April's Australia-wide new car sales figures show a deflating 5 per cent fall to 83,135 units over the same month in 2016, continuing the downward trend over 2016's record.
According to VFACTS numbers released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) today, passenger vehicles fell 12 per cent and SUVs fell just over 1 per cent - though medium SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 grew by double digits.
Bucking the trend were light commercials, which grew by about 3 per cent.
In this vein, the top-two selling vehicles once again were utes — the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger. This pair are also 1-2 for the year to date, remarkably enough.
Four small cars filled the top ten (Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, Hyundai i30 and Kia Cerato), with the Mazda CX-5, Holden Colorado and Hyundai Tucson also there.
FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said that market activity during April was affected by the impact of the Easter long weekend break, Anzac Day and national school holidays.
“There were two less selling days overall in April this year compared with last, but added to this was the dampening effect that the holiday period had on dealership traffic as many families headed off to enjoy a final break before winter.”
Top brands in April 2017
The top brand as always was Toyota, which dropped 3 per cent to 16,090 units. Also on the podium were Mazda on 8630 (up 2 per cent) and Hyundai on 6850 (down 21 per cent as it ran dry on old i30 stock ahead of the new-generation car's launch).
Next were old rivals Holden (5804, down 13.5 per cent), just a whisker ahead of Ford (5802, down 15 per cent). Next were Mitsubishi (5470, up 31 per cent), a rampant Kia (4120, up 36 per cent), Volkswagen (3867, down 18 per cent) and Subaru (3854, up 22 per cent).
The big surprise was regular top-six brand Nissan, which fell 17 per cent to finish on just 3350 units, ahead of Mercedes-Benz (3312, even), Honda (2827, up a commendable 34 per cent), BMW (1802, down 27 per cent), Isuzu Ute (1665, up 4 per cent), Audi (1391, down 19 per cent) and Suzuki (1191, down 10 per cent).
Smaller companies that bucked the trend and grew their sales over April 2016 included Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Jaguar, Chinese van-maker LDV, Maserati, McLaren, Porsche and Skoda (albeit by 1 per cent).
Additional brands to fall in sales included Chrysler, Citroen, Fiat Professional, Foton, Infiniti, Jeep (by 40 per cent), Land Rover (also by 40 per cent), Lexus, Mini, Peugeot and Volvo Car (by 35 per cent).
Top models in April 2017
The 10 most popular vehicles sold for the month were the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai i30, Toyota Camry, Holden Colorado, Toyota LandCruiser and Hyundai Tucson.
Sales leaders by segment:
Micro — 489, down 30 per cent: Mitsubishi Mirage, Kia Picanto and Holden Spark
Light — 5236, down 20 per cent: Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2
Premium light — 297, down 47.5 per cent: Mini and Audi A1
Small — 14,150, down 10.5 per cent: Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 and Hyundai i30
Premium Small — 1193, down 20 per cent: Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series
Medium — 3363, up 6 per cent: Toyota Camry, Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6
Premium Medium — 1713, down 10 per cent: Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Mercedes-Benz CLA and Audi A4
Large — 1858, down 30 per cent: Holden Commodore, Toyota Aurion and Skoda Superb
Premium Large — 506, up 51 per cent: BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6
Upper Large — 89, down 30 per cent: Holden Caprice and Chrysler 300
Premium Upper Large — 55, down 7 per cent: BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Porsche Panamera
People Movers — 951, down 5 per cent: Kia Carnival, Honda Odyssey and Hyundai iMax
Entry Sports — 1537, down 5 per cent: Ford Mustang, BMW 2 Series and Hyundai Veloster
Mid Range Sports — 526, down 18 per cent: Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 4 Series and Audi A5
Premium Sports — 113, down 12 per cent: Porsche 911, Lamborghini Huracan, Aston Martin
Small SUV — 6689, down 5 per cent: Mitsubishi ASX, Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V
Premium Small SUV — 912, down 1 per cent: Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1
Medium SUV — 11,213, up 17 per cent: Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4
Premium Medium SUV — 1664, down 21 per cent: Land Rover Discovery Sport, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus NX
Large SUV — 8342, down 3 per cent: Toyota Prado, Toyota Kluger and Hyundai Santa Fe
Premium Large SUV — 1304, down 30 per cent: BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLE
Upper Large SUV — 1080, down 26 per cent: Toyota LandCruiser and Nissan Patrol (just 48)
Premium Upper Large SUV — 164, down 1 per cent: Mercedes-Benz GLS, Lexus LX and Range Rover
Light Vans — 248, down 20 per cent: Volkswagen Caddy, Renault Kangoo and Citroen Berlingo
Medium Vans — 1589, down 9 per cent:: Hyundai iLoad, Toyota HiAce and Volkswagen Transporter
Light/medium buses — 352, down 5 per cent: Toyota HiAce, Mitsubishi Sprinter and Toyota Coaster
4×2 Utes — 3040, down 13 per cent: Toyota HiLux, Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger
4×4 Utes — 11,882, up 11 per cent: Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux and Holden Colorado
Private car sales and government purchases were down, but business and retail fleets were both up. Business sales (36,596) actually eclipsed private ones.
Petrol-powered passenger cars outsold diesel ones by 29,642 to 1542. Petrol SUVs outsold diesel ones by 21,541 to 9613. Light commercials were diesel-dominated. Hybrid vehicle sales equalled 1079.
Leading sources of vehicles: Japan, Thailand, Korea, Germany and Australia.
All states and territories were affected by April’s sales decline, although the two volume selling states, Victoria and NSW, were least affected, both markets down by 2.8 per cent.
Top 10 brands
16,090 (19.4 per cent share)
8630 (10.4 per cent share)
6850 (8.2 per cent share)
5804 (7 per cent share)
5802 (7 per cent share)
5470 (6.6 per cent share)
4120 (5 per cent share)
3867 (4.7 per cent share)
3854 (4.6 per cent share)
3350 (4 per cent share)
Top 10 models
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Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss April's sales figures below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.