13 consecutive months of decline, overall sales tracking 8% below 2018, worst April tally since 2011
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Another month, another sales dip. Australia’s new vehicle market declined in April by 8.9%, making it 13 successive months where sales were lower than the equivalent month, in the preceding year.

VFACTS data submitted by car makers recorded 75,550 sales, down from 82,930 in April of 2018. The April 2019 tally is the lowest April sales result since 2011, when 74,214 new cars were sold.

Year-to-date sales sit at 344,088 units, down 8.1% on 2018’s tally. Every State and Territory with the exception of Tasmania (1.2%) are down Y-on-Y, with population hubs NSW and Victoria the worst hit.

SUVs totalled 33,190 sales for 43.9% market share, passenger vehicles totalled 23,816 sales for 31.5% share, and light commercial vehicles totalled 15,601 sales for 20.6% share.

“The results for April are in line with trends for year-to-date 2019. We have seen a decrease of around eight per cent across the first four months of the year,” said CEO of the FCAI industry peak body, Tony Weber.

“This decrease is the result of a number of factors in the Australian market, including the downturn in the housing market, the tightening of lending practices, environmental factors such as drought and flood, and, of course, the imminent Federal Government election.

“With all these elements currently present in the market, it is no surprise that Australian consumers are conservative in their approach to major purchases at the moment.”

This reporter speaks to a number of car dealers regularly, all of whom are tightening their belts. If you’re after a good deal on a new car, excess dealer stock right now means it’s a good time to bargain.

Sales type: Private buyers 32,506 units, business purchases 31,407 units, rental companies 5783 sales and government departments 2911.


Market leader Toyota dipped 9.1%, with Corolla (down 18.5%) and Kluger (down 19.9%) battling, and the RAV4 and HiAce well down as they transition over to new-generation models due soon.

Second-place Mazda tracked about steady, down just 1%. Hyundai fell 9.3% (down almost 13% this year) as Tucson and Accent battled.

Ford tracked about even with Ranger 4x4 growth offsetting declines from Ranger 4x2, Mondeo and Everest, while Mitsubishi had its first negative month in quite some time, falling 14.4% thanks in large part to the ASX's dip after high March registrations.

Kia came back to earth but still grew by 0.4%, while Volkswagen fell 10.5% as the Tiguan five-seater and Golf had shockers, offset in part by Tiguan Allspace.

Holden was next, falling 23.8% on the back of down months for Colorado, Astra and Barina, and Acadia failing to equal last year's Captiva performance.

Rounding put the top 10 were Nissan, which managed to track about steady, and Subaru which continues to battle supply issues due to the backlog from a factory glitch earlier this year, falling 25.2%.

Positions 11-15 were occupied by Honda (down 12.8%), Mercedes-Benz cars and SUVs (-15%), Isuzu Ute (up 9%), BMW (-1%) and Suzuki (-5.1%).

Among the very few brands to show some growth over April 2018 were Volvo Car (up 20.8%), Skoda (up 38.3%), MG (up 126.7%), Porsche (up 9%), Ram (up more than 800% thanks to the 'new' 1500), Haval (up 263.6%) and Great Wall (up 114.9%).

Check out the table below for the full rundown.

Brand SalesChange
Mercedes-Benz Cars2,149-15%
Isuzu Ute1,8689%
Land Rover629-14.2%
Volvo Car61620.8%
Mercedes-Benz Vans418-42.7%
Great Wall101114.9%
Fiat Professional79-26.9%
Alfa Romeo61-45.5%
Aston Martin1344.4%


The top two sellers as per usual were the Toyota HiLux on 3621 and Ford Ranger on 3011, ahead of the Toyota Corolla on 2429 and Mazda 3 on 2195.

This latter pair of small hatches are more expensive in their new generations, but still popular enough.

Next in line were the Hyundai i30, Mazda CX-5, Kia Cerato, Toyota Prado, Hyundai Tucson and Isuzu D-Max.

So from the top 10 there were three utes, four small cars, two mid-sized SUVs and one large SUV.

Passenger segment top-sellers:

Micro: Kia Picanto (409), Fiat 500 (60) and Mitsubishi Mirage (47)
Light: Hyundai Accent (998), Toyota Yaris (678) and Mazda 2 (648)
Small: Toyota Corolla (2429), Mazda 3 (2195) and Hyundai i30 (1910)
Premium Small: Mercedes A-Class (346), Audi A3 (225) and BMW 1 Series (181)
Medium: Toyota Camry (1274), Mazda 6 (205) and Skoda Octavia (154)
Premium Medium: Mercedes C-Class (371), BMW 3 Series (192) and Audi A4 (129)
Large: Holden Commodore (629), Kia Stinger (160) and Skoda Superb (104)
Premium Large: BMW 5 Series (109), Mercedes E-Class (106) and Mercedes CLS (18)
People Movers: Kia Carnival (495), Volkswagen Multivan (107) and Honda Odyssey (92)
Sports < $80k: Ford Mustang (422), BMW 2 Series (76) and Toyota 86 (43)
Sports $80k - $200k: Mercedes C-Class (211), Mercedes E-Class (55) and Audi A5 (42)
Sports > $200k: Porsche 911 (70), Aston Martin two-doors (13) and Ferrari two-doors (11)

SUV segment top-sellers:

Small: Mazda CX-3 (1071), Hyundai Kona (1030) and Mitsubishi ASX (1009)
Premium Small: Mercedes-Benz GLA (229), Volvo XC40 (204) and Audi Q2 (186)
Medium: Mazda CX-5 (1827), Hyundai Tucson (1355) and Toyota RAV4 (1238)
Premium Medium: Mercedes-Benz GLC/GLC Coupe (612), BMW X3/X4 (460) and Volvo XC60 (324)
Large: Toyota Prado (1473), Toyota Kluger (851) and Subaru Outback (759)
Premium Large: BMW X5/X6 (297), Range Rover Sport (191) and Lexus RX (115)
Upper Large < $100k: Toyota LandCruiser wagon (1177) and Nissan Patrol (114)
Upper Large > $100k: Lexus LX (47), Audi Q8 (38) and Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen (33)

Light Commercial segment top-sellers:Small Vans: Volkswagen Caddy (117), Renault Kangoo (43) and Citroen Berlingo (12)Medium Vans: Hyundai iLoad (318), Toyota HiAce (253) and Volkswagen Transporter (188)4x2 Utes: Toyota HiLux (919), Isuzu D-Max (352) and Mazda BT-50 (295)4x4 Utes: Ford Ranger (2737), Toyota HiLux (2702) and Holden Colorado (1089)-
Any questions? Ask us in the comments and we'll answer when we have time.