The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has today released its VFACTS report for June ‘end-of-financial-year’ new car sales.
And, as is typical for the June report, there is the usual amount of 'fluff and nonsense' contained in the figures. Most manufacturers place some extra store in the success of their June “out-the-door-they-go” EOFYS bragging rights.
Yes, June sales are up 6.4 percent on June 2014, and year-to-date (YTD) sales are also up, showing a 3.3 percent gain on 2014.
But the big news in these figures, and an astonishing individual performance, is new market leader Hyundai’s i30.
Bursting from deep within the peloton, it notched up 5521 reported sales in June, sweeping around previous leaders, Mazda3, Toyota Corolla and Toyota HiLux to claim an eyebrow-raising top spot on the June sales podium.
We agree the i30 is good buying for value and robust quality, but it recorded just 1666 sales in the previous month (May), with a total of 10,280 sales for the first five months of 2015.
That is some sales turnaround (“… quick, send a case of Dom to the marketing department”).
The issue, of course, with the VFACTS figures is that they report on vehicle registrations as an indicator of sales. But how many of those registrations are ‘dealer registrations’, and not actual sales - ie. happy, satisfied buyers actually driving away in their new cars - is not captured by this data.
Which leaves more than a bit of room for some serious over-egging of the ‘sales omelette’. And, inevitably, a little further down the track, a whole lot of demonstrator sales (of demonstrators with next to no kilometres on the odometer).
We’re not suggesting any over-egging by Hyundai, the company describes the i30’s success as a “phenomenal sales month”, and we’ll leave it at that.
Certainly, for the sector, and for the broader Australian economy generally, the healthy sales growth shown in the VFACTS figures would indicate growing consumer confidence in the Australian economy.
Notwithstanding a fiercely competitive market, and, certainly at the middle and lower end of the market, slim margins for dealers, the 125,850 new vehicle sales in June, and 578,427 YTD sales for the sector, are perhaps signs that there is life after the “once in a generation” shower of riches that was the mining boom (mostly showering on someone else).
A friendlier Federal Budget no doubt helped, and, more to the point, clearly moved business confidence up a notch or two from the doldrums it was in at this time last year.
In releasing the figures, FCAI Chief Executive, Tony Weber, said, “In June 2015, we have seen new car sales to business increase 10.5 percent.
“Specifically, business buyers purchased 20.8 percent more SUVs, 9.1 percent more passenger cars and 3.4 percent more light commercial vehicles.”
That’s quite a jump, and a vote of approval for the tax concessions for capital purchases and the reduction in company tax for small business announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey in Federal Budget measures.
By comparison, for the month of June, sales to private buyers rose 3.7 percent and to government by 3.5 percent.
Overall, and yet again this month, SUVs take the cigar for the highest growth - up 14.7 percent on June 2014, and up 13.8 percent YTD - and now account for just on ‘one-in-three’ of all vehicles sales.
Passenger car sales were also up, but light commercials – utes, vans, twin-cabs, etc. - slipped slightly. “The passenger car segment rose 4.7 percent (56,386) and the light commercial vehicle segment fell 3.1 percent (23,758),” Mr Weber said.
Top 10 Selling Brands - June 2015
- Toyota - 21,502 sales (101,714 YTD, 17.6 percent market share)
- Holden - 11,928 (51,737 YTD, 8.9 percent market share)
- Mazda- 11,526 (56,591 YTD, 9.8 percent market share)
- Hyundai - 11,007 (50,099 YTD, 8.7 percent market share)
- Mitsubishi - 9011 (38,866 YTD 6.2 percent market share)
- Ford - 7251 (38,410 YTD, 6.0 percent market share)
- Volkswagen - 7103 (32,020 YTD, 5.5 percent market share)
- Nissan - 6636 (32,950 YTD 5.7 percent market share)
- Honda - 5311 (20,602 YTD, 3.6 percent market share)
- Subaru - 4502 (21,659 YTD 3.7 percent market share)
Top 10 Selling Models - June 2015
- Hyundai i30 - 5521 sales (15,801 sales year-to-date)
- Toyota HiLux - 4281 (18,781)
- Toyota Corolla - 4152 (21,750)
- Mazda3 - 4127 (20,427)
- Mitsubishi Triton - 3526 (13,709)
- Ford Ranger - 3372 (14,144)
- Holden Commodore - 2772 (13,769)
- Volkswagen Golf - 2682 (11,829)
- Toyota Camry - 2602 (10,426)
- Mazda CX-5 - 2512 (12,489)
For the month of June, Toyota’s market share was down slightly, at 17.1 percent. As we’ve commented previously, it is unlikely to ever reclaim the 20-plus percent market share it held for the better part of 20 years.
The chasing pack is still well behind the market leader, but closes, little-by-little, every month.
(We won’t hand out a trophy for the longest nose.)