Down, down, down go Australia's new car sales for yet another month, though price-leading brands Mitsubishi and Kia keep bucking the trend
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  • Top-three sellers all utes: HiLux, Ranger and Triton
  • Mitsubishi third, Kia sixth and Holden tenth as top echelon shuffles around
  • Light commercials take 23 per cent market share, passenger cars plummet
  • Sales of Chinese cars up almost 130 per cent, Korean and US imports well down
  • Mid-sized SUVs the most popular vehicle type once again

New vehicle sales in Australia continued to hit the brakes in February, down 9.3 per cent over the same last year, to 87,102 units. Finance sector reform, the flat housing market and a looming election all continue to act as cited headwinds.

With just two full sales months completed in 2019, annual sales are already 15,500 units (8.4 per cent) lower than 2018’s then-running tally.

These figures come from the VFACTS database compiled by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, using sales data supplied by the car-makers themselves.

Most regions went backwards in February, led by NSW (down 11 per cent), Victoria (-11.7 per cent), WA (-8.3 per cent), ACT (down 6.5 per cent), Queensland (-6.1 per cent) and SA (-5.1 per cent).

Passenger vehicles (meaning anything not considered either an SUV or light commercial) fell 21.3 per cent, while SUVs fell 6 per cent. Light commercials rose by 6 per cent, giving them about 23 per cent market share.

The five most popular segments by market share were Medium SUVs (17.4 per cent), 4x4 Utes (17.2 per cent), Small Cars (15.4 per cent), Small SUVs (12.3 per cent) and Large SUVs (11.4 per cent).


The market leaders as per usual were Toyota (16,359) and Mazda (9235), though both fell in sales by 10.5 and 6.8 per cent respectively. Mitsubishi, fresh off a record 2018 haul, finished third on 8495 and grew 18.9 per cent.

Hyundai continued a worrying slide by falling almost 20 per cent to 6429, but finished fourth ahead of Ford (5678, down 6.3 per cent) and Kia (4856, up 4.1 per cent). Five years ago Hyundai’s market share was triple that of Kia’s, now it’s only 25 per cent greater.

Volkswagen was seventh on 4067 units (down 12.9 per cent), ahead of Nissan (3923, down 19.3 per cent), Honda (3865) and self-professed “challenger brand” Holden in tenth on 3825, down 18.4 per cent.

Brands outside the top 10 that went backwards by notable percentage points included Subaru (2031, down 47.9 per cent, with all of its models falling by double digits), Audi (down 34.8 per cent), Land Rover (down 31.9 per cent), Renault (down 12.9 per cent), Jeep (down 26.4 per cent) and Porsche (down 31.8 per cent).

Those few brands that actually grew in sales outside of the top 10 mentioned, included: Suzuki (up 7.7 per cent), Volvo Car (up 49.5 per cent), LDV (up 37.7 per cent), MG off a low base (up 794.7 per cent), Skoda (up 19 per cent), Ram (up from 14 sales to 172!), Jaguar (up 18 per cent) and Alfa Romeo (up 22 per cent).

Read the full table at the end of the story.


The top-three sellers were all utes! The Toyota Hilux (4431), Ford Ranger (3377) and ascendant Mitsubishi Triton (3155, a mix of the updated model and runout stock of the MY18 car) took out the podium spots.

Next were two Mazdas, the Mazda 3 (2655) and CX-5, the nation's top-selling SUV (2357), ahead of the Mitsubishi ASX (2122), Toyota Corolla (2070), Hyundai i30 (1929), Toyota LandCruiser wagon and ute range (1804) and the runout Toyota RAV4 (1639).

The make-up of the top 20 models as the table at the bottom of the story shows were: six utes , six passenger cars and eight SUVs (majority of LandCruisers were SUVs, so we're counting it here).


Top 5 passenger brands by market share (%) were Toyota (15.6 per cent), Mazda (14.6), Hyundai (13.3), Kia (12.4) and Volkswagen (6.8).

