Japanese giants steer market to July record
Powerhouse sales performances by market leaders Toyota and Mazda helped to drive Australian newvehicle sales to a July record of 92,754 units last month, eclipsing the previous July peak of 92,308 units set in 2015.
Showing few signs of a hangover from its whopper sales month in June, Toyota landed no fewer than four vehicles in the top 10 in July, with its Hilux ute, 3742 sales and Corolla small car, 3208, taking the quinella as the best-selling vehicles in the land.
Official VFACTS figures revealed Toyota’s monthly sales tally of 17,931 represented its best July since 2008 when sales were boosted by the mining boom to 20,521.
Mazda sailed to a record July high of 9528 vehicles, mainly on the back of its resurgent Mazda3 small car, sales of which were up 64.3 percent on July last year when it was in the middle of a model changeover, and the CX-5 SUV which zoom-zoomed up 19.2 percent to 2305 units to resume its role as top-selling SUV in the land.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said the record July was notable because it came directly after the industry’s best-ever monthly result in June.
Apart from Toyota and Mazda, the other big winners among the leading brands last month were Mitsubishi, Subaru and Kia.
Mitsubishi edged up 11.2 percent over July last year, to 6020 units, Kia sales jumped 20 percent to a July record 4265 units, and Subaru’s volumes soared 27.1 percent to 4265 vehicles on the back of strong demand for its two newest models, the XV small SUV and Impreza small car.
Market number-three Hyundai effectively marked time with 7501 sales for the month – down 1.3 percent as it establishes its new i30 hatchback – while rivals Holden, 6467 sales and Ford, 6270, went backwards by 8.5 and 9.1 percent respectively.
Holden sales are now running 11.8 percent behind the same period of last year, despite the arrival of new models such as the Astra sedan.
Ford’s Ranger came in third on the best-seller list, with 3076 sales, effectively making up half of Ford’s retail sales in Australia, while its onetime top-seller, the Falcon, all but disappeared from the market, achieving just two Falcon sedan and one ute registration for the month as residual stocks dry up after the demise of the company’s Australian manufacturing in October last year.
Of the top 10 companies, Nissan was the biggest loser, down 22.8 percent for the month to 4094 units – a fall of more than 1200 units on the same month last year.
Nissan’s sales are down 12.3 percent or 4803 units.
Year to date, the overall Australian new-vehicle market has edged 0.4 percent ahead of last year’s sales, to 692,306 units and well on target to break through the million-unit mark again.
The July tally of 92,754 was 1.6 percent up on month last year.
The trend away from passenger cars to SUVS was again evident in July, with passenger car sales down 5.9 percent for the month, to 35,792 units, and SUVS up 9.4 percent to 36,979 vehicles.
After mega end-of-financial-year sales in June, light-commercial vehicles eked out a small rise of 0.8 percent, to 17,016 units.
German car-makers BMW and Audi landed a rare punch on rival Mercedes-benz in July, with BMW sales up 5.0 percent to 2152 units and Audi’s sales up 9.2 per cent, to 2114 vehicles, while Mercedes-benz car sales slipped 5.2 per cent, to 2628 units. the corresponding