Trevor Collett | Dec 6, 2016

Australia’s new car market for November showed the gap between sales of passenger cars and SUVs is growing ever-smaller.

Mazda, which saw its Mazda3 small car finish the month in fifth on the sales ladder with 2877 sales, and its CX-5 SUV return to the top-ten in ninth on 1956, remarked that its SUV and passenger car sales are “almost at parity”.

VFACTS reveals Mazda sold 4280 SUVs last month, including the CX-5, CX-3 and CX-9, along with 4351 passenger cars (Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6 and MX-5). The gap between the two classes was just 71 units.

Throw in 782 sales for the 4WD Mazda BT-50 (plus 412 sales for the 2WD), and the argument could be made that SUVs edged ahead when considering customers who treat dual-cab pickups as an ‘SUV-like’ model.

“Private buyers are increasingly using these as a weekday workhorse and a weekend recreational vehicle,” Federal Chamber for Automotive Industries (FCAI) CEO, Tony Weber, said.

“The growing sophistication of these vehicles with their passenger car comfort and equipment levels, family-sized cabins and strong towing capacity positions them as an alternative to the traditional passenger car. More entrants to this light truck market are on the way in coming years so we can only expect this segment to grow.”

Mazda declared November a “50/50” for SUV and passenger car sales, but the year-to-date figures still favour the latter at 54/46.

November figures for Mazda reflect the market as a whole, with 39,852 passenger car sales against 37,536 SUVs. Comparing these figures to the same month last year shows 41,726 and 36,070 sales respectively.

Passenger car sales are down 5.9 percent for the year-to-date, while SUVs have spiked 8.9 percent and light commercials are even more popular- rising 9.5 percent.

With that figure in mind, it’s no surprise that the market was led by a pair of pickups for the second month in a row.

Toyota’s HiLux continues to lead the overall sales race for 2016 on 38,018 units, having added 3839 to the tally last month.

Ford’s Ranger managed a second-place finish for the second month running on 3410 sales, while the Nissan Navara also made the top-ten in tenth on 1938 sales.

In a dominant month for Toyota, the Corolla small car finished third on 3245 sales ahead of the midsized Camry in fourth on 2957.

Toyota is a lock for the title of Australia’s best-selling carmaker for 2016, having sewn up the contest months ago, and the Japanese carmaker is also all but certain to boast the top-selling car as well.

Whether that car is the HiLux (38,018 sales YTD) or the Corolla (37,403) remains to be seen, with the pair separated by 615 units with one survey remaining.

Elsewhere in the top-ten, the Hyundai i30, Holden Commodore and Hyundai Accent all proved to be consistent sellers, finishing sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.

A pair of top-ten performers from October, Hyundai’s Tucson and the Nissan X-Trail, slipped outside the top-ten last month.

Also slipping outside the top-ten, in the overall sales tally, was Kia. November played host to another photo finish for tenth place with the usual (of late) three contenders.

Mercedes-Benz got the nod from the judges with 3584 sales, putting the German carmaker just 11 sales ahead of Kia in eleventh and 82 sales clear of twelfth-placed Honda.

Despite a modest rise of 0.3 percent over November last year, the market is on track for another sales record in 2016 - up 2.2 percent on the same time last year.

MORE News & Reviews: VFACTS | Pickups | SUVs | Mazda

Top 10 Selling Brands - November 2016

  1. Toyota - 18,162 sales (up 2.5 percent YTD)
  2. Mazda - 9825 (up 4.0 percent)
  3. Hyundai - 7991 (down 0.4 percent)
  4. Holden - 7750 (down 7.7 percent)
  5. Ford - 6827 (up 16.5 percent)
  6. Nissan - 6341 (up 1.2 percent)
  7. Mitsubishi - 5875 (up 3.7 percent)
  8. Volkswagen - 4862 (down 6.7 percent)
  9. Subaru - 4141 (up 7.8 percent) (one more than Oct)
  10. Mercedes Benz - 3584 (up 14.7 percent)


Top 10 Selling Models - November 2016

  1. Toyota HiLux - 3839 (38,018 sales YTD)
  2. Ford Ranger - 3410 (33,567)
  3. Toyota Corolla - 3245 (37,403)
  4. Toyota Camry - 2957 (21,635)
  5. Mazda3 - 2877 (33,416)
  6. Hyundai i30 - 2541 (34,937)
  7. Holden Commodore - 2088 (23,730)
  8. Hyundai Accent - 1995 (17,373)
  9. Mazda CX-5 - 1956 (22,658)
  10. Nissan Navara - 1938 (15,769)