Australian new-car sales performed significantly better than expected in June, however the industry is still cautious about the recovery from the COVID-19 slowdown which saw the weakest May result in 23 years and the steepest April decline in at least 30 years.
Figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show a total of 110,234 vehicles were reported as sold last month, a 6.4 per cent decline compared to June 2019 sales – a much smaller decline than in May (35.3 per cent) and April (48.5 per cent).
However, while promising, June was still the 27th consecutive monthly sales slowdown, the longest slump since the Global Financial Crisis a decade ago.
Industry experts say the better than expected June result was largely due to the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions across the country, the Federal Government's instant asset tax write-off scheme, and buyers returning to the market after getting cold feet in April and May.
Ute and van sales helped contribute to June's strong finish, with the Light Commercial Vehicle segment up 8.6 per cent. SUVs – while still down – only saw a 2.9 per cent decline versus the 6.4 per cent average drop across the entire market.
When trucks and heavy commercial vehicles are deducted from the figures, 105,612 new passenger cars, SUVs, utes and vans were sold in June, marking a 7.2 per cent decline on 2019 figures.
Sales for the first six months of 2020 totalled 442,415, down 20.2 per cent (from 554,466) compared to the same period last year.
Toyota remains on top of the market for June, continuing a 17-year winning streak. The Japanese giant's sales totalled 22,867 last month, up 7.9 per cent on its 2019 result.
Even with growth in June (compared to the average decline across the market), Toyota's market share dropped to 20.7 per cent (from 24.2 per cent in May and 26.5 per cent in April) – however is up from its 18 per cent share in June 2019.
Hyundai managed third place – even with a sizeable 22.6 per cent decline on 2019 figures – tallying 7737 new-cars sold. The brand's i30 hatch and Tucson SUV both cracked the Top 10, with 2368 and 2206 sold respectively – marking a 29.2 and 5.9 per cent decline for the models.
Luxury brands boomed in June, with Audi up a whopping 84.6 per cent, Mercedes-Benz up 31.4 per cent, Lexus up 60.8 per cent. Genesis also saw a 2000 per cent increase – albeit from a low base, sales only totalled 21, up from just one in June 2019.
Top brands for June 2020
Toyota filled four spots in the Top 10, with the best-selling HiLux (6537 sold, up 21.1 per cent), Corolla (3008 sold, down 4.1 per cent), RAV4 (2632 sold, up 7.5 per cent), and Prado (2374 sold, up 16.1 per cent).
The Ford Ranger took second place to the Toyota HiLux when sales of both 4x4 and 4x2 models are combined (as is industry practice), with 5329 sold (up 9.9 per cent). This is despite the Ranger 4x4 out-selling the HiLux 4x4 (5092 to 4811).
The Toyota Corolla stole first place from the Hyundai i30 again in the small cars under $40,000 segment. However, when the i30's twin-under-the-skin Elantra sedan (220 sold, down 29.5 per cent) is added to its figures, the gap narrows to just 420 sales between the segment leaders.
Passenger cars: Top Three in each segment
- Micro: Kia Picanto (346), Mitsubishi Mirage (102), Fiat 500 (65)
- Light < $25k: MG MG3 (643), Suzuki Swift (537), Kia Rio (491)
- Light > $25k: Mini hatch (215), Audi A1 (65), Citroen C3 (6)
- Small < $40k: Toyota Corolla (3008), Hyundai i30 (2368 + 220 Elantras), Kia Cerato (2016)
- Small > $40k: Mercedes-Benz A-Class (901), BMW 1 Series (397), Audi A3 (358)
- Medium < $60k: Toyota Camry (1123), Mazda6 (177), Skoda Octavia (152)
- Medium > $60k: BMW 3 Series (561), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (492), Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class (315)
- Large < $70k: Kia Stinger (247), Holden Commodore (43), Skoda Superb (25)
- Large > $70k: BMW 5 Series (130), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (127), Audi A6 (27)
- Upper Large: BMW 7 Series (22), Mercedes-Benz S-Class (17), BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe (16)
- People Movers: Kia Carnival (465), Honda Odyssey (125), LDV G10 wagon (74)
- Sports < $80k: Ford Mustang (419), Hyundai Veloster (66), BMW 2 Series (53)
- Sports > $80k: Mercedes-Benz C-Class (196), BMW 4 Series (74), BMW Z4 (62)
- Sports > $200k: Porsche 911 (34), BMW 8 Series (16), Bentley range (11)
SUVs: Top Three in each segment
- Light SUV: Mazda CX-3 (1157), Hyundai Venue (344), Volkswagen T-Cross (339)
- Small SUV < $40k: Mitsubishi ASX (1475), Hyundai Kona (1385), Toyota C-HR (1199)
- Small SUV > $40k: Volvo XC40 (490), Audi Q3 (479), BMW X1 (392)
- Medium SUV < $60k: Toyota RAV4 (2632), Mazda CX-5 (2530), Hyundai Tucson (2206)
- Medium SUV > $60k: Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class (834), Lexus NX (698), Audi Q5 (431)
- SUV Large < $70k: Toyota Prado (2374), Toyota Kluger (1243), Isuzu MU-X (1014)
- SUV Large > $70k: Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class (449), BMW X5 (370), Lexus RX (337)
- SUV Upper Large: Toyota LandCruiser Wagon (1521), Nissan Patrol Wagon (211)
- SUV Upper Large > $100k: Land Rover Discovery (164), Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class (153), BMW X7 (143)
Utes and vans: Top Three in each segment
- Vans < 2.5t: Volkswagen Caddy (265), Renault Kangoo (83), Peugeot Partner (26)
- Vans 2.5t-3.5t: Toyota Hiace (1014), Hyundai iLoad (542), Ford Transit Custom (403)
- 4x2 Utes: Toyota HiLux (1726), Isuzu D-Max (505), Mazda BT-50 (453)
- 4x4 Utes: Ford Ranger (5092), Toyota HiLux (4811), Mitsubishi Triton (2292)
Electrified vehicles – including plug-in hybrid, full-electric and hybrid – were up a total of 79 per cent from 2581 to 4627 in June. Full-electric and plug-in hybrid car sales climbed 91 per cent from 201 to 384, while hybrid cars were up 78 per cent from 2380 to 4243.
The Australian Capital Territory posted the highest growth of any state again (up 13.6 per cent), following new-car buying in the wake of mass vehicle write-offs during a hail storm in January.
In a representation of Australia's changing buying habits, seven of the top 10 best-selling models were either utes or SUVs, with the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton utes taking first, second and fourth, while the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Toyota Prado and Hyundai Tuscon SUVs taking fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth.
June 2020 sales by segment