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It’s hardly a secret at this point that SUVs are the driving force behind the Australian new vehicle market – even though the top two vehicles are actually utes.

In 2017, these (often nominally) higher-riding options have in fact eclipsed sales of regular passenger vehicles – by which we mean sedans, hatches, wagons, people-movers and sports cars.

While passenger car sales have declined 9 per cent this year and have been heading downward since 2012, SUVs are up about 2 per cent this year with a market share of 39.3 per cent.

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By comparison, passenger cars own 38.8 per cent share. Just five years ago, the figures read 51 per cent share for passenger cars versus 28 per cent for SUVs.

What we’re trying to do with this story is show which brands have capitalised on this SUV growth.

As you can read in the table below, the top-ten SUV brands this year are: Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai, Holden, Kia, Honda and Ford.

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By comparison, the overall top-ten brands with all vehicle types included this year are: Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, Holden, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Volkswagen, Kia, and Subaru.

The brands with the fastest SUV sales growth this year are Volkswagen (up 54.3 per cent), Kia (up 30.1 per cent), Mitsubishi (up 18 per cent), Mazda (up 15.9 per cent) and Hyundai (up 13.2 per cent).

The respective driving forces for each brand have been the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan, Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander/Pajero Sport, Mazda CX-9 and Hyundai Santa Fe.

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On the flipside, the brands with counter-intuitive declining SUV sales this year include Nissan, Subaru, Honda, Ford, Land Rover, Jeep and Isuzu.

Another key measurement is the percentage of a brand’s total sales that are SUVs this year. Given the market-share of SUVs is 39.3 per cent, that is the average.

Using this, above-average brands are Porsche (79 per cent of its cars sold are Macan and Cayenne), Nissan (heavily reliant on the Qashqai, Pathfinder and X-Trail with 68 per cent), Subaru (XV, Forester and Outback, 62 per cent), Lexus (NX, RX and LX, 60 per cent) and Mitsubishi (ASX, Outlander, Pajero Sport and Pajero, 57 per cent).

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The top-ten selling SUVs across the whole market this year so far are the: Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-Trail, Mazda CX-3, Toyota Prado, Mitsubishi ASX, Mitsubishi Outlander, Kia Sportage and Subaru Forester. Seven-out-of-ten are medium SUVs, including the top-four.

The numbers

BRAND  SUV SALES YTD 2017 CHANGE % OF SALES THAT ARE SUVs
Toyota 20,468 up 2.4 per cent 32 per cent
Mazda 16,842 up 15.9 per cent 43 per cent
Mitsubishi 13,685 up 18 per cent 57 per cent
Nissan 12,576 down 5.1 per cent 68 per cent
Subaru 10,341 down 4.5 per cent 62 per cent
Hyundai 9944 up 13.2 per cent 34 per cent
Holden 6954 up 6.6 per cent 27 per cent
Kia 5966 up 30.1 per cent 35 per cent
Honda 5748 down 10.8 per cent 46 per cent
Ford 4571 down 22.1 per cent 19 per cent
Land Rover 4500 down 10 per cent 100 per cent
Volkswagen 4464 up 54.3 per cent 25 per cent
BMW 4114 down 14.9 per cent 51 per cent
Mercedes-Benz 3822 down 20.3 per cent 28 per cent
Suzuki 3489 up 31.4 per cent 57 per cent
Audi 3281 up 3.5 per cent 49 per cent
Jeep 2602 down 46.4 per cent 100 per cent
Isuzu Ute 1956 down 13.1 per cent 32 per cent
Lexus 1764 down 5.7 per cent 60 per cent
Porsche 1425 up 2.6 per cent 79 per cent

Podcast

Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss April’s sales figures below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.

MORE: VFACTS car sales news stories 

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




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