Tim O'Brien | Sep 3, 2009

VFACTS SALES FIGURES for the month of August show some interesting sales trends. Not the least the performance of the German premium brands, and the feature-laden barnstormer from Korea, Hyundai.

For Audi, forget any notions of a flat market. The fourth ‘big German’ has seen sales grow by 14.6 percent year-to-date (YTD), and, recording 1009 sales for August 2009, is up 34 percent compared to the same period last year.

At BMW, the story is similar. BMW sales are up 2.9 percent for August, with 1290 sales for the month. And, although the brand is down 10.2 percent YTD, the 3 Series is up 21.5 percent for the month, and the X3 and X5 up 30.4 and 27.6 percent respectively.

Also look at Mercedes. With 1400 sales for August it is down just 2.7 percent for the month, and down just 6.7 percent YTD. And we thought that times were tough?

Interestingly, in the context of its German competitors, Lexus has not fared so well. It is up 3.9 percent for the month, but recorded only 402 sales and is down 26.1 percent YTD.

2009-audi-a4-red-white

At the other end of the price scale is the barnstorming Hyundai. But is it so different? Like Audi and BMW, everyone knows what is embodied in the brand.

With a solid fit and feel across the range, feature laden, with uncomplicated style and a recognised value-for-money offering, Hyundai showrooms have become revolving doors.

Recording 5980 sales for August, the Korean brand is up 32.5 percent YTD, and up 64.6 percent for the month of August compared to the same period last year.

Talk about making hay… no sunshine needed here… Hyundai has managed to do it in the gloom of a global recession.

There are other brands that have conspicuously not fared so well. Some, like Jeep, down 48.6 percent for August, SsangYong, down 43.6 percent, Dodge down 37.6 percent and Citroen down 35.3 percent, are up to their arm-pits in vipers.

2009-skoda-octavia-red-sedan

But, proving that anything is possible with statistics, Saab has emerged as a grinner for the month. It’s up 33.9 percent for August. But it only sold 75 cars, which shows just how badly it was faring last August rather than how well it fared in the same month this year.

Skoda is also up by a huge margin: up 93 percent compared to last August, but recorded that statistic against just 145 sales.

So, to help you with the verbal arm-wrestle at the lunch table, here are the top fifteen brands in Australia for the month of August and their year-to-date position compared to last year’s sales.

  1. Toyota: 15,994 sales for August, down 23.4 percent YTD
  2. Holden: 9505 sales for August, 14.7 percent YTD
  3. Ford: 7623 sales for August, 14.7 percent YTD
  4. Hyundai: 5980 sales for August, 32.5 percent YTD
  5. Mazda: 5863 sales for August, up 7.9 percent YTD
  6. Mitsubishi: 4551 sales for August, 17.8 percent YTD
  7. Nissan: 3657 sales for August, 16.1 percent YTD
  8. Honda: 2841 sales for August, 25.3 percent YTD
  9. Subaru: 2602 sales for August, 8.7 percent YTD
  10. Volkswagen: 2115 sales for August, 5.1 percent YTD
  11. Kia: 1638 sales for August, 6.7 percent YTD
  12. Suzuki: 1559 sales for August, 17.0 percent YTD
  13. Mercedes-Benz: 1400 sales for August, 6.7 percent YTD
  14. BMW: 1290 sales for August, 10.2 percent YTD
  15. Audi: 1009 sales for August, 14.6 percent YTD

You don’t need a telescope to spot the stars in that group.

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