VFACTS October: SUVs sizzle once again

SUVs continued to climb in October, despite the overall vehicle market in Australia declining over the month.

Australia’s top-selling new vehicle – the Toyota HiLux – was again the nation’s favourite model in October, when it notched up more than 4400 sales.

Although that’s well short of its all-time monthly sales record of 5787 set in June, it marks 10 consecutive months of market leadership and makes the HiLux (with 43,163 sales year-to-date) almost certain to become Australia’s most popular new vehicle again this year, ahead of the Ford Ranger (3511 sales in October, 35,310 YTD).

Once again the HiLux was ably assisted by the new Corolla, which was the top-selling car and the third best-selling vehicle in October with 2663 sales. With more than 30,000 sales this year, the Corolla lies well ahead of arch-rivals the Mazda3 (2094 sales to October, 26,438 YTD) and Hyundai i30 (2049, 24,038), in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Throw in near-record sales for the soon-to-be-replaced RAV4 and Kluger, and the evergreen Prado and LandCruiser wagon, and stronger sales for the relatively new Camry and CH-R, and Toyota’s 182,000-plus sales tally in 2018 (up 1.2%) is also unassailable.

But while sales of 4×4 utes and SUVs remain strong (up a respective 6.1 and 8.6% YTD), they’re in stark contrast to passenger car sales, which were down 23.6 per cent last month and remain 14.4 per cent off so far this year. Only micro-cars are selling in larger numbers this year, although they were down last month too.

In contrast, in the SUV sector, which is now significantly bigger than passenger cars, only large SUVs are down so far in 2018, although all SUV segments surged in October – led by small SUVs, which now outnumber large SUVs.

Overall, however, the passenger car slump was enough to drag the total market down for the seventh consecutive month (since April).

The luxury sector is an even more pronounced refection of that decline. Mercedes-Benz - the traditional premium segment leader - was down 14 per cent to 2166 sales in October and now lies 10.1 per cent adrift of its 2017 numbers with 18,148 sales YTD. 

Meantime, BMW sold 1702 vehicles in October (down 4.5%) to be 3.8 per cent behind YTD (19,913 units) and Audi shifted 1734 vehicles (down 13.4%) to be 9.3 per cent behind so far this year (16,360 units).

For the total market, October sales were 5.3 per cent down to 90,718 units, with private customers and the NSW market lodging the biggest declines, and the market is now 1.3 per cent down YTD, to 971,723.

So Australia’s new-vehicle market will again top a million sales, but it won’t be the fifth record market in six years.

Top 10 brands – October 2018
Toyota — 17,811
Mazda — 8,172
Hyundai — 7,432
Mitsubishi — 6,217
Ford — 5,362
Holden — 5,256
Kia — 4,583
Nissan — 4,241
Volkswagen — 4, 835
Honda — 3,067

Top 30 sellers – October 2018, YTD:
Toyota HiLux — 4401, 43,163
Ford Ranger – 3511, 35,310
Toyota Corolla — 2663, 30,350
Mazda3 — 2094, 26,438
Hyundai i30 — 2049, 24,038
Mazda CX-5 — 2000, 22,185
Subaru Forester — 1792 9396
Mitsubishi Triton — 1742, 20,492
Mitsubishi ASX — 1739, 16,473
Nissan X-TRAIL — 1644, 17,589
Toyota RAV4 — 1582, 18,500
Holden Colorado — 1578, 15,400
Hyundai Tucson — 1530, 16,713
Isuzu D-MAX — 1422, 14,779
Volkswagen Golf — 1418, 16,484
Kia Cerato — 1338, 16,063
Toyota Prado — 1388, 15,627
Toyota Kluger — 1294, 12,403
Mazda CX-3 — 1274, 13,923
Hyundai Kona — 1224, 10,558
Kia Sportage — 1216, 11,843
Toyota LandCruiser wagon — 1181, 11,562
Hyundai Accent — 1160, 13,290
Nissan Qashqai — 1054, 11,619
Toyota Camry — 1132, 12,694
Nissan Navara — 1124, 13,444
Holden Astra — 1103, 7809
Honda CR-V — 1024, 13.610
Mitsubishi Outlander — 1022, 13,332
Toyota CH-R — 1019, 8077