  • Micro: Kia Picanto (426), Fiat 500 (72) and Mitsubishi Mirage (29)
  • Light: Hyundai Accent (1232), Mazda 2 (1028) and Toyota Yaris (684)
  • Small: Mazda 3 (2655), Toyota Corolla (2070) and Hyundai i30 (1929)
  • Premium Small: Mercedes A-Class (325), Audi A3 (314) and BMW 1 Series (209)
  • Medium: Toyota Camry (1298), Mazda 6 (252) and Ford Mondeo (106)
  • Premium Medium: Mercedes C-Class (838), BMW 3 Series (143) and Mercedes CLA (139)
  • Large: Holden Commodore (576), Kia Stinger (158) and Skoda Superb (84)
  • Premium Large: Mercedes E-Class (169), BMW 5 Series (114), and Mercedes CLS (24)
  • People Movers: Kia Carnival (647), Honda Odyssey (167) and LDV G10 (96)
  • Sports < $80k: Ford Mustang (500), BMW 2 Series (101) and Toyota 86 (47)
  • Sports < $200k: Mercedes C-Class (157), BMW 4 Series (65) and Mercedes E-Class (39)
  • Sports > $200k: Porsche 911 (54), Ferrari range (23) and Mercedes-AMG GT (14)


Top 5 SUV brands by market share (%) were Toyota (16.8 per cent), Mitsubishi (13.7), Mazda (11.2), Nissan (7.2) and Hyundai (6.5)

  • Small: Mitsubishi ASX (2122), Mazda CX-3 (1188) and Honda HR-V (1025)
  • Premium Small: Volvo XC40 (323), Audi Q2 (203) and BMW X1 (198)
  • Medium: Mazda CX-5 (2357), Toyota RAV4 (1639) and Mitsubishi Outlander (1524)
  • Premium Medium: BMW X3/X4 (562), Mercedes-Benz GLC/GLC Coupe (519) and Audi Q5 (239)
  • Large: Toyota Prado (1569), Toyota Kluger (1000) and Subaru Outback (698)
  • Premium Large: Range Rover Sport (272), BMW X5/X6 (262) and Lexus RX (140)
  • Upper Large < $100k: Toyota LandCruiser wagon (1058) and Nissan Patrol (197)
  • Upper Large > $100k: Mercedes GLS (45), Range Rover (38) andAudi Q8 (35)

Light Commercials

Top 5 LCV brands by market share (%) were Toyota (32.6 per cent), Ford (17), Mitsubishi (10.7), Holden (9.8) and Nissan (6.9)

  • Small Vans: Volkswagen Caddy (113), Renault Kangoo (63) and Citroen Berlingo (18)
  • Medium Vans: Toyota HiAce (460), Hyundai iLoad (376) and Renault Trafic (169)
  • 4x2 Utes: Toyota HiLux (1035), Ford Ranger (439) and Mazda BT-50 (369)
  • 4x4 Utes: Toyota HiLux (3396), Ford Ranger (2938) and Mitsubishi Triton (2935)


  • Sales by type: private 41,338 (down 9.6%), business 34,909 (down 11.9%), rental 4939 (up 4.8%) and government 3088 (up 4.9%).
  • Sales of petrol-electric hybrid cars (almost all Toyota/Lexus) in February totalled 1503 units, up 58 per cent overall.
  • Top sources of imports were: Japan 26,537, Thailand 24,187, Korea 11,536, Germany 7042 and USA 3270. China-made cars 1197, up 128 per cent.


“Given the current challenging economic conditions, including a downturn in the housing market, the automotive industry is not surprised by the slower start to the year,” said the FCAI's chief executive Tony Weber.

Sales by brand, February 2019

BrandSales Change
Isuzu Ute1849+1.5%
Land Rover663-31.9%
Volvo Car634+49.5%
Alfa Romeo94+22.1%
Great Wall68+119.4%
Fiat Professional52-36.6%
Aston Martin9-18.2%

Top 20 models, February 2019:

Toyota HiLux44310.1%
Ford Ranger3377-4.7%
Mitsubishi Triton315566.6%
Mazda 32655-9.5%
Mazda CX-523577.6%
Mitsubishi ASX2122135.3%
Toyota Corolla2070-36.7%
Hyundai i301929-11.6%
LandCruiser 70/20018040.9%
Toyota RAV41639-11.0%
Toyota Prado1569+18.6%
Kia Cerato1568+5.2%
Mitsubishi Outlander1524-5.4%
Nissan X-Trail1420-12.5%
Holden Colorado1302+25.3%
Toyota Camry1298-6.0%
Honda CR-V1266-8.3%
Hyundai Accent1232-30.9%
Nissan Navara1219-31.5%
Isuzu D-Max1195-2.2%

Any questions? Ask us in the comments and we'll answer when we have time.