Car sales tumble to 2011 levels; industry cites lending reforms, wage growth, housing market, drought as factors
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Australia’s 2019 new car sales tally finished up almost 8 per cent down on the previous year, making it the worst since 2011.

Self-reported Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries data counted 1,062,867 new vehicles sold. That is more than 90,000 fewer than 2018’s tally.

Each state and territory went backwards, by a minimum of 2.3 per cent (Tasmania) to 16 per cent (Northern Territory). Buyers in New South Wales and Victoria, combined, purchased 60,000 fewer new cars than they did in 2018.

The data shows that SUVs accounted for 45.5 per cent market share, up from 43 per cent in 2018. Passenger cars managed 29.7 per cent share, and light commercials 21.2 per cent.


Brands

Toyota topped the charts with 205,766 sales for the year, down 5.2 per cent. Mazda fell by 12.3 per cent but hung on to second place with 97,619 cars counted as sold. Hyundai scraped into third with 86,104 sales, despite volumes falling by 8.6 per cent.

Mitsubishi fell by ‘only’ 2 per cent for a fourth-placed total of 83,250, well ahead of Ford (63,303, down 8.4 per cent), Kia (61,503, up 4.6 per cent), Nissan (50,575, down 12.3 per cent), Volkswagen (49,928, down 11.8 per cent), and Honda (43,868, down 14.9 per cent).

Holden hung onto the final spot inside the top 10 with 43,176 sales, despite falling a massive 28.9 per cent. It edged out Subaru, whose distributor recorded a sales dip of 20 per cent to 40,007.

Some other brands that saw sales fall across the year included Mercedes-Benz cars and commercial vehicles (38,604, down 2.4 per cent), Isuzu Ute (25,311, down 8.4 per cent), Audi (15,708, down 19.1 per cent), Land Rover (8879, down 12 per cent), Renault (8634, down 13.8 per cent), Jeep (5519, down 24.7 per cent), Mini (3204, down 10.8 per cent), Peugeot (2445, down 13.8 per cent), and Jaguar (2274, down 15.1 per cent).

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, since some brands increased their sales. Kia has already been mentioned, but others to grow thanks to new- or new-generation models included BMW (23,307, up 1.1 per cent), Lexus (9612, up 9 per cent), Volvo Car (7779, up 16.2 per cent), Skoda (7001, up 20.6 per cent), and Porsche (4161, up 6.4 per cent).

Chinese brands are growing too, led by MG (8326, up 176.9 per cent), LDV (6480, up 6.9 per cent), Haval (1706, up 169.5 per cent), and Great Wall (1401, up 78.7 per cent). Another big grower was Ram Trucks, which converts pickups to right-hand drive locally and grew three-fold to 2868 units.

The Toyota HiLux again claimed the title of number one selling vehicle in 2019 across all categories, with 47,649 sales. The HiLux was followed by its Ford Ranger rival, again number two in the market with 40,960 sales.

The top-selling passenger car was the Toyota Corolla in third on 30,468, ahead of the Hyundai i30 on 28,378. Rounding out the top 5 was the Mitsubishi Triton ute on 25,819. The top 20 looks like this:

Top 20 selling car models in Australia for 2019

  1. Toyota HiLux - 47,649
  2. Ford Ranger - 40,690
  3. Toyota Corolla - 30,468
  4. Hyundai i30 - 28,378
  5. Mitsubishi Triton - 25,819
  6. Mazda CX-5 - 25,539
  7. Mazda 3 - 24,939
  8. Toyota RAV4 - 24,260
  9. Kia Cerato - 21,757
  10. Mitsubishi ASX - 20,806
  11. Nissan X-Trail - 19,726
  12. Toyota Prado - 18,335
  13. Hyundai Tucson - 18,251
  14. Mitsubishi Outlander - 17,514
  15. Holden Colorado - 17,472
  16. Isuzu D-Max - 16,892
  17. Toyota Camry - 16,768
  18. Subaru Forester -15,096
  19. Mazda CX-3 - 14,813
  20. Volkswagen Golf - 14,355

We can break down the numbers further and explore the top 3 models in each vehicle segment, too.

