Official VFACTS sales figures for August have been released by the FCAI, revealing a year-on-year decline of 10.1 per cent.
In total, 85,633 vehicles were registered in a tough month for mainstream brands and improved results for prestige brands.
All segments of the market were down, including SUVs (-5.4% with 39,040 sales), passenger vehicles (-16.7% with 25,783 sales) and light commercials (-8.6% with 17,513 sales).
Nissan swims against the tide
Toyota remained the top-selling brand for the month with 16,700 sales for 19.5 per cent market share, followed by Hyundai (7320, 8.5%), Mazda (7291, 8.5%), Mitsubishi (6242, 7.3%) and Ford (4916, 5.7%).
Holden (-18%), Ford (-17.5%) and Mitsubishi (-13%) were among those to shed sales in August, following sales slumps of all models except Trailblazer, Transit and ASX, Eclipse Cross and Triton 4x2 respectively.
Nevertheless, Mitsubishi outpaced Ford to place fourth place for the month, ahead of an advancing Kia and Nissan (thanks to strong Cerato and QASHQAI sales), with Volkswagen, Holden and Subaru rounding out the top 10.
Nissan sales grew 2.2% year-on-year while Kia managed to maintain its position, edging up 1% year-on-year.
The top-selling vehicle for the month was again the Toyota HiLux (3674), followed by the Ford Ranger (3181), Toyota Corolla (2863), Hyundai i30 (2813) and Toyota RAV4 (2006).
Decline rolls on
Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, noted that the August results mark the seventeenth consecutive month of declining sales.
“There’s no doubt it is a very tough market at the moment,” Mr Weber said, “And despite the best efforts of the industry, the decrease in sales continues.”
“It is well known that Australia is one of the most competitive markets in the world, and with the current economic environment, it is also one of the most difficult markets in the world.”
Prestige brands reclaim lost ground
Excluding Mercedes-Benz (down 8.3%), prestige and luxury brands bucked the losses experienced by more mainstream brands.
Buoyed by strong performances by the X1, X3 and X5 SUVs, BMW climbed 5.7% to 1860 sales, while Lexus grew 32% to 817 sales and Audi bounced back to 1365 sales (up 27.9%).
Top 10 selling models in August 2019
1. Toyota HiLux 3674
2. Ford Ranger 3181
3. Toyota Corolla 2863
4. Hyundai i30 2813
5. Toyota RAV4 2006
6. Mazda3 1999
7. Mazda CX-5 1797
8. Mitsubishi Triton 1753
9. Nissan X-Trail 1743
10. Mitsubishi ASX 1728
Top 10 selling brands in August 2019
1. Toyota 16,700
2. Hyundai 7320
3. Mazda 7291
4. Mitsubishi 6242
6. Kia 4662
7. Nissan 4538
8. Volkswagen 4100
9. Holden 3569
10. Subaru 3553
Source: FCAI VFACTS, August 2019.