What new vehicles have grown in registrations the most in 2015 so far?
If you’re in the market for a new car, SUV and commercial, it can be valuable to know. After all, cars in hot demand might just be harder to haggle on than those that are struggling against rivals. Then again, they might be flying in the sales race precisely because they’re so affordable.
In a new vehicle market as competitive as Australia’s, the discrepancy between sales on a particular model over one period of time to the next can be significant. New model releases (with the corollary being sharp runout deals), promotional campaigns, stock clearances, cheap repayment plans… the motivators are numerous.
Simply put, cars, SUVs and commercials are price-elastic for a reason. And the sales figures reflect this. At the six-month mark of the year, let’s have a look at the top 10 biggest movers year-to-date (YTD).
We’ve chosen to look at those vehicles that have grown or contracted the most in raw numerical terms, rather than on a percentage basis. The issue with the latter is it can reflect little more than a model coming off a low base.
We’re also not including big-selling vehicles that are new to market and whose growth is incremental — looking at you, Jeep Cherokee, Honda HR-V, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Mazda CX-3 (all crossover SUVs, tellingly).
Plus, everyone loves a list, right?
1) Subaru Outback: 5465 sales YTD, up 4140 units (up 312.5 per cent)
This time last year, Subaru had sold 1325 Outbacks. That means it has sold four-times more in 2015 so far. Its 5465 tally is only just shy of the brand’s top-seller, the Forester on 5678.
Guess those price cuts that came with the launch of the all-new version last December have done the trick, hey?
2) Honda Jazz: 5139 sales YTD, up 3180 units (up 162.3 per cent)
Another case of a (12-month old) new-generation model, and very sharp pricing to boot, buffering an established nameplate to new sales heights.
Light car sales overall are up 10.2 per cent this year, much of which is thanks to the additional Jazzes Honda has registered. Its 5139 sales figure puts it behind only the Mazda 2, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai i20 and Suzuki Swift.
The Jazz, along with the all-new HR-V (5191) are powering Honda Australia to huge YTD growth overall, up 33.4 per cent.
3) Nissan X-Trail: 9272 sales YTD, up 2830 units (up 43.9 per cent)
The new Nissan X-Trail has very much returned to being a staple nameplate near to the medium SUV summit, although it hasn’t plonked the company flag atop the pinnacle.
It’s worth noting that the smaller Qashqai (5294) is about 300 units short of where its Dualis predecessor was this time last year, meaning cannibalisation rates are likely being kept under control.
4) Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan/wagon: 4857 sales YTD, up 2456 units (up 102.3 per cent)
Yes, that’s massive for a luxury car. Over the same period, the Mazda 6 has found 2857 buyers — exactly 2000 fewer than the Benz. No mid-sized car this side of a Toyota Camry matches the C-Class in volume terms — not even close.
The new-generation model has been selling up a storm of late, as we’ve been reporting frequently. Its 2015 cumulative figure is double what its predecessor had managed at this time last year.
5) Toyota Kluger: 6870 sales YTD, up 2366 units (up 53.6 per cent)
Annual growth in excess of 50.0 per cent is a strong performance for the Kluger, which launched in new-generation form in March last year.
Part of this is the return to strong stock levels (the US-made car was in slightly short supply for a while there). And in fact, it’s really about where it was in 2013, when 6424 units were sold between January and June.
The Kluger’s growth is way above the total large SUV segment, which is up 7.5 per cent. Take note that rivals the Ford Territory (down 6.3 per cent), Holden Captiva 7 (down 8.1 per cent) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (down 25.2 per cent) have all lost ground over the same period.
6) Kia Cerato hatch/sedan: 5528 sales YTD, up 2081 units (up 60.4 per cent)
Kia Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith has made it his mission this year to boost the Cerato small car against its rivals, and the company has delivered.
The mainstream small car segment overall is down 7.6 overall, but the Cerato sedan and hatch is up 60.4 per cent to 5528 units (the Koup has contributed a measly 127).
Why, well marketing it for yonks at $19,990 drive-away with a free auto, which we’ve frequently mentioned in our ‘Weekend Deals on Wheels’ stories, must surely be helping. Kudos.
7) Mitsubishi Triton: 13,709 sales YTD, up 1871 units (up 14.0 per cent)
Mitsubishi launched the new Triton last month, but it has enough stock of the old one to sell it concurrently — at bargain prices (sub-$30K drive-away dual cabs, anyone?).
8) Mitsubishi ASX: 5984 sales YTD, up 1869 units (45.4 per cent)
It’s one of the older options in the small SUV market, but the Mitsubishi ASX has two things in its favour: it’s constantly being updated, and it’s very sharply priced with a long warranty.
9) Volkswagen Polo: 4744 sales YTD, up 1620 units (up 51.9 per cent)
The updated MY15 Volkswagen Polo has been retailing on campaign pricing of $15,990 drive-away for months, and evidently this has been working. It’s been driving the light car segment nicely, alongside the even more buoyant Honda Jazz.
The fact that Volkswagen will add a new touchscreen with reversing camera, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto within a few weeks will strengthen its market position all the more.
10) Suzuki Swift: 6032 sales YTD, up 1526 units (up 33.9 per cent)
Ok, it’s not just the Polo and Jazz driving the light car segment.
Suzuki Australia has improved its stock situation after a wretched start to 2014, and its humble Swift is belying its age to take many more fancied rivals before it.
Want to know the other side of the coin addressed here? See our list of the 10 biggest sales losers of 2015 here.