Australia’s former favourite has slipped to a new low as car sales slide for the 18th month in a row.
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Holden has posted its lowest monthly sales result since the first car rolled off the production line and then-Prime Minister Ben Chifley declared “she’s a beauty” in 1948.

The latest sales figures show Holden reported just 2863 cars as sold in September 2019 – the lowest result in its 71 year history – a decline of 38 per cent compared to the same month the previous year.

It is the first time Holden’s monthly sales tally has dipped below 3000, which was also enough to push the brand outside the Top 10.

Previous record low months occurred in February (3825), April (3483) and July (3266) this year.

Holden was not the only brand to find the going tough last month, as the industry is in the middle of the biggest sales slowdown since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and 2009.

Market leader Toyota posted a 12.8 per cent sales decline, Hyundai deliveries dropped by 10.7 per cent, Ford fell by 5.9 per cent, Honda was down by 24.8 per cent and Volkswagen delivered 18.7 per cent fewer cars than the same month last year.

The only Top 10 brands to buck the trend were Mazda (up 15.5 per cent), Mitsubishi (up 18 per cent) and Kia (up 2.5 per cent).

Overall, the new vehicle market was down by 7.9 per cent year-to-date and down by 6.9 per cent in September 2019 compared to the same month the prior year.

A statement from Holden said: “It is a disappointing result and clearly not where we want to be. A couple of factors contributed, including delays in delivering several batches of Colorados to fleet and rental customers, and a significant sell down of dealer demonstrator inventory as a result of our demonstrator clearance sale.”

The Holden statement continued: “We are bringing forward a number of sales initiatives for the remainder of the year and will be working hard to improve our position in what is an intensely competitive market.”

Official figures show the Ford Ranger four-wheel-drive outsold the Toyota HiLux four-wheel drive for the sixth month in a row – the longest stretch to date and the 24th month since August 2015.

The Mitsubishi Triton four-wheel drive also outsold the Toyota HiLux for the first time in years. However, the Toyota HiLux remains the top-selling vehicle outright, buoyed by strong sales of its two-wheel drive variants – and utes filled the Top Three sales spots ahead of small cars and SUVs:

Top selling cars in September 2019

  • Toyota HiLux - 3364
  • Ford Ranger - 3116
  • Mitsubishi Triton - 3000
  • Hyundai i30 - 2447
  • Mitsubishi ASX - 2420
  • Mazda CX-5 - 2355
  • Toyota Corolla - 2219
  • Kia Cerato - 2022
  • Nissan X-Trail - 1770
  • Mitsubishi Outlander - 1731
  • Toyota RAV4 - 1716
  • Mazda3 - 1693

Top selling brands in September 2019

  • Toyota - 15,166 (down 12.8 per cent)
  • Mitsubishi - 8990 (up 17.9 per cent)
  • Mazda - 8168 (up 15.5 per cent)
  • Hyundai - 7245 (down 10.7 per cent)
  • Kia - 5128 (up 2.5 per cent)
  • Nissan - 4651 (down 10.0 per cent)
  • Ford - 4783 (down 5.9 per cent)
  • Volkswagen - 3816 (down 18.7 per cent)
  • Subaru - 3502 (down 26.4 per cent)
  • Honda - 3404 (down 24.8 per cent)
  • Holden - 2863 (down 38.4 per cent)

Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries VFACTS.