The heat has eased in the Australian new car market for now, with VFACTS figures for May revealing another drop in sales compared to last year.
Sales in key segments had already taken a hit in April, largely attributed to the combined effects of school holidays, ANZAC Day and Easter.
No such excuses for May, with the passenger car market dropping 6.3 percent from the same month last year, and recording a 3.7 percent decline year-to-date.
With consumer sentiment in a dive after the Budget however, and a Federal Government seemingly unable to recapture the narrative, there were few expectations of a happy VFACTS for the month just gone.
Both light and heavy commercial sales also eased in May, with year-to-date figures down 8.0 and 5.8 percent respectively.
SUVs are fighting a lone battle with new car sales as the only segment to buck the current downward trend; up 1.8 percent year-to-date.
Meanwhile sales of medium cars and sports cars are both down, while the light and sub-light markets have both seen significant sales-drops in 2014; down 13.5 and 27.8 percent year-to-date respectively.
Sub-light Segment In Swan Dive
Sub-light cars would seem to be unloved in Australia at present - down 40.6 percent compared to May last year.
There were some bright points though in what is now a very minor segment. The resurgent Fiat 500 has almost doubled its sales from the same time last year, and leads the class in May with 236 sales.
Volkswagen’s up! managed just 33 sales in May. The German carmaker’s decision to delete the model from its local line-up perhaps a reflection on the doldrums afflicting the sub-light market.
Small Car Sales Holding Up, Commodore Also Strong
The Corolla was Australia’s top-selling car in May yet again with 3871 sales, while the Mazda3 (3291 sales) was bumped down to third place behind the Toyota HiLux (3313 sales); although the Mazda3 is still clinging to an overall lead for year-to-date sales.
The Holden Commodore has consistently been the fourth best-selling car throughout 2014, finishing in that familiar spot in May with 2648 sales.
The Podium For May:
Mercedes-Benz has been knocking on the door of a top-ten sales month for a while now, and May was the month the carmaker cracked it, finishing tenth with 2611 sales (up ten percent)
Top 10 Selling Brands – May 2014
- Toyota – 17,246 sales – down 9.2 percent
- Holden – 9012 – up 8.7 percent
- Hyundai – 8403 – up 4.7 percent
- Mazda – 7751 – down 4.7 percent
- Ford – 6950 – down 4.0 percent
- Nissan – 6281 – up 6.0 percent
- Mitsubishi – 5780 – down 17.6 percent
- Volkswagen – 4918 - down 11.0 percent
- Subaru – 3302 – down 8.6 percent
- Mercedes-Benz – 2611 – up 10 percent
Top 10 Selling Models –May 2014
- Toyota Corolla – 3871 sales
- Toyota HiLux – 3313
- Mazda3 – 3291
- Holden Commodore – 2648
- Hyundai i30 – 2553
- Ford Ranger – 2317
- Volkswagen Golf – 2301
- Mitsubishi Triton – 2254
- Mazda CX-5 – 1715
- Jeep Grand Cherokee – 1694