New vehicle sales hit an all-time high of 1,178,133 units spread across 67 brands in 2016, according to VFACTS data provided by car-makers and dealers.
The new market high of almost 1.18 million is up 2 per cent on last year’s result, and is the third calendar-year sales record re-set in four years.
As you can read, 2016 was also the first time a commercial vehicle finished atop the sales charts. The Toyota HiLux (42,104) beat out the Corolla (40,330), Hyundai i30 (37,772) and Ford Ranger, a remarkable fourth with 36,934.
This means Toyota is the first brand to own the top-two spots on the calendar-year sales charts. It was also the market leader in every State and Territory.
Reflecting trends, light commercials (up 9.4 per cent) and SUVs (up 8 per cent) did the heavy lifting, with passenger car sales declining almost 6 per cent. Light commercials and SUVs now comprise a combined 56 per cent market share.
Top of the food chain for the 14th year in succession was Toyota with 209,610 units (up 1.6 per cent), ahead of top full-importer Mazda (118,217, up 3.7 per cent) and Hyundai (101,555, down 0.4 per cent).
For the first time in the memory of almost anyone still kicking, local hero Holden finished outside the top-three, in fourth place on 94,308 (down 8.4 per cent), holding out a resurgent Ford (81,207, up more than 15 per cent).
Rounding out the top 10 were Mitsubishi (73,368, up about 2 per cent), Nissan (66,826, up 1 per cent), Volkswagen (56,571, down 6 per cent), Subaru (47,018, up 8 per cent) and Kia (42,668, up a huge 26.5 per cent) — just edging out Mercedes-Benz (41,226, up 13 per cent) and Honda (40,838, up 2 per cent).
Smaller-scale brands that showed good growth included (alphabetically): Infiniti (807, up 41 per cent), Isuzu Ute (an impressive 23,377, up 11 per cent), Jaguar (3008, up 133 per cent), LDV (1542, up 101 per cent), Porsche (4434, up 8 per cent) and Volvo Car (5878, up 19 per cent).
Brands that went backward included: Alfa Romeo (711, down 55 per cent), Chrysler (462, down 50 per cent), Citroen (965, down 13 per cent), Dodge (366, down 69 per cent), Fiat (2414, down 39 per cent), Foton (839, down 21 per cent), Jeep (12,629, down 48.3 per cent), Peugeot (3129, down 22 per cent) and SsangYong (371, down 63 per cent).
This means two of the top four-selling vehicles are now utes, and half of the top 10 were either light commercials or SUVs.
See tables below.
Sales by State went: NSW (397,563), Victoria (326,269), Queensland (233,026), Western Australia (100,234, down 6 per cent), South Australia (71,738), Tasmania (19,751), ACT (18,816) and NT (10,736).
Respective market shares by vehicle type were: passenger (41.3 per cent), SUV (37.4 per cent), light commercial (18.5 per cent), and heavy commercial (2.8 per cent).
The top-five segments by volume were small cars (224,450, down 4 per cent), medium SUV (172,194, up 16.5 per cent), 4×4 ute (146,820, up 10 per cent), large SUV (142,495, up 2 per cent) and small SUV (110,414, up 2 per cent).
The sub-total of sales by buyer type for 2016 was: private (571,544, down 7 per cent), business (472,156, up 13 per cent), government (40,989, down 1.4 per cent) and rental (60,335, up 6 per cent). Buyers using their ABN to buy a single car count as a business sale, while novated leases count as private.
Leading vehicle sources: Japan (325,689), Thailand (285,465), Korea (162,642), Germany (87,392) and Australia (87,096).
FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber:
“Calendar year 2016 marks the seventh year in a row that the Australian new car market has topped 1 million sales, and this result posts the industry’s third record in four years.
“It is an intriguing and exciting time for industry watchers as there’s little doubt we are observing a significant and dynamic transition in consumer preference. While buyer demand for traditional passenger cars remains healthy, it’s clear consumers are gradually transitioning into other segments.
“The growth, as was witnessed in 2016 and appears certain to continue in 2017, is in SUVs and light commercial vehicles, particularly dual cab utilities.
“New models with significant performance and comfort attributes, combined with the existing vehicle mix, continued to make Australia one of the most competitive new car markets in the world.
“It’s this level of competition, and the diversity of more than 400 models on offer, which drives value for the Australian consumer.”
Small below $40,000 (206,034, down 4 per cent) — Toyota Corolla (40,330), Hyundai i30 (37,772) and Mazda 3 (36,107)
Sports above $80,000 (7499, up 2 per cent) — Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2524), BMW 4 Series (1551) and Mercedes-Benz E-Class (691)
Medium SUV below $60,000 (142,622, up 12 per cent) — Mazda CX-5 (24,564), Hyundai Tucson (20,132) and Toyota RAV4 (19,526)
4×2 ute (43,948, up 8 per cent) — Toyota HiLux (11,028), Ford Ranger (6054) and Isuzu D-Max (5038)
4×4 ute (146,820, up 10 per cent) — Toyota HiLux (31,076), Ford Ranger (30,880) and Mitsubishi Triton (17,969)