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New vehicle sales in Australia grew a marginal 0.9 per cent in March — not enough to take 2017’s cumulative total ahead of last year’s record, but enough to set a new all-time monthly high-water mark.

VFACTS data released this morning shows that 105,410 new vehicles were sold last month, taking the yearly total to 279,345 (down 2.1 per cent).

For the second month in succession, SUVs were the most popular vehicle type with 39.4 per cent market share, compared to passenger cars that dropped five share points to 37 per cent. Light commercials made up 20.9 per cent of the market.

The five biggest-volume segments were small cars on 17.1 per cent share, medium SUVs on 16.5 per cent, 4×4 utes on 14.7 per cent, large SUVs on 12.2 per cent and small SUVs on 9.3 per cent.

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Top brands in March

The top-selling brand was Toyota with 19,652 sales, up 10 per cent thanks to strong months from staples such as the HiLux, LandCruiser, Corolla, Camry and RAV4.

The company headed off top full-importer Mazda on 10,472 (up about 2 per cent), with Hyundai (8700, down 10 per cent), Mitsubishi (a surprise fourth on 7583, up 16 per cent) and Holden (7211, down a further 14 per cent) rounding out the top five.

Next were Ford (6582, up 6 per cent), Nissan (5620, down 3 per cent), Volkswagen (5122, down 4 per cent), Subaru (5006, up 4 per cent) and Kia (4684, up a massive 39 per cent) making up the rest of the top 10.

Kia Sportage Si 2016-1-7

Just missing were Mercedes-Benz (4008, up 7.5 per cent), Honda (3106, down 9 per cent), BMW (2220, down 16 per cent), Isuzu Ute (2074, down 17 per cent), Suzuki (1792, down 2 per cent), Land Rover (1580, up 2 per cent) and Audi (1508, down a sizeable 25 per cent).

Smaller-scale companies that saw good growth included Jaguar (301, up 10 per cent), Lexus (931, up 27 per cent and RAM (40, double its March 2016 result). Ferrari (up 86 per cent), Aston Martin (up 112.5 per cent) and McLaren (up 300 per cent) also excelled.

Smaller brands that struggled included Citroen (69, down 23 per cent), Fiat Professional (89, down 22 per cent), Foton Light (46, down 46.5 per cent), Jeep (852, down 25 per cent), Peugeot (214, down 44 per cent), and Volvo Car (369, down 30 per cent).

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Top models in March

The top 10 models were the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, Mitsubishi Triton, Hyundai i30, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5 and Holden Commodore. See the table below for more details.

Sales leaders by segment:

Micro — 453: Kia Picanto (253), Holden Spark (65) and Mitsubishi Mirage (50)

Light — 6448: Hyundai Accent (1529), Mazda 2 (883) and Toyota Yaris (838)

Premium light — 370: Mini hatch (192), Audi A1 (76) and Peugeot 208 (44)

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Small — 17,263: Toyota Corolla (3574), Mazda 3 (3039) and Hyundai i30 (2383)

Premium Small — 1412: Mercedes-Benz A-Class (447), Audi A3 (359) and BMW 1 Series (211)

Medium — 4087: Toyota Camry (2336), Mazda 6 (349) and Ford Mondeo (300)

Premium Medium — 2050: Mercedes-Benz C-Class (750), Mercedes-Benz CLA (356) and BMW 3 Series (252)

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Large — 2503: Holden Commodore (2081), Toyota Aurion (282) and Skoda Superb (64)

Premium Large — 501: Mercedes-Benz E-Class (200), BMW 5 Series (178) and Mercedes-Benz CLS (30)

Upper Large — 100: Holden Caprice (72) and Chrysler 300 (28)

Premium Upper Large — 60: BMW 7 Series (19), Mercedes-Benz S-Class (17) and Porsche Panamera (11)

BMW 7 Series New York Media Launch.

People Movers — 1081: Kia Carnival (420), Honda Odyssey (205) and Hyundai iMax (136)

Entry Sports — 1627: Ford Mustang (622), Toyota 86 (233) and Hyundai Veloster (191)

Mid Range Sports — 756: Mercedes-Benz C-Class (350), BMW 4 Series (105) and Audi A5 (79)

Premium Sports — 168: Porsche 911 (36), Ferrari range (26) and Mercedes-AMG GT (20)

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Small SUV — 1164: Mazda CX-3 (1610), Nissan Qashqai (1389) and Mitsubishi ASX (1384)

Premium Small SUV — 1199: BMW X1 (352), Audi Q3 (307) and Mercedes-Benz GLA (235)

