Australia’s new vehicle sales remained on record pace in April, with VFACTS claiming 87,571 national sales for the month, an increase of 7.2 per cent.
Interestingly, every state and territory grew over the same month last year, bar Western Australia, which went backwards – but only 0.1 per cent. The strong April took cumulative annual growth to 3.8 per cent over 2015’s all-time record.
The strongest growth in terms of market area came from light commercials, up 14.1 per cent to a total market share close to 20 per cent. One-in-five of all vehicle sold was a ute or light/medium van.
SUV sales grew, as has become customary, but by a slower 7.1 per cent, yielding a 36.3 per cent market share. Passenger cars fought back with 4.7 per cent growth and 41.9 per cent share. This reverses a trend in the market.
The five biggest individual vehicle segments by market share of the total were small cars (19.8 per cent), medium SUVs (13.4 per cent), 4×4 utes (12.2 per cent), large SUVs (12 per cent) and small SUVs (9.1 per cent).
Strong segments were upper large SUVs (up 60.2 per cent), sports (up 30.1 per cent), medium vans (up 28.6 per cent), people-movers (up 21.8 per cent), 4×2 utes (up 15.6 per cent) and medium SUVs (up 15.3 per cent).
Dropping the ball were upper large cars (down 23.2 per cent), micro cars (down 17.9 per cent), large cars (down 6.2 per cent) and light cars (down 1.4 per cent). Cheap petrol…
Top brands in April 2016
Toyota topped the charts with 16,567 sales (18.9 per cent market share), up 8.3 per cent. Rounding out the podium was a strong Hyundai (8643, 9.9 per cent share and sales up 20 per cent), and Mazda (8461, 9.7 per cent and sales up 4.9 per cent).
Next was an impressive Ford, storming to fourth position (its best result in ages) with 6842 sales, up 32.5 per cent. Ford beat out Holden, which managed 6710, down 5.1 per cent. The Blue Oval hasn’t beaten the Lion in a long, long time.
Behind these were Volkswagen on 4732, up 3.5 per cent (what Dieselgate?), Mitsubishi (4178, up 2.5 per cent), Nissan (4044, down 3.4 per cent), Mercedes-Benz (3303, and a remarkable ninth place, and up 24.5 per cent) and Subaru (3156, up 3.4 per cent). Yes, Mercedes beat Subaru.
Knock-knock-knocking on the door were Kia (3025, up an impressive 31 per cent), BMW (2456 and up a staggering 58 per cent) and Honda, just 2107 sales and down 17.7 per cent. Double yes, BMW outsold Honda. Audi was about even with 1726 units, a disappointing result, all things considered.
Other notably strong performers were (alphabetically): Fiat Professional (up 18.4 per cent), Infiniti (up 35 per cent), Jaguar (up a massive 186.4 per cent), Land Rover (up 21.7 per cent), LDV (up 223.5 per cent off a negligible base), Lexus (up 23.6 per cent), Mini (up 10.6 per cent) and Volvo Car (up 57.4 per cent).
Losers included Alfa Romeo (down 58 per cent), Citroen (down 44.8 per cent), Dodge (down 58.2 per cent), Fiat (down 54.1 per cent), Foton (down 30.2 per cent), Jeep (down 48.8 per cent), Peugeot (down 9 per cent), Porsche (down 11.1 per cent, its first drop in ages), SsangYong (down 51.8 per cent).
It was also an off month for ultra-luxury brands and supercar-makers. Bentley (down 12.5 per cent), Ferrari (down 23.5 per cent), Lamborghini (down 50 per cent), Lotus (zero sales), McLaren (down 67 per cent) and Rolls-Royce (down 50 per cent) all struggled to match April 2015 figures.
Top models April 2016
Rounding out the podium were two utes, the Toyota HiLux (3384) and Ford Ranger (2973) — though the Ford beat the Toyota in more profitable 4×4 ute sales (2534 versus 2452). The HiLux is now the top-selling vehicle in the entire market year-to-date (YTD), with 12,833 sales between January-April
The winner of each passenger segment was: Holden Spark, Hyundai Accent, Audi A1, Hyundai i30, Audi A3, Toyota Camry, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Holden Commodore, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Holden Caprice, Kia Carnival, Mercedes-Benz V-Class, Ford Mustang, Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and Porsche 911.
Winning in their respective SUV and light commercial segments were: Mazda CX-3, BMW X1, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Toyota Prado, BMW X5, Toyota LandCruiser, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Volkswagen Caddy, Toyota HiAce, Toyota HiLux (4×2) and Ford Ranger (4×4).
Read our list below to see the top-three in each segment for a little more detail, and ask any follow-up questions in the comments section below.
Miscellaneous data from April 2016
Driving much of the market growth were business fleets, where sales grew 19.7 per cent to 34,833. Private sales fell 0.6 per cent to 42,967. The much smaller Rental and Government sectors grew marginally.
Sales of diesel-powered passenger vehicles plummeted 30 per cent to 562 units, comprising just 2.5 per cent of total passenger vehicle sales.
Our biggest trading partners by volume were Japan (23,232 units, down 5.3 per cent), Thailand (20,073, up 20.1 per cent thanks to strong ute sales), Korea (13,079, up 28.8 per cent), Germany (7350, up 6.6 per cent), the US (4355, up 3.4 per cent) and England (2416, up 23.3 per cent).
Australian-made vehicles accounted for 6150 sales, down 3.6 per cent, or about 7.5 per cent market share in total.
Hyundai was the top-selling passenger brand with 6324, more than Toyota (6035) and 50 per cent higher than Mazda. A remarkable performance, driven by the i30 market leader.
By popular demand, the race between the market’s ute-based family off-roaders looked like this: Isuzu MU-X (531), Toyota Fortuner (381), Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (288), Ford Everest (226) and Holden Colorado 7 (168).
Top ten brands April 2016
Top ten models April 2016
Micro (698, down 17.9 per cent):
Light under $25K (6513, down 3.5 per cent):
Light over $25K (566, up 31.3 per cent):
Small under $40K (15,810, up 6.5 per cent):
Small over $40K (1488, up 10.4 per cent):
Medium under $60K (3186, up 13.6 per cent):
Medium over $60K (1899, down 3 per cent):
Large under $70K (2628, down 6.5 per cent):
Large over $70K (335, down 3.7 per cent):
Upper-large under $100K (126, down 21.7 per cent):
Upper Large above $100K (59, down 26.3 per cent):
People-movers under $60K (903, up 14.9 per cent):
People-movers over $60K (70, up 438.5 per cent):
Sports under $80K (11621, up 46.6 per cent):
Sports over $80K (641, up 9.2 per cent):
Sports over $200K (128, down 11.1 per cent):
SUV Small under $40K (7041, down 5.5 per cent):
SUV Small over $40K (918, up 71.6 per cent):
SUV Medium under $60K (9602, up 7.2 per cent):
SUV Medium over $60K (2103, up 75.7 per cent):
SUV Large under $70K (8623, down 6.5 per cent):
SUV Large over $70K (1864, up 44.7 per cent):
SUV Upper Large under $100K (1466, up 55.3 per cent):
SUV Upper Large over $100K (166, up 121.3 per cent):
Light Vans (310, down 1.9 per cent):
Medium Vans (1746, up 28.6 per cent):
4×2 Utes (3509, up 15.6 per cent):
4×4 Utes (10,680, up 13.1 per cent):