  • Micro Cars (6505, down 16.8 per cent): Kia Picanto (5237), Fiat 500 (673), Mitsubishi Mirage (592)
  • Light Cars (60,810, down 16.5 per cent): Hyundai Accent (9963), Toyota Yaris (9853), Mazda 2 (8198)
  • Small Cars < $40k (151,103, down 18.6 per cent): Toyota Corolla (30,468), Hyundai i30 (28,378), Mazda 3 (24,939)
  • Small Cars > $40k (12,598, down 9.6 per cent): Mercedes-Benz A-Class (4689), Audi A3 (3362), BMW 1 Series (2269)
  • Medium Cars < $60k (25,957, down 9.7 per cent): Toyota Camry (16,768), Mazda 6 (2612), Skoda Octavia (1804)
  • Medium Cars > $60k (16,928, down 3.2 per cent): Mercedes-Benz C-Class (6798), BMW 3 Series (3135), Mercedes-Benz CLA (1424)
  • Large Cars < $70k (8646, down 27.9 per cent): Holden Commodore (5915), Kia Stinger (1773), Skoda Superb (849)
  • Large Cars > $70k (2885, down 15.6 per cent): Mercedes-Benz E-Class (1228), BMW 5 Series (964), Mercedes-Benz CLS (220)
  • People Movers (11,838, down 4.0 per cent): Kia Carnival (6493), Honda Odyssey (1684), Volkswagen Multivan (929)
  • Sports Cars < $80k (7672, down 35.6 per cent): Ford Mustang (3948), BMW 2 Series (923), Toyota 86 (568)
  • Sports Cars $80k - $200k (5469, up 10.8 per cent): Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2496), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (577), BMW 4 Series (468)
  • Small SUV < $40k (122,813, up 0.1 per cent): Mitsubishi ASX (20,806), Mazda CX-3 (14,813), Hyundai Kona (13,342)
  • Small SUV > $40k (16,437, down 0.1 per cent): Volvo XC40 (2858), BMW X1 (2847), Mercedes-Benz GLA (2562)
  • Medium SUV < $60k (171,188, down 1.8 per cent): Mazda CX-5 (25,539), Toyota RAV4 (24,260), Nissan X-Trail (19,726)
  • Medium SUV > $60k (32,045, down 0.5 per cent): Mercedes-Benz GLC (6847), BMW X3/X4 (6100), Audi Q5 (4152)
  • Large SUV < $70k (105,224, down 8.9 per cent): Toyota Prado (18,335), Toyota Kluger (11,371), Isuzu MU-X (8419)
  • Large SUV > $70k (17,109, down 0.5 per cent): BMW X5/X6 (3671), Mercedes-Benz GLE (2488), Range Rover Sport (2202)
  • Upper Large SUV < $100k (15,753, up 5.5 per cent): Toyota LandCruiser (13,802), Nissan Patrol (1951)
  • Upper Large SUV > $100k (2819, up 37.5 per cent): BMW X7 (608), Audi Q8 (494), Lexus LX (419)
  • Small Vans (2665, down 14.8 per cent): Volkswagen Caddy (1672), Renault Kangoo (758), Citroen Berlingo (112)
  • Medium Vans (18,260, down 9.7 per cent): Toyota HiAce (6127), Hyundai iLoad (3919), Ford Transit Custom (2070)
  • 4x2 Utes (32,783, down 13 per cent): Toyota HiLux (11,324), Isuzu D-Max (5116), Ford Ranger (3956)
  • 4x4 Utes (168,869, down 2.7 per cent): Ford Ranger (37,004), Toyota HiLux (36,325), Mitsubishi Triton (22,681)

Miscellaneous

Private cars accounted for 476,493 units (down 7.6 per cent), business sales 438,641 (down 8.7 per cent), rental fleets 73,702 (down 4.5 per cent), and government sales 36,062 (down 5.9 per cent).

Petrol-electric hybrid cars managed 30,641 sales thanks to Toyota's expansion into new segments (led by the RAV4), which is up 53 per cent. Sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids were 2925 units, up 54 per cent. However this does not include any sales from Tesla, which doesn't provide data.

The most common source countries for vehicles were Japan (334,075), Thailand (271,120), Korea (150,630), Germany (84,166), and the USA (41,275).

Sales declines by State/Territory: NT (down 16 per cent), ACT (down 11.7 per cent), Victoria (down 8.7 per cent), NSW (down 8.4 per cent), Queensland (down 7.2 per cent), SA and WA (both down 5.4 per cent), and Tasmania (down 2.3 per cent).

Most popular vehicle segments by market share: Medium SUV (19.1), 4x4 ute (15.9), Small Cars (15.4), Small SUV (13.1 per cent), and Large SUV (11.5).


Quote

Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, commented at the release of the sales results.

“2019 reflects a tough year for the Australian economy, with challenges including tightening of lending, movements in exchange rates, slow wages growth and, of course, the extreme environmental factors our country is experiencing."


Sales by brand:

Car brand2019 salesChange over 2018
Toyota205,766-5.2%
Mazda97,619-12.3%
Hyundai86,104-8.6%
Mitsubishi83,250-2.0%
Ford63,303-8.4%
Kia61,5034.6%
Nissan50,575-12.3%
Volkswagen49,928-11.8%
Honda43,868-14.9%
Holden43,176-28.9%
Subaru40,007-20.0%
Mercedes-Benz38,604-2.4%
Isuzu Ute25,311-8.4%
BMW23,3071.1%
Suzuki17,310-1.7%
Audi15,708-19.1%
Lexus9,6129.0%
Land Rover8,879-12.0%
Renault8,634-13.8%
MG8,326176.9%
Volvo Car7,77916.2%
Skoda7,00120.6%
LDV6,4806.9%
Jeep5,519-24.7%
Porsche4,1616.4%
MINI3,204-10.8%
RAM2,868296.7%
Peugeot2,445-13.8%
Jaguar2,274-15.1%
Fiat 2,053-17.4%
Haval1,706169.5%
Great Wall1,40178.7%
Ssangyong1,040NA
Alfa Romeo891-30.3%
Infiniti571-12.0%
Maserati482-24.9%
Citroen400-19.0%
Chrysler29216.8%
Ferrari2576.6%
Bentley191-8.2%
Lamborghini1479.7%
Aston Martin129-22.8%
Genesis103442.1%
McLaren880.0%
Lotus571.8%
Rolls-Royce5537.5%
Alpine359.4%