New vehicle sales went backwards by 2.4 per cent in September 2017 compared to the same month last year, over the same number of selling days.
VFACTS figures just released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) record 100,200 new cars, SUVs and commercials as having been sold last month.
This takes annual sales at the year’s three-quarter mark to 889,168, a narrow 0.2 per cent ahead of 2016’s current all-time record.
The September break-down saw SUVs take 38.9 per cent of the market, once again ahead of passenger vehicles (38.1), though it was the commercial vehicle market (23 per cent between light and heavy) that grew to the greatest degree.
As we’ve already reported, the Ford Ranger ute was the market’s top-seller last month, with the Toyota HiLux in second.
Top brands for September 2017
Market leader Toyota netted 17,377 sales last month, up 4 per cent despite the overall flat market. Rounding out the podium were Mazda (10,328, down 14 per cent) and Hyundai (8130, down 13 per cent) — both battling slightly.
The next tier was occupied by fleet-favoured Mitsubishi on 7065 sales (up 5 per cent), ahead of Holden (6882, down 20 per cent) and Ford (6845, down 6 per cent).
Next was a cluster of brands all showing good growth, led by Volkswagen (4901, up 12 per cent), ahead of Kia (the market’s fastest-growing volume brand this year, with 4662 last month to be up 26 per cent), Subaru (4641, up 15 per cent), Mercedes-Benz (4438, up 20 per cent) and Honda (4393, up 16 per cent).
Above: the Kia Stinger. Kia is Australia's fastest-growing volume brand this year.
Way back in 12th for the month — its lowest placement in years — was Nissan, dropping 23 per cent to 4002. The Navara isn’t doing the volume it should be, and it’s too reliant on the X-Trail and Qashqai for sales in lieu of any passenger cars.
Other mainstream brands that grew over the course of the month included Isuzu Ute (2182, up 9.5 per cent), Land Rover (1097, up 6 per cent), Skoda (475, up 25 per cent), Chinese commercial brand LDV (211, up 74 per cent) and Alfa Romeo (95, up 83 per cent before the Stelvio SUV has even gone on sale).
Peugeot and Citroen’s new importer here, Inchcape, has also gotten off to a good start. Peugeot netted its best result in ages, 534, to be up a whopping 160 per cent, while Citroen managed 134 units to be up 86 per cent. C’est magnifique.
Manufacturers that didn’t perform too laudably included BMW and Audi, both of which continued their slumps to be down 21 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. Renault, Lexus, Jeep, Volvo Car, Mini, Porsche, Fiat and Jaguar also all fell notably for the month — see table below.
Above: BMW, along with Audi and a number of other European brands, had a tough September. See table below.
Top models for September 2017
One of the biggest news stories to emerge from this month’s figures was the Ford Ranger edging the Toyota HiLux to be the biggest-selling vehicle overall, with 4318 units compared to 3822. Both grew by double digits as you can read in the table below.
The Toyota Corolla and Mazda 3 small cars were next in line, with the soon-to-be-dead Australian-made Holden Commodore sedan and Sportwagon staying strong until the end in fifth spot.
Rounding out the top ten were the PD Hyundai i30, Australian-made (not anymore) Toyota Camry, Hyundai Tucson, Mitsubishi Outlander and Mazda CX-5.
The next ten were the Hyundai Accent, Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi Triton, Volkswagen Golf, Kia Cerato, Mitsubishi ASX, Honda Civic, Isuzu D-Max, Toyota RAV4 and Mazda BT-50.
This means that, among the top 20-selling vehicles, five were utes, six were small cars, four were medium SUVs, two were small SUVs, one was a mid-sized sedan, one was a large sedan and one was a light car.
|Micro car||Kia Picanto 351||Holden Spark 131||Fiat 500/Abarth 83|
|Light car||Hyundai Accent 1763||Mazda 2 1312||Toyota Yaris 790|
|Small car||Toyota Corolla 3055||Mazda 3 2776||Hyundai i30 2300|
|Medium car||Toyota Camry 2251||Mercedes C-Class 910||Mazda 6 370|
|Large car||Commodore 2547||Toyota Aurion 214||Mercedes E-Class 164|
|People mover||Kia Carnival 511||Honda Odyssey 145||Toyota Tarago 71|
|Sports car||Ford Mustang 659||Mercedes C-Class 242||BMW 2 Series 151|
|Small SUV||Mazda CX-3 1762||Mitsubishi ASX 1526||Subaru XV 1173|
|Medium SUV||Hyundai Tucson 2220||Mitsu Outlander 2021||Mazda CX-5 1910|
|Large SUV||Toyota Kluger 1113||Toyota Prado 1070||Subaru Outback 913|
|Van||Toyota HiAce 609||Hyundai iLoad 484||Mercedes Sprinter 331|
|Ute||Ford Ranger 4318||Toyota HiLux 3822||Mitsubishi Triton 1732|
Every State and Territory went backwards. NSW did best, to fall 0.7 per cent to 34,168 units, ahead of Victoria (down 2.3 per cent to 28,096), Queensland (down 2.7 per cent to 19,175) and WA (down 3.1 per cent to 8401).
Private sales accounted for volume of 45,322 units, ahead of business sales on 40,453, rentals on 7789 and government fleets on 3241.
There were 65,088 petrol-powered cars sold last month, compared to 35,112 diesels (60 per cent of which were commercial vehicles). There were only 907 hybrids sold, while EVs are hard to gauge because Tesla does not submit its numbers.
The biggest sources of vehicles were Japan (27,920), Thailand (25,251), South Korea (14,903), Germany (8217), Australia (5512), USA (3879), England (2899), Spain (1263) and Hungary (1218).
“Any month over 100,000 total sales has to be seen as a strong outcome, proving there is continued value for the consumer out in the market,” said FCAI CEO Tony Weber.
“To keep this outcome in perspective, it has to be remembered that the September results of 2015 and 2016 were both very strong, and both those years ended in records.”
Top 30 brands by sales for September
% MONTHLY CHANGE
up 4 per cent
down 14 per cent
down 12.8 per cent
up 5.4 per cent
down 19.6 per cent
down 6 per cent
up 11.9 per cent
up 26.4 per cent
up 14.6 per cent
up 20.4 per cent
up 16.1 per cent
down 22.7 per cent
up 9.5 per cent
down 21.3 per cent
down 13.7 per cent
down 5.1 per cent
up 5.7 per cent
down 13.3 per cent
down 9 per cent
down 32.5 per cent
up 159.2 per cent
up 25 per cent
down 25.2 per cent
down 16.4 per cent
down 52 per cent
down 25.8 per cent
up 74.4 per cent
down 48.3 per cent
up 86.1 per cent
up 82.7 per cent
Top 20 models by sales for September
up 48.7 per cent
up 19.1 per cent
down 10.8 per cent
down 20.5 per cent
up 7.7 per cent
2300 (2797 inc. Elantra)
down 16.1 per cent
up 12.1 per cent
up 0.5 per cent
up 80.6 per cent
down 28.2 per cent
down 19.5 per cent
down 6.2 per cent
down 22.9 per cent
up 24.2 per cent
up 34.5 per cent
down 14.1 per cent
up 50.3 per cent
up 5 per cent
down 10.2 per cent
up 1.1 per cent
Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss September 2017 VFACTS below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.