes (4149):
4×4 utes (11,806):