The August VFACTS new vehicle sales figures are in. Our currency may be going in the wrong direction, but strong retail campaigns saw market-wide sales grow nevertheless — up 2.9 per cent to 90,705.
- shares
  • Hyundai overtakes Holden year-to-date, leaps into third
  • Holden Commodore finished August as third-top selling model
  • Two of the top-six selling models were Australian-made (Camry the other)
  • Small Car sales plummet, Small SUV sales boom
  • Ranger and Triton each beat HiLux for the month
  • Fiat Chrysler sales contracting
  • Benz, BMW and Audi sell more passenger cars than Ford, Mitsubishi, Subaru

Additionally, with the year-to-date (YTD) cumulative tally sitting at 761,440, we are on track for a sales record, with good growth in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland countering declines in Western Australia and South Australia.

In a familiar trend, it continues to be SUVs doing the heavy lifting. Sales of these high-riding vehicles grew 19.4 per cent in August — to 32,900, more than one-third of all the vehicle sold — while passenger cars dropped 4.6 per cent. Light commercials also fell, by 6.1 per cent.


The finalisation of August sales data will be causing a few brands’ sales departments to take to dancing in the street, and a few others to search for a comforting glass of wine.

Perhaps the most eye-catching figure — one reported elsewhere based on preliminary figures, but now confirmed by official data — is the fact that Hyundai, off the back of a massive 9505 monthly deliveries (up 10.5 per cent) finished second for the month, and more importantly leapt into third place in the YTD sales race ahead of local hero Holden, now off the vaunted podium.

The Korean monolith boasts a cumulative annual tally of 68,115 units (Holden has 67,502, with Hyundai beating it by 1635 units last month), meaning it now trails only Mazda (9166 in August, 75,113 YTD) and Toyota (14,505 for August, down 7.2 per cent, and 133,059 YTD).


The top-ten brands for August, following on from Toyota, Hyundai, Mazda and Holden, were Mitsubishi (5574, up 6.5 per cent), Ford (5354, down 22.5 per cent), Volkswagen (4794, up 17.9 per cent), Nissan (4731, down 7.7 per cent), Subaru (3361, up 15.9 per cent) and Honda (3210, up 16.3 per cent).

Mercedes-Benz (2956, up 25.3 per cent), Kia (2940, up 50 per cent), BMW (2202, up 9.7 per cent) and Audi (1901, up 20.5 per cent) were next.

It wasn’t all sunshine, though. Beyond the declines of Toyota, Holden, Ford and Nissan, a number of other car-makers hit the skids to greater or lesser degrees, and for manifold reasons.

Notably, this included the diverse members of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group: Alfa Romeo (down 49.1 per cent), Chrysler (down 41.4 per cent), Dodge (down 26.4 per cent), Fiat (down 57.1 per cent, though its commercial arm grew 128.2 per cent), and Jeep, once on the cusp of the top-ten but finishing down 34.7 per cent to 1716 units in August.

Maserati, imported through a different channel but globally an FCA member, dropped 19.6 per cent.


The top-selling car in August was the Toyota Corolla — also the annual top-seller — with 3050 units, ahead of the Mazda 3 on 2673. Both of these figures are down on August 2014, reflective of a decline of 13.2 per cent across the Small Car under $40K segment.

In a welcome turn of events — and thanks to very sharp deals — the Holden Commodore sedan/Sportwagon finished third on 2144 (if you add the commodore-based Holden Ute, as it is now badged, that figure climbs to 2616, almost knocking the Mazda 3 from its perch).

Fourth was the Hyundai i30 on 2098, down like its small car brethren. Given Hyundai’s strong monthly brand-wide tally, we expected a higher figure.

toyota-camry-2015-design CA

Next was the just-updated Ford Ranger on 2096, with the Blue Oval no doubt sharpening its pencil as it cleared stock of the pre-facelift version, one solitary unit ahead of the locally made Toyota Camry (2095). This means two of the top-six sellers in August were Australian-made cars.

Behind these were the Mitsubishi Triton (1991), and a pair of SUVs — the Mazda CX-5 (1980) and the now-discontinued, but still on runout, Hyundai ix35 (1967). Tenth was the Toyota HiLux on 1956.

