New vehicle sales in Australia continued their marginal decline in June — the biggest month on the automotive calendar — with a total market contraction of 0.4 per cent over the record-breaking figure achieved in same month last year.
VFACTS data released today showed that 118,309 cars, SUVs, light commercials, trucks and buses were registered last month across the same number of selling days (24) as June 2013. This compares with last June’s record-setting level of 118,758 units.
This still makes it the second biggest month in Australian automotive history, however. Tax time sees most brands launch sizeable campaigns on their product to bolster their half-yearly (and end of financial year) figures. It is always a great month to net a sharp deal.
The marginal contraction last month means each of the first six months of this calendar year have yielded lower sales than their corresponding months in 2013 — a year where sales reached a zenith of 1,136,227 vehicles.
Chiefly responsible for the drop in sales in June was a 6.6 per cent reduction in the sales of passenger vehicles, notably in the business fleet and rental sectors. This was in some way countered by strong growth in SUVs (up 7.1 per cent for the month over June 2013, even though the top-selling SUV, the CX-5 with 2211 sales, was only the eleventh top-selling car for the month overall) and, in a reversal of this year’s trend, a 4.2 per cent increase in the sales of light commercials.
Interestingly, sales of US-made cars were up 93.4 per cent last month thanks to the success of Jeep and new North American-built cars such as the latest Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Kluger. German-made cars also grew 31.6 per cent, while Australian, Japanese, Korean and Thai-made vehicles all contracted by between 0.8 and 12.4 per cent.
As we reported yesterday, the Toyota Corolla hatch and sedan was the most popular new vehicle range for the month with 4648 deliveries, up 10.8 per cent. Its chief rival, the Mazda 3, recorded 4059 sales, though it retains an annual lead of about 350 units over the Toyota.
The Mazda’s figure saw it relegated to fourth place on the sales charts, with a pair of Thai-made, Japanese-branded utes occupying second and third. Perennial favourite the Toyota HiLux managed 4276 sales between 4×2 and 4×4 body styles, while the sharply discounted Mitsubishi Triton managed a record-shattering 4124, and even beat the Toyota in the important 4×4 segment.
Another notably strong performer for the month included the Holden Commodore with 3156 sales (up 47.2 per cent for the month and 60 per cent for the year). The Lion Brand is single-handedly propping up the large-vehicle segment, with the Ford Falcon down 53 per cent for the month. The Ford was outsold by the locally-made Toyota Aurion, 798 sales to 552.
Australian-made cars outside the VF Commodore and Aurion had rough months compared with June 2013 as well.
The Holden Cruze managed 2146 sales (down 9.8 per cent), and was outsold by the Hyundai i30 (3243) and Volkswagen Golf (2261). Toyota’s Camry managed 2378 sales, and while it still dominates the medium-car segment (the runner-up Mazda6 had 585 sales), it was down 10.3 per cent. With 1135 sales, the Ford Territory fell 28 per cent in a segment led by the Jeep Grand Cherokee (1785).
Other top-sellers by passenger segment were: The Fiat 500 (micro) with 269 sales, the Hyundai i20 (light) with 1833 sales, Audi A3 (premium small) with 424 sales, BMW 3 Series (premium mid-size) with 503 sales, Mercedes-Benz E-Class (premium large) with 125 sales, Honda Odyssey (people-mover) with 215 sales and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (sports) with 326 sales — double the Toyota 86.
In the SUV and commercial space, the segment leaders were: Hyundai ix35 (small) with 1851 sales, 217 units ahead of the run-out Nissan Dualis, the Audi Q3 (premium small) with 291 sales, the Mazda CX-5 (medium) with 2211 sales and nearly 20 per cent segment share, the Audi Q5 (premium mid-sized) with 289 sales and the BMW X5 (premium large) with 480 sales.
At the big end of town, the Toyota LandCruiser outsold the Nissan Patrol three-to-one (778 to 237).
The Toyota HiAce van dominated its segment, more than double its nearest rival, the Hyundai iLoad (676 sales to 329), while the Volkswagen Caddy won the light van race with 252 sales, ahead of the Renault Kangoo with 107 sales.
As usual, Toyota led the overall brand stakes with 20,808 sales in June (down 6.1 per cent).
Second for the month was Holden (12,332, up 17.6 per cent), followed by Hyundai with a record-breaking 10,008 sales (up 0.9 per cent), Mazda on 9374 (down 2 per cent), Ford on 8715 (down 10 per cent), Mitsubishi with 8281 sales (down 10.5 per cent), Nissan on 7992 (down 12.8 per cent), Volkswagen on 6597 sales (up 26.4 per cent on the back of sharp deals), Subaru on 3851 (down 6.5 per cent), Kia with 3305, its second-best month ever (up 5.6 per cent) and Honda on 3115 sales (down 38.5 per cent), just five units ahead of a rampant Jeep on 3110 units and up 62 per cent.
In the premium race, Mercedes-Benz netted 3040 sales, or 2561 passenger cars and SUVs (minus commercials), ahead of BMW (2203 sales, up 3.2 per cent), Audi (1809 sales, up 20.2 per cent), Land Rover (939 sales, up 10.2 per cent) and Lexus (740 sales, up 14 per cent).
Big winners were Audi (up 20.2 per cent), Chrysler (up 51 per cent), Citroen (up 43 per cent), Fiat (up 66.5 per cent), Isuzu Ute (up 101 per cent thanks to the MUX with a huge 639 sales), Jaguar (up 43 per cent), Jeep (up 62 per cent), Maserati (up 156 per cent), Porsche (up 60 per cent), Proton (up 44 per cent) and Renault (up 71 per cent).
Notable losers were Chinese brands Chery and Great Wall, down 36 per cent and 64 per cent apiece. Peugeot dropped 32 per cent in June, while Honda dropped 38.5 per cent.
Top 10 Best-selling Vehicles – June 2014
Top 10 Best-selling Brands – June 2014