New Car Sales: Strongest March On Record, C-Class And Outback Dominate Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Apr, 07 2015 | 3 Comments

New car sales in Australia made it two out of three last month, as March became the second month of 2015 to produce record sales.

Following a record-high in February, VFACTS showed sales in March were up eight percent on the same month last year; breaking the 100,000 barrier with a total of 105,054 units.

It was a familiar story at the top of the sales charts, with Toyota’s Corolla beating the Mazda3 for the second month in a row to be Australia’s best-selling car.

The Corolla also passed the 3 last month in overall sales for 2015 to-date, and now leads the Mazda by 613 units.

If you needed proof of how hot the market was last month, look no further than the Hyundai i30.

Hyundai only sold 28 fewer i30s than it did in February, but this was enough to push the i30 from fifth to tenth in the top-ten list for March.

Models overtaking the i30 last month included the Volkswagen Golf, which re-entered the top-ten in ninth place, and the Mitsubishi Triton.

The Triton finished fourth, one place behind the HiLux as Australia’s second best-selling pickup last month, and for a model deep into run-out and only days away from being ousted by a new model, Mitsubishi surely must be upbeat about its replacement.

The Holden Commodore was in fifth place last month, down from fourth in February, while other top-ten regulars included the Mazda CX-5, Ford Ranger and Toyota Camry.

There were ‘green lights’ across all market segments last month, with sales of passenger cars and SUVs along with light and heavy commercial vehicles all up on March 2014.

Subsections of the SUV market all saw sales increases over the same month last year, while the passenger car segment was more fragmented.

The friendless city car market remained that way, with sales down 46.7 percent. The arrival of Suzuki’s new Celerio might lift the segment in the months ahead, but the Celerio alone is unlikely to arrest the sales-decline.

Despite four models appearing in the top-ten, the small car market actually fell 2.5 percent on March last year.

Buyers were perhaps more interested in light cars, as that segment saw sales improve 19.7 percent. Medium cars were also up, as sales of the Volkswagen Passat, Skoda Octavia, Nissan Altima and others all improved last month.

But the medium car segment owes its turnaround in March predominantly to Subaru’s new Liberty model and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

In March, the popular C-Class outsold every midsized model except the Camry, marching on to 918 sales (up 72.6 percent).

The Liberty also found significant growth, with sales up 350 percent in March for a total of 425 sales.

Likewise, Subaru's new Outback, driven by sizeable price cuts, notched up 1180 sales in March - a massive 410.8 percent increase.

New arrivals in the compact SUV market halted the Hyundai ix35 sales-train enough to see it fall out of the overall top-ten, with strong debuts from the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 while the Nissan Qashqai and Mitsubishi ASX also saw healthy sales.

People-mover sales were up 6.6 percent, and showed that the all-new Kia Carnival has taken the fight to the Honda Odyssey in its first full month in Australia.

The Odyssey, however, won the month by just seven sales.

Sports car sales were up 4.7 percent, led by Hyundai’s Veloster and Toyota’s 86 in the segment below $80,000.

Both these models were outsold by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe; which competes in the segment above $80,000 and further demonstrates Benz’s current purple-patch in Australia.

Toyota comfortably won the month for overall sales on an impressive 19,082 units, but Mazda also managed to break the 10,000-mark on 10,217.

Hyundai was third on 8709, while Holden’s sales continue to slide (down 13 percent on March 2014), seeing the local carmaker in fourth on 8571.

Nissan, Mitsubishi, Ford, Volkswagen, Honda and Subaru in that order made up the remainder of the top-ten.

A final note for March: CommSec’s Car Affordability Index released last month showed new cars in Australia have never been more affordable than now, when compared to Index results since it began in 1975.

MORE News & Reviews: VFACTS | C-Class | People Movers | Sports

Top 10 Selling Brands - March 2015

  1. Toyota - 19,082 sales (up 4.4 percent)
  2. Mazda - 10,217 (up 11.0 percent)
  3. Hyundai - 8709 (up 1.2 percent)
  4. Holden - 8571 (down 13.0 percent)
  5. Nissan - 7138 (up 18.7 percent)
  6. Mitsubishi - 6307 (up 16.1 percent)
  7. Ford - 6023 (down 14.4 percent)
  8. Volkswagen - 5525 (up 19.8 percent)
  9. Honda - 4042 (up 75.4 percent)
  10. Subaru - 4002 (up 5.0 percent)

Top 10 Selling Models - March 2015

  1. Toyota Corolla - 4261 sales (11,672 sales year-to-date)
  2. Mazda3 - 3558 (11,059)
  3. Toyota HiLux - 3346 (8538)
  4. Mitsubishi Triton - 2940 (5962)
  5. Holden Commodore - 2436 (6737)
  6. Ford Ranger - 2424 (6161)
  7. Mazda CX-5 - 2344 (6128)
  8. Toyota Camry - 2319 (5219)
  9. Volkswagen Golf - 2116 (5357)
  10. Hyundai i30 - 2098 (6316)
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