VFACTS March | SUVs Still The One - Is The Baton Shifting For Passenger Cars? Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Apr, 06 2017 | 0 Comments

For the second straight month, SUVs have outsold conventional passenger cars in Australia’s new car market which recorded another record month in March.

VFACTS reveals the market was up 0.9 percent compared to the same month last year, with a grand total of 105,410 sales (up 898 on March 2016).

Proving that the February figures were not a one-off, SUVs commanded 39.4 percent of new car sales, compared with 37 percent for passenger cars.

SUV sales are up 7.9 percent on March last year, and combining light commercial vehicle sales with SUVs sees the pair dominate with 60.3 percent of the market.

These figures were somewhat reflected in the overall top-ten sellers list for March, although it’s a pair of commercials that took home the silverware.

Toyota’s HiLux has set the pace for 2017, with 4245 sales last month making it the only model in Australia to sell more than 10,000 units in the first quarter.

Ford’s Ranger is keeping the HiLux honest, however, with another strong showing (3845 sales) seeing it finish second on the sales charts.

The Corolla is only 424 sales behind the HiLux for the year-to-date, finishing third for sales last month on 3574 units.

But while SUVs were the market favourite, the best-selling SUV for March could only manage eighth and only two SUVs were in the top-ten.

Hyundai’s Tucson was the sales-winner last month on 2156 sales, while the consistently-popular Mazda CX-5 finished one spot behind on 2116.

Behind the Hyundai and Mazda in the medium SUV class under $60,000 was Toyota’s RAV4 (1865 sales), Nissan X-Trail (1780), Mitsubishi Outlander (1609) and the Kia Sportage (1216).

Over $60,000 in the midsized SUV segment, Land Rover’s Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque ruled the roost in March with 575 and 478 sales respectively.

Comparing the medium SUV segment (up 10.8 percent year-to-date) to the medium passenger car segment (down 10 percent YTD) under $60,000 demonstrates the scale to which SUVs have grabbed the public’s attention.

Besides Toyota’s Camry, which finished March in seventh overall on 2336 sales as the best-selling midsized passenger car, the rest of the field resembles a flock of birds pecking at the crumbs.

Only six other models managed to crack triple figures, and the best-of-the-rest was the Mazda6 on 349 sales - or just 15 percent of Camry’s March total.

Behind the Mazda6 came the Ford Mondeo (300 sales), Volkswagen Passat (260), Subaru Liberty (209) and Skoda’s Octavia (160).

Stepping over the $60,000 mark finds the Mercedes-Benz C-Class as the dominant player on 750 sales - making it easily the second best-selling medium sizer behind the Camry when price is ignored.

Combine the C-Class with Benz’s four-door coupe CLA-Class, and the German carmaker’s 1106 sales perhaps demonstrates the modern-day direction for conventional midsized passenger car sales in Australia.

Elsewhere in the March top-ten, the Mazda3 finished fourth for sales (3039 units), while the Mitsubishi Triton (fifth), Hyundai i30 (sixth) and Holden Commodore (tenth) completed the top-ten list.

Even after just one quarter, you can probably bet the farm on Toyota retaining the number one seller’s spot in Australia for 2017 with another 19,652 sales added to the total in March.

Mazda was the only other carmaker to crack 10,000 on 10,472, while both Hyundai and Mitsubishi outsold Holden for the second month running.

The rest of the top-ten for March was Ford (6852 sales), Nissan (5620), Volkswagen (5122), Subaru (5006) and Kia which continues to shine on 4684 sales - up 34.8 percent YTD.

MORE News & Reviews: VFACTS | Toyota | Hyundai | Medium Cars | SUVs

Top 10 Selling Brands - March 2017

  1. Toyota - 19,652 (up 4.3 percent YTD)
  2. Mazda - 10,472 (steady)
  3. Hyundai - 8700 (down 8.2 percent)
  4. Mitsubishi - 7583 (up 1.1 percent)
  5. Holden - 7211 (down 10.7 percent)
  6. Ford - 6852 (down 1.1 percent)
  7. Nissan - 5620 (down 13.3 percent)
  8. Volkswagen - 5122 (down 5.8 percent)
  9. Subaru - 5006 (up 8.4 percent)
  10. Kia - 4684 (up 34.8 percent)

Top 10 Selling Models - March 2017

  1. Toyota HiLux - 4245 (10,333 sales YTD)
  2. Ford Ranger - 3845 (9398)
  3. Toyota Corolla - 3574 (9909)
  4. Mazda3 - 3039 (9655)
  5. Mitsubishi Triton - 2670 (5815)
  6. Hyundai i30 - 2383 (6404)
  7. Toyota Camry - 2336 (4389)
  8. Hyundai Tucson - 2156 (5430)
  9. Mazda CX-5 - 2116 (5973)
  10. Holden Commodore - 2081 (5607)
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