The Australian new vehicle market is running at an all-time high five months into the 2016 calendar year, up 3.8 per cent over last year, to a tick under 470,000 units.
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But which vehicle segments (as classified by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ VFACTS data) are the engine room of this growth?

Looking at the segments that have grown the most is intriguing for no other reason than the diversity therein. Growth is coming from across the spectrum, though by no means is every area within the wider market in positive territory.


There are are two ways to track sales year-on-year — by percentage, and by volume variance. Here we’ll look at both.

The five segments that have added the most volume in 2016 over the equivalent January to May period in 2015 are: medium SUVs, 4x4 utes, small SUVs, large SUVs and 4x2 utes, in that order.

Sales of medium SUVs have grown from 55,583 year-to-date (YTD) last year to 67,580 YTD this year, a difference of 12,097 units. The overall market share of medium SUVs (led by the Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson) is now 14.4 per cent, up 2.1 percentage points.

Toyota HiLux Workmate_7

Next is the 4x4 ute market led by the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, up from 52,870 to 58,580, for market share of 12.5 per cent, up 0.8. This makes it the market’s third largest segment behind medium SUVs and small cars.

The third-highest growth segment by volume is the small SUV market led by the Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi ASX, up from 42,355 to 45,320, or 2985 additional units. Market share here is 9.7 per cent, up 0.3.

Hot on its heels its the large SUVs market, up from 54,571 to 57,483 (2912 units), upping market share by 0.1 percentage points to 12.2 per cent. This highly diverse segment is led by the Toyota Prado and Kluger, and the Subaru Outback.

2016 Subaru Outback 2.51 Premium-84

Number five is the 4x2 ute market, up 2180 units to 18,147, taking market share up 0.4 points to 3.9. The leading vehicles hare are the HiLux and Ranger again, joined by the Australian-made Holden Ute.

Arguably more interesting and diverse, though less impactful, are the five fastest-growing segments by percentage increase.

The five winners here are people movers led by the Kia Carnival (segment up 24 per cent), medium SUVs (segment up 21.8 per cent), upper large SUVs led by the Toyota LandCruiser (segment up 19.4 per cent), sports cars led by the Ford Mustang (segment up 18.8 per cent) and medium vans led by the Toyota HiAce (segment up 18.6 per cent), in that order.

That’s some diversity, there.

Biggest growth segments by percentage YTD:

  1. People Movers — up 24 per cent
  2. Medium SUV — up 21.8 per cent
  3. Upper Large SUV — up 19.4 per cent
  4. Sports Cars up — 18.8 per cent
  5. Medium Vans — up 18.6 per cent

Biggest growth segments by number YTD:

  1. Medium SUV — up 12,097
  2. 4x4 Ute — up 5710
  3. Small SUV — up 2985
  4. Large SUV — up 2912
  5. 4x2 Ute — up 2180