January new vehicle sales figures are in. Coming fresh off an annual record, the Australian market recorded a further 2.7 per cent growth in the first month of the year.
VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber show that 84,373 new vehicles were registered in January — the highest figure for the month since 2013.
This was driven in major part by good growth in the three major car buying states, NSW, Victoria and Queensland, which account for about 80 per cent of the total market.
The inevitable tipping point where SUVs become the default in place of passenger cars is edging closer, too. The market share of SUVs in January was 39.2 per cent, compared to 41.7 per cent for passenger cars. In January last year it was 33.7 versus 48.5.
Top brands in January 2016
Toyota did what Toyota does, winning in January. But the 12,453 sales it recorded were paltry for the brand, down 8.8 per cent. Remember, the company registered a lot of demonstrators last month to boost December figures…
Mazda was again second with a very solid 10,016 units, up 11.2 per cent. It trounced Hyundai in third with 7001 (up 1.4 per cent). Holden was fourth with 6824 (down 18.8 per cent), ahead of Nissan on 5563 (up 22.6 per cent).
Smaller-volume brands that performed well included (alphabetically): Isuzu Ute (1383, up 21.3 per cent), Jaguar (165, up 96.4 per cent), Land Rover (1173, up 34.1 per cent), LDV (108, up 227.3 per cent), Lexus (635, up 24.8 per cent), Porsche (490, up 31.4 per cent), Renault (718, up 31.5 per cent) and Volvo Car (475, up 43.9 per cent).
Brands going in the other direction not already mentioned included Citroen (72, down 34.5 per cent), Dodge (29, down 72.6 per cent), Fiat (169, down 62.8 per cent), Jeep (1268, down 44.5 per cent) and Peugeot (313, down 22.9 per cent).
Top models in January 2016
As has become tradition in January — a month where fleet buyers usually simmer down and private sales rule — the Mazda 3 was the top-selling model, with 3722 units. That said, business sales actually grew by 14.4 per cent…
Either way, the Mazda trounced its nemesis, the Toyota Corolla (2758, down 20.6 per cent).
As we mentioned earlier, it was revenge of the bridesmaids in January, with the Ford Ranger in third spot (2418) ahead of the Toyota HiLux (2341). Fifth was the newly ANCAP five-star-minted Hyundai Tucson (2065) ahead of the Mazda CX-5 in seventh (1750).
In between this medium SUV pair was the Hyundai i30 (1852). Rounding out the top ten were the Volkswagen Golf (including Alltrack and convertible) with 1692, the Holden Colorado (1691) and the Nissan Navara (1670).
We’ll give you a more detailed list below, but the top-selling model in each segment from the smallest dimensionally, upwards, were the: Nissan Micra, Mazda 2, Mini, Mazda 3, Audi A3, Toyota Camry, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Holden Commodore, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 7 Series, Kia Carnival, Ford Mustang, BMW 4 Series and Porsche 911.
The SUV and commercial segments were won by the: Mitsubishi ASX, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Hyundai Tucson, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Toyota Prado, Audi Q7, Toyota LandCruiser, Mercedes-Benz GL, Renault Kangoo, Toyota HiAce and Ford Ranger.
Other key data in January 2016
The five most popular vehicle types were small cars (20.8 per cent total market share), medium SUVs (15.2), large SUVs (12.7), 4×4 utes (11.9) and small SUVs (10.1).
The leading passenger vehicle brands were: Mazda (5610), Toyota (4731), Hyundai (4028), Holden (3450), Volkswagen (2923), Kia (1690), Mercedes-Benz (1619), Ford (1566), Honda (1435) and BMW 1256).
The leading SUV brands were Toyota (4341), Mazda (3351), Nissan (3181), Mitsubishi (2906), Hyundai (2666), Subaru (2333), Honda (1463), Kia (1426), Holden (1348) and Ford (1291). SUV specialist Jeep was only eleventh (1268), just edging Mercedes-Benz (1245).
A number of fleet-favoured vehicles had terrible January results, none other than the December market leader, the Toyota Camry, with a tiny 503 sales (down 55 per cent). Toyota put plates on lots of cars in December, and you can only register a VIN once, so it’s now clearing the decks.
With all that said, business sales actually grew 14.4 per cent in January, though this came from SUVs and light commercials. Rental sales spiked across the board, up 75.1 per cent over January 2015. Private sales dipped 5.1 per cent while government sales were stable.
Australia’s biggest source of imports were Japan (25,502, up 4.9 per cent), Thailand (19,295, up 12.3 per cent), Korea (9699, up 4.9 per cent), Germany (6638, down 2.4 per cent), the US (4003, down 4 per cent) and England (3048, up 18 per cent). Australians also bought 4156 locally made vehicles, down 36.8 per cent over December 2015.
Comment from FCAI chief executive Tony Weber
“January 2016 sales are particularly strong given the growth over 2015, which was a record year for new vehicle sales,” Weber said.
“Sales of SUVs and light commercial vehicles have increased significantly compared to January 2015 figures. SUV sales are up 19.5 per cent and light commercial vehicle sales are up 11.9 per cent.
“Combined, the segments accounted for more than 56 per cent of the total new car market in January 2016.
“Business buyers showed confidence in January, with sales to business buyers up 14.4 per cent compared to January 2015. Sales to government were consistent with January 2015 sales figures and sales to private buyers fell 5.1 per cent.”
Top makes for January 2016
Top models for January 2016
Light under $25K (7348):
Light over $25K (468):
Small under $40K (15,816):
Small over $40K (1720):
Medium under $60K (2512):
Medium over $60K (1786):
Large under $70K (1639):
Large over $70K (268):
Upper Large under $100K (92):
Upper Large above $100K (65):
People-movers under $60K (815):
People-movers over $60K (65):
Sports under $80K (1540):
Sports over $80K (407):
Sports over $200K (159):
SUV Small under $40K (7772):
SUV Small over $40K (758):
SUV Medium under $60K (10,477):
SUV Medium over $60K (2375):
SUV Large under $70K (8619):
SUV Large over $70K (2126):
SUV Upper Large under $100K (786):
SUV Upper Large over $100K (160):
Light Vans (206):
Medium Vans (1276):
4×2 utes (2804):
4×4 utes (10,009):