VFACTS May: Post-Budget Shock Hits Passenger Sales, Sub-Light Segment Dives, Corolla On Top Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Jun, 04 2014 | 8 Comments

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.

Some upward sales trends from April continued into May, with large cars, upper-large and people movers all experiencing growth.

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.

Mitsubishi’s Mirage was next in the sub-light class on 213 sales, with the Nissan Micra, Holden Barina Spark and Suzuki Alto rounding-out the top five.

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

Small car sales have held steady throughout 2014, with the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 taking the lion’s share.

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:

Toyota leads the way in overall sales for May with 17,246 (down 9.2 percent on May last year), followed by Holden on 9012 (up 8.7 percent) and Hyundai with 8403 sales (up 4.7 percent).

Some of May's success stories included Jeep and Mercedes-Benz.

Jeep saw its Grand Cherokee SUV crack the top-ten with 1694 sales (only five sales ahead of the Holden Colorado), and the brand is up 77.2 percent on May last year and 38.7 percent year-to-date.

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)

Other carmakers to see big sales boosts in May included Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Isuzu, Maserati, Renault and Rolls-Royce.

Top 10 Selling Brands – May 2014

  1. Toyota – 17,246 sales – down 9.2 percent
  2. Holden – 9012 – up 8.7 percent
  3. Hyundai – 8403 – up 4.7 percent
  4. Mazda – 7751 – down 4.7 percent
  5. Ford – 6950 – down 4.0 percent
  6. Nissan – 6281 – up 6.0 percent
  7. Mitsubishi – 5780 – down 17.6 percent
  8. Volkswagen – 4918 - down 11.0 percent
  9. Subaru – 3302 – down 8.6 percent
  10. Mercedes-Benz – 2611 – up 10 percent

Top 10 Selling Models –May 2014

  1. Toyota Corolla – 3871 sales
  2. Toyota HiLux – 3313
  3. Mazda3 – 3291
  4. Holden Commodore – 2648
  5. Hyundai i30 – 2553
  6. Ford Ranger – 2317
  7. Volkswagen Golf – 2301
  8. Mitsubishi Triton – 2254
  9. Mazda CX-5 – 1715
  10. Jeep Grand Cherokee – 1694

MORE: VFACTS, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz

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