VFACTS data compiled by industry peak body, the FCAI, shows car companies sold 52,886 vehicles classified as Medium SUVs over the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, up 15 per cent over the same period last year.
This compares to 54,214 vehicles classified as Small Cars, growth of 1.5 per cent, well below the total market average. At these trajectories, Medium SUVs will supplant Small Cars soon — indeed, in March this very thing happened.
It’s one of the better statistics we can use to show the dominance of SUVs in the Australian new vehicle market. In 2018, SUVs own 42.6 per cent market share, miles ahead of other passenger cars on 33.8 per cent.
The other major component of the market are those vehicles classified as Light Commercials, colloquially known as utes and vans. The Ute market, led by the market’s two top-selling vehicles — Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger — as a whole comprised 51,217 sales over Q1, with market share of 18.2 per cent.
But we digress. Of the 52,886 Medium SUVs sold this year, 44,190 compete within a price band below $60k, led by the dominant CX-5 (6604), X-Trail (5794), Toyota RAV4 (5573), Hyundai Tucson (4625), revitalised Honda CR-V (4538), Mitsubishi Outlander (3995) and Kia Sportage (3439).
The other 8696 Medium SUVs sold over Q1 compete at the premium end of the market, led by the BMW X3/X4 (1763), Mercedes-Benz GLC (1464), Audi Q5 (1173), Lexus NX (959), Land Rover Discovery Sport (865), Porsche Macan (700), Volvo XC60 (607) and Range Rover Velar (466).
All told there are 32 Medium SUVs on sale in Australia, made by 27 brands. Bizarrely, there are also 32 Small Car offerings, made by 21 brands.
Small Car sales are much more concentrated between a few big performers. Of the 54,214 segment total over Q1, 50,025 were sourced from the mainstream, somewhat falsely named as ‘below $40k’ despite many actually retailing above this point, eg. the Volkswagen Golf GTI/R.
Other volume drivers include the Volkswagen Golf hatch and wagon (4885), Kia Cerato (4582), Honda Civic (4166), Subaru Impreza (2780, or 3417 if including the WRX) Holden Astra (2727), Mitsubishi Lancer (1893), Ford Focus (1414) and Hyundai Elantra (1066).
Q1, 2018 sales
% change over ‘17
2018 market share
Micro Car eg. Kia Picanto
Light Car eg. Hyundai Accent
Small Car eg. Toyota Corolla
Medium Car eg. Toyota Camry
Large Car eg. Holden Commodore
Upper Large car eg. Chrysler 300
People Movers eg. Kia Carnival
Sports Car eg. Ford Mustang
Small SUV eg. Mitsubishi ASX
Medium SUV eg. Mazda CX-5
Large SUV eg. Toyota Prado
Upper Large SUV eg. Toyota LandCruiser
Vans eg. Toyota HiAce
4x2 Utes eg. Toyota HiLux
4x4 Utes eg. Ford Ranger
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