Off-road ute sales look to have picked up in June after a slow start to the year, led by the rampaging Mitsubishi Triton that ousted traditional market leader, the Toyota HiLux, from top spot on the podium.
Preliminary figures obtained by CarAdvice indicate that Mitsubishi sold a tick over 3700 units of the 4x4 Triton last month with the help of strong cashback deals, edging out the usually dominant 4x4 HiLux that looks to have achieved around 3150 sales to finish runner-up.
With both 4x2 and 4x4 sales factored in, the HiLux looks to have retained its crown, by a margin of fewer than 200 units.
Mitsubishi’s entrant is regularly the top pick among private (non-fleet) light-commercial buyers thanks to its sharp pricing that regularly undercuts its newer rivals — the Triton is among the oldest utes out there, dating back to 2006 — by thousands of dollars.
This is despite the fact that the Triton is one of the few utes without a five-star ANCAP safety rating — an essential rating for an increasing number of major fleet buyers. The Triton manages four stars instead, the same as Nissan’s soon-to-be-replaced D40 Navara.
June is always a mammoth sales month because of its proximity to tax time, and this year looks to be no exception. 4x4 utes such as the fast-growing Ford Ranger (about 2550 sales), Holden Colorado (around 1950 sales) and Isuzu D-Max (approximately 1300 sales and pictured below) all experienced bumps over June 2013.
Despite a smaller sales drop for the HiLux, Nissan’s soon-to-be-replaced Navara and the Mazda BT-50, overall 4x4 ute sales appear to have grown over the corresponding month last year — bucking a trend that has seen sales in this part of the market drop 11 per cent to the end of May.
The strong month for off-road utes follows what appears to be a trend across the market as a whole.
As we reported this morning, official VFACTS sales data to be released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries tomorrow is expected to reveal that June was the first month of positive growth for the year.
Preliminary data shows sales of just under 120,000 – potentially the biggest sales month in Australian history – representing growth of approximately 0.8 per cent over June 2013.
For a comprehensive review of the most popular dual-cab utes on the market, read our massive eight ute comparison here.