SUVS lead record 2017 mar­ket

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

SUVS are of­fi­cially more pop­u­lar than tra­di­tional pas­sen­ger cars, with high-rid­ing wag­ons fi­nally out­selling sedans, wag­ons and hatch­backs in 2017, ac­cord­ing to VFACTS sales fig­ures re­leased by the Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries last week.

The growth in SUVS helped to drive over­all new-ve­hi­cle sales to a record 1,189,116 units last year, up 0.9 per­cent over 2016 and mark­ing the fourth record in five years and the eighth con­sec­u­tive year of mil­lion-plus sales.

For the first time, SUVS led the mar­ket with 465,646 sales, equat­ing to a 39.2 per­cent mar­ket share and an in­crease of 5.6 per­cent.

Pas­sen­ger cars con­tin­ued to slide, down 7.5 per­cent for the year with 450,012 sales, or a 37.8 per­cent share.

De­spite the coun­try’s love of SUVS, Toy­ota’s Hilux pick-up re­tained its place as Australia’s favourite model for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, boost­ing its over­all sales to a record 47,093 units, up 11.8 per­cent over 2016.

Ford’s lo­cally de­vel­oped Ranger is now within strik­ing dis­tance of the Hilux af­ter leapfrog­ging the Toy­ota Corolla into sec­ond place on the best­selling mod­els chart, with the lo­cally de­vel­oped Ford also notch­ing a record 42,728 units, up 15.7 per­cent on 2016.

While SUVS recorded sig­nif­i­cant growth last year, light-com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles achieved even greater growth, up 8.6 per­cent for a 19.9 per­cent share of the over­all mar­ket.

One-tonne pick-ups made up 88 per­cent of light-com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle sales, with 4x4 pick-ups – pop­u­lar with tradies and, in­creas­ingly, fam­i­lies – lead­ing the way with 165,797 sales.

Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony We­ber said the fierce com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket be­tween car-mak­ers helped push monthly sales to record sales last year.

“Clearly, Aus­tralian con­sumers recog­nise the value for money that is on of­fer in the new ve­hi­cle mar­ket, and re­sponded ac­cord­ingly,” he said.

“To have eight record months out of 12 in 2017 speaks vol­umes for how brands suc­cess­fully placed new prod­ucts and in­cen­tives into the mar­ket, which kept at­tract­ing buy­ers into the show­rooms right through the year.”

Top hon­ours

Toy­ota again took top hon­ours as Australia’s best-sell­ing au­to­mo­tive brand, lead­ing the mar­ket with 216,566 sales, a 3.3 per­cent boost over 2016.

The haul was Toy­ota’s high­est since 2012 and marked the 21st time the com­pany led the new-ve­hi­cle mar­ket, in­clud­ing the past 15 years in a row.

Corolla was again Australia’s best­selling pas­sen­ger car, de­spite a 7.4 per­cent sales de­cline last year.

Sales of the Toy­ota Camry – in its fi­nal year as an Aus­tralian-built model – dropped by 10.8 per­cent but Australia’s best-sell­ing mid-size sedan held on to a top 10 spot, fin­ish­ing ninth.

Mazda came sec­ond in the rank­ings, with the Hiroshima-based car-maker nab­bing 116,349 sales, just 1.6 per­cent ahead of its 2016 reg­is­tra­tions.

Its CX-5 re­tained its ti­tle as Australia’s favourite SUV, and fin­ished sixth over­all thanks to in­ter­est in the new-gen­er­a­tion model.

The Mazda3 hatch and sedan dipped nearly 10 per­cent, but re­placed the Hyundai i30 in fourth place.

Hyundai sales slid 4.5 per­cent, with the 23.8 per­cent drop for the new­gen­er­a­tion i30 hav­ing an impact in the South Korean car-maker’s tally.

Holden held on to fourth spot over­all last year, down by 4.2 per­cent, af­ter fin­ish­ing the year with a mas­sive De­cem­ber haul of 12,179 units, 57.7 per­cent ahead of De­cem­ber 2016.

The Com­modore was Holden’s best seller, in eighth po­si­tion, but 2017 marked the end of Aus­tralian pro­duc­tion be­fore the model be­comes an im­ported mid-size lift­back and wagon when it ar­rives in Fe­bru­ary.

Mit­subishi con­tin­ued its strong per­for­mance, over­tak­ing Ford to land in fifth place over­all, largely on the back of in­ter­est in its Tri­ton pick-up that was the 10th best seller over­all last year, as well as the ASX and Out­lander SUVS.

Ford sales dropped 3.8 per­cent to 78,161, push­ing it out of the top five, de­spite record sales of its Ranger pick-up. The Ranger made up 55 per­cent of Ford’s sales in 2016, with the Mus­tang sportscar the sec­ond most pop­u­lar Ford.

Zero sales

The Blue Oval fi­nally ran out of stock of the Fal­con, more than a year af­ter lo­cal pro­duc­tion ended with zero sales in De­cem­ber. Some stock of the Ter­ri­tory SUV re­mained, with four sales recorded last month.

Volkswagen’s 2.4 per­cent growth pushed it up to sev­enth spot, while Nis­san con­tin­ued its sales de­cline, drop­ping 15.3 per­cent – the big­gest drop of any of the top 10 makes.

Bullish South Korean car-maker Kia con­tin­ued its strong form, with its sales grow­ing 28.3 per­cent last year, to 54,737 – the first time it has ex­ceeded 50,000 sales in Australia.

This was enough to push Subaru to 10th place de­spite its own sales in­crease of 11.7 per­cent over 2016.

Honda just missed out on a top 10 plac­ing with 46,783, while Mercedesbenz pas­sen­ger car and vans sales put it in 12th spot over­all.

HI TOP: The Toy­ota Hilux was the best-sell­ing model in Australia for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, but Ford’s Ranger is not far be­hind.

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