VFACTS August: New vehicle sales up, HiLux retains sales crown

Ford and Mitsubishi swap places; new product boosts Subaru and Volkswagen stocks; Nissan drops three places.

The Toyota HiLux has been crowned Australia’s most popular new vehicle for the sixth month in a row.

Figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries on Tuesday reveal the HiLux continued its winning streak in August, with a total 4287 sales.

The venerable Ford Ranger finished second overall, with 3588 sales, while the evergreen Toyota Corolla picked up third with 2948 transactions.

The victory cements the HiLux in the same heady lights as the Corolla, the Mazda3 and Holden Commodore before it as Australia’s unequivocal vehicle sales leader.

The Corolla was the last vehicle to maintain number one sales for six consecutive months, back in 2014. The Commodore was a perennial best-seller for Holden through the nineties and noughties, and its record run is unlikely to be matched in today’s highly fragmented market.

The HiLux shared a similar run at the top in 2014, though this time round, the success appears more embedded among buyers.

The August figures reveal Australia’s new car market is on course for another record in 2017, up 0.6 per cent year-to-date on 2016. The August result alone was 1.8 per cent up on the corresponding period last year.

Key to the sales growth has been dominant SUV and utility sales, which now comprise 39.4 per cent and 17.9 per cent of the market respectively.

Conversely, passenger cars have plateaued in demand, falling to 37 per cent of all new car sales.

The shift in sales comes as the market rolls into typically one of the stronger months of the year: September, a time in which manufactuers are eager to hit third-quarter targets and consumers are fresh into a new financial year and far enough away from financial stresses around the holiday season.

Provisional figures obtained by motoring.com.au last week revealed that manufacturers swapped spots within the top 10 last month in a display of contrasting fortunes.

VFACTS: August 2017*

Top 10 makes:
 Toyota (18,511), Mazda (8511), Hyundai (7800), Holden (6984), Mitsubishi (6649), Ford (6645), Volkswagen (4730), Subaru (4579), Kia (4507) and Nissan (4095)

Top 10 models: Toyota HiLux (4287), Ford Ranger (3588), Toyota Corolla (3548), Hyundai Tucson (2206), Mazda3 (2163), Hyundai i30 (2143), Toyota Camry (2107), Holden Commodore (2071), Mazda CX-5 (2048) and Mitsubishi Triton (1970)