VFACTS: New car sales fall slightly in 2018

Ford beats Holden for the first time in two decades, sales in almost every passenger car segment dropped in 2018, as ubiquitous SUVs boomed.

In a tough last month of 2018, sales in December fell by 14.9% YoY according to the latest VFACTS data.

Once again, Toyota was the market leader in December, followed by Mazda and Mitsubishi.

In December, the Passenger Vehicle Market was down by 9,648 vehicle sales (-26.3%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market down by 2,848 vehicle sales (-7.0%); the Light Commercial Market down by 2,772 vehicle sales (-12.5%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market down by 24 vehicle sales (0.7%) versus December 2017.

Excluding Tasmania – up 3.3% - all other Australian states and territories declined in December. Queensland sales dropped 9.2 per cent, Western Australia fell 7.6 per cent, South Australia fell 1.6 per cent, the ACT fell 10.0 per cent and Northern Territory fell 11.7 per cent.

NSW and Victoria recorded falls of 19.7 and 17.9 per cent respectively.

2018 – The year that was

Australians bought 1,153,111 new vehicles last year, representing a drop of around three per cent – yet the 11th time that sales had surpassed 1 million units for a calendar year.

With 36,005 fewer cars sold than in 2017, sales in almost every passenger car segment dropped in 2018, as the ubiquitous SUVs boomed.

In 2008 the SUV segment accounted for 19.2 per cent of all new car sales in Australia – now it's 43 per cent. There's been a significant shift in buyer tastes as SUVs and dual-cab utes become the dominant force, while passenger car sales slump to less than one third of the overall market for the first time.

The top two selling new cars in Australia in 2018 were both utes, with the Toyota HiLux taking top spot (51,705) and the Ford Ranger (42,144) coming in second place.

The Toyota Corolla (35,320), Mazda 3 (31,065) and Hyundai i30 (28,188) small cars completed the top five-selling new cars in Australia, showing there is still an appetite for small passenger cars in this country – despite all of them recording slight declines.

The LCV segment grew by more than two per cent, from 18.3 to 20.6 of the overall market, but the 3 per cent dip in annual new car sales has been influenced by several factors according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. These include the tightening of the money lending market, the ongoing drought and what some analysts are calling a 'challenging economy'.

Top 10-selling new cars in Australia: 2018

Toyota HiLux: 51,705

Ford Ranger: 42,094

Toyota Corolla: 35,320

Mazda 3: 31,065

Hyundai i30: 28,188

Mazda CX-5: 26,173

Mitsubishi Triton: 24,896

Toyota RAV4: 22,165

Nissan X-Trail: 21,192

Volkswagen Golf: 19,076


Top 10-selling new car brands in Australia: 2018

Toyota: 217,061

Mazda: 111,280

Hyundai: 94,187

Mitsubishi: 84,944

Ford: 69,081

Holden: 60,751

Kia: 58,815

Nissan: 57,699

Volkswagen: 56,620

Honda: 51,525