Medium SUV — 14,498: Hyundai Tucson (2156), Mazda CX-5 (2116) and Toyota RAV4 (1865)

Premium Medium SUV — 2869: Land Rover Discovery Sport (575), Range Rover Evoque (478) and Mercedes-Benz GLC (369, or 501 including Coupe)

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Large SUV — 10,912: Toyota Prado (1383), Subaru Outback (1202) and Toyota Kluger (1159)

Premium Large SUV — 1899: Range Rover Sport (388), BMW X5 (308) and Mercedes-Benz GLE (306, including Coupe)

Upper Large SUV — 1303: Toyota LandCruiser (1194) and Nissan Patrol (109)

Premium Upper Large SUV — 232: Mercedes-Benz GLS (104), Range Rover (65) and Lexus LX (39)

2016 Hyundai iLoad h1 SCR-39

Light Vans — 316: Volkswagen Caddy (189), Renault Kangoo (76), and Suzuki APV (32)

Medium Vans — 2057: Hyundai iLoad (748), Toyota HiAce (676), and Volkswagen Transporter (172)

Light/medium buses — 339: Toyota HiAce (197), Renault Master (58) and Mitsubishi Rosa (36)

4×2 Utes — 3806: Toyota HiLux (1130), Ford Ranger (541) and Mazda BT-50 (475)

4×4 Utes — 15,474: Ford Ranger (3304), Toyota HiLux (3115) and Mitsubishi Triton (2350)

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Miscellaneous

Sales by State were NSW (35,677, down 0.8 per cent), Victoria (29,252, up 5.5 per cent), Queensland (21,217, down 1 per cent), WA (8712, down 4 per cent), SA (6387, up 5 per cent), ACT (1683, even), Tasmania (1536, up 2 per cent) and NT (946, down 7.5 per cent).

Buyer types: private including novated leases (49,054, down 3.4 per cent), business including single-buyers with ABNs (44,511, up 6.5 per cent), rentals (5255) and government (5255).

Sources of vehicles were led by Japan on 30,736, Thailand on 26,470, Korea on 14,731, Germany on 7925 and Australia on 5390.

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Hybrid car sales totalled 1193 units. This compares to petrol (65,823) and diesel (35,412). Electric is hard to measure, as Tesla refuses to supply sales.

Mercedes-Benz’s 4008 sales (which includes commercial vehicles) outsold Audi and BMW’s totals combined.

By popular request, the ute-based SUV battle was ordered: Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (975), Isuzu MU-X (650), Holden Trailblazer (336), Ford Everest (321) and Toyota Fortuner (177).

Three utes were in the top-five sellers for March: the Toyota Hilux (ranked number 1), Ford Ranger (2) and the Mitsubishi Triton (5).

 

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Quote from FCAI chief Tony Weber

“Two months in succession of SUV sales leading the market is further confirmation of a trend we’ve been observing for some time.

“For the first three months of 2017 the SUV segment is now the dominant sector, whereas this time last year passenger cars led the market by around 10,000 sales. Clearly, the shift in market dynamics is accelerating.

“Sales of medium-sized SUVs were particularly strong in March, up 18.3 per cent on the same month last year. That’s a very strong indicator of the vehicle size, versatility and value for money that appeals to a lot of Australian families.”

 

TOP 10 BRANDS

SALES

GROWTH

Toyota

19,652

up 10.1 per cent

Mazda

10.472

up 2.4 per cent

Hyundai

8700

down 10.3 per cent

Mitsubishi

7583

up 16.3 per cent

Holden

7211

down 13.7 per cent

Ford

6852

up 5.7 per cent

Nissan

5620

down 3.3 per cent

Volkswagen

5122

down 3.6 per cent

Subaru

5006

up 3.8 per cent

Kia

4684

up 39.2 per cent

 

TOP 20 MODELS

SALES

Toyota HiLux

4245

Ford Ranger

3845

Toyota Corolla

3574

Mazda 3

3039

Mitsubishi Triton

2670

Hyundai i30

2383

Toyota Camry

2336

Hyundai Tucson

2156

Mazda CX-5

2116

Holden Commodore

2081

Holden Colorado

1927

Toyota RAV4

1865

Nissan Navara

1784

Nissan X-Trail

1780

Kia Cerato

1769

Mitsubishi Outlander

1609

Mazda CX-3

1601

Hyundai Accent

1529

Volkswagen Golf

1504

Isuzu D-Max

1424

Any sales figures not mentioned here that you want to know? Ask away, in the comments. 

MORE: VFACTS car sales news stories 


Podcast

Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss the March car sales below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.




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