Granted, the all-new model is almost here and stocks of the current car are low, but it’s remarkable to see the HiLux behind both the Ranger and Triton. At times, the Toyota ute has been the market’s top-selling vehicle full stop. Expect an imminent bounce.


Other trivia:

  • Yes, the Holden Commodore was the third top-selling model in August, but if you include the Ute, it almost knocked off the Mazda 3
  • The Hyundai Veloster (to pick a random example for context) outsold the Ford Falcon by about 40 per cent
  • Veloster and Mazda MX-5 powered the budget sportscar market to almost 80 per cent growth

Top ten brands August 2015:

  • Toyota — 14,505
  • Hyundai — 9505
  • Mazda — 9166
  • Holden — 7870
  • Mitsubishi — 5574
  • Ford — 5354
  • Volkswagen — 4794
  • Nissan — 4731
  • Subaru — 3361
  • Honda — 3210

Top ten models August 2015:

  • Toyota Corolla — 3050
  • Mazda 3 — 2673
  • Holden Commodore — 2144 (2616 if you include Ute)
  • Hyundai i30 —2098
  • Ford Ranger — 2096
  • Toyota Camry — 2095
  • Mitsubishi Triton — 1991
  • Mazda CX-5 — 1980
  • Hyundai ix35 — 1967
  • Toyota HiLux — 1956

Segment-by-segment breakdown:

Passenger cars:

  • Micro (down 43.6 per cent). Led by Mitsubishi Mirage hatch, Holden Barina Spark and Fiat 500/Abarth
  • Light under $25K (down 6.4 per cent). Led by Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent and Suzuki Swift
  • Light over $25K (up 51.7 per cent). Led by Audi A1, Mini and Peugeot 208
  • Small under $40K (down 13.2 per cent). Led by Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 and Hyundai i30
  • Small over $40K (up 20.9 per cent). Led by Audi A3 hatch/sedan, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  • Medium under $60K (up 5.8 per cent). Led by Toyota Camry, Mazda 6 and Subaru Liberty
  • Medium over $60K (up 17.9 per cent). Led by Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz CLA
  • Large under $70K (down 8.8 per cent). Led by Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon and Toyota Aurion
  • Large over $70K (down 6.6 per cent). Led by BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6
  • Upper Large under $100K (down 20.4 per cent). Holden Caprice beat Chrysler 300
  • Upper Large above $100K (down 44.1 per cent). Led by Mercedes-Benz S-Class, then daylight
  • People-movers under $60K (up 24.6 per cent). Led by Kia Carnival, Honda Odyssey and Hyundai iMax
  • People-movers over $60K (up 4.2 per cent). Mercedes-Benz V-Class made up 92 per cent of sales
  • Sports under $80K (up 77.3 per cent). Led by Hyundai Veloster, Toyota 86, Mazda MX-5
  • Sports over $80K (up 19.2 per cent). Led by Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 4 Series and Audi A5
  • Sports over $200K (up 19.8 per cent). Led by Porsche 911, BMW 6 Series and Ferrari range


  • SUV Small under $40K (up 47.5 per cent). Led by Hyundai ix35, Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V
  • SUV Small over $40K (up 102.7 per cent). Led by Lexus NX, Audi Q3 Mercedes-Benz GLA
  • SUV Medium under $60K (up 15.7 per cent). Led by Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail
  • SUV Medium over $60K (up 16.3 per cent). Led by Porsche Macan, Audi Q5 and Range Rover Evoque
  • SUV Large under $70K (up 3.9 per cent). Led by Toyota Kluger, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Subaru Outback.
  • SUV Large over $70K (up 7.6 per cent). Led by BMW X5, Land Rover Discovery, and Volkswagen Touareg
  • SUV Upper Large under $100K (down 9.8 per cent). Toyota LandCruiser beat Nissan Patrol 3:1
  • SUV Upper Large over $100K (up 63.7 per cent). Led by Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Range Rover and Lexus LX


  • Light Vans (up 0.7 per cent). Led by Volkswagen Caddy, Renault Kangoo and Suzuki APV
  • Medium Vans (up 39.1 per cent). Led by Toyota HiAce, Hyundai iLoad and Volkswagen Transporter
  • 4×2 utes (down 14.5 per cent). Led by Holden Utility, Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger
  • 4×4 utes (down 8.2 per cent). Led by Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton and Toyota HiLux