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Australian vehicle sales for August 2017 – BMW leads premium SUVs

National VFACTS figures for new vehicle registrations has been released for August 2016, with the humble Toyota Corolla claiming back its best-seller title, posting the highest figure of any model.

2016 Kia Sportage Platinum front driving.

Starting with the best-selling vehicle brands, Toyota continues to lead the way. Sales for the Japanese company are up 4.1 per cent year-to-date, however, out of the top 10 it’s Kia that has reported the biggest increase year-to-date. The Korean brother to Hyundai saw its figures rise an impressive 27.9 per cent for the first eight months of this year, compared with 2015. Hyundai has dropped two places to fifth in the top 10, with Holden and Ford stepping in to fill the gap. Kia remains in ninth spot ahead of Subaru. Mercedes, sometimes in number 10, missed out in August. The top 10 most popular brands for August 2016 were as follows:

  1. Toyota – 18,650 (up from 17,465 of July 2016 sales)
  2. Mazda – 9258 (up from 8460)
  3. Holden – 7667 (up from 7071)
  4. Ford – 6849 (down from 6894)
  5. Hyundai – 6536 (down from 7603)
  6. Mitsubishi – 6136 (up from 5412)
  7. Nissan – 5616 (up from 5304)
  8. Volkswagen – 3893 (down from 4193)
  9. Kia – 3710 (up from 3555)
  10. Subaru – 3362 (up from 3356)

As for best-selling models, specifically, Toyota has come through with the goods once again. It has been fending off the Hyundai i30 for the past few months but sales of the Hyundai dropped in August, leaving room for not only the Corolla to swoop in, but also room for plenty of others to fill the gap. As we’ve seen, the trend is clearly heading toward more SUVs and lifestyle utes, with these two vehicle layouts filling up 50 per cent of the top 10. The top 10 best-selling vehicles for August 2016 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 3554 (up from 3427)
  2. Toyota HiLux – 3311 (up from 3136)
  3. Ford Ranger – 2964 (up from 2874)
  4. Mazda3 – 2818 (up from 1501)
  5. Toyota Camry – 2458 (up from 2172)
  6. Holden Commodore – 1952 (up from 1874)
  7. Mazda CX-5 – 1902 (down from 1933)
  8. Hyundai i30 – 1864 (down from 2216)
  9. Mitsubishi ASX – 1781 (up from 1130)
  10. Toyota RAV4 – 1766 (down from 1825)

2016 Toyota Camry

Medium Cars under $60,000 – This segment should see an increase in popularity soon, with the Ford Falcon going out of production in about a month and the Commodore following next year. Buyers could swarm to this class, where most buyers are adopting the Camry. The Toyota is the clear favourite, likely thanks to plenty of fleet sales and government and taxi company interest. Perhaps the most interesting new competitor here is the Subaru Levorg. Sales are still doing well for the new model, released only a few month ago. The top five best-selling models in this class were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 2458 (up from 2172 of July)
  2. Volkswagen Passat – 330 (up from 300)
  3. Mazda6 – 262 (down from 405)
  4. Subaru Liberty – 256 (up from 195)
  5. Subaru Levorg – 229 (down from 230)

Medium Cars over $60,000 – As competitive as this segment is, more buyers are flocking to the Mercedes C-Class than any other. The German brand almost sold twice as many C-Class models as its main rival, the BMW 3 Series. In fact, CLA sales topped the 3 Series in August. Jaguar’s new XE was pushed out of the top five for this month by the Lexus IS. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 583 (up from 536)
  2. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 352 (up from 344)
  3. Audi A4 – 337 (up from 238)
  4. BMW 3 Series – 305 (up from 224)
  5. Lexus IS – 127 (up from 105)

Large Cars under $70,000 – It’s a sad time ahead for this segment. Holden Commodore sales are still going relatively strong though, but for the Ford Falcon and Toyota Aurion, it’s all down hill from here. The Commodore is expected to last the longest in the market, with left-over production potentially remaining on sale into 2018. This is in regards to being Australian-made anyway. Holden will introduce a new Commodore and Ford is set to bring in a new large sedan, but these will be made overseas for the first time. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 1952 (up from 1874)
  2. Ford Falcon – 441 (up from 346)
  3. Toyota Aurion – 398 (up from 365)
  4. Skoda Superb – 44 (down from 62)
  5. Hyundai Genesis – 40 (down from 47)

Large Cars over $70,000 – Stepping up to the premium large cars, we see the new Mercedes E-Class is firmly seated as the favourite. It almost quadrupled the sales of arch rival BMW 5 Series. Audi A6 reported impressive figures compared with its usual effort, while the Jaguar XF and Maserati Ghibli complete the top five. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment in August 2016 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 126 (down from 177)
  2. Audi A6 – 52 (up from 23)
  3. BMW 5 Series – 35 (down from 57)
  4. Jaguar XF – 29 (down from 49)
  5. Maserati Ghibli – 25 (down from 26)

2015 Ford Mustang

Sports Car under $80,000 – Interested in getting a sports car? The Ford Mustang seems to be the clear trend at the moment. Ford posted very impressive figures in August, easily topping all other rivals in this price category. This is surprising considering the long waiting list buyers are having to endure, with orders now not expected to arrive until well into 2017. Popularity of the Toyota 86 is expected to spike back up later in the year when the slightly more powerful update arrives. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 717 (up from 619 of July)
  2. Hyundai Veloster – 285 (up from 166)
  3. Toyota 86 – 183 (up from 169)
  4. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 144 (up from 129)
  5. Mazda MX-5 – 102 (down from 112)
    (Subaru WRX – 226 [down from 267] – not officially in this segment)

Sport Cars over $80,000 – If you’ve got a little more to spend, the new Mercedes C-Class coupe is the trending car. It easily posted the highest sales in August, well ahead of key rivals BMW 4 Series and Audi A5 (25). The top five best-selling vehicles in this category were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 266 (up from 259)
  2. BMW 4 Series Coupe/Convertible – 153 (up from 99)
  3. Audi TT – 54 (up from 39)
  4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 45 (up from 31)
  5. Lexus RC – 27 (down from 34)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – Supercars might be made of dreams but it seems the legendary Italian marques are still posting respectable sales in Australia. Ferrari continues to report decent figures, enough to be the second most-popular brand in this category. Meanwhile Lamborghini tied with the BMW 6 Series for a close third. The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during August 2016 were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 37 (up from 28)
  2. Ferrari (not specified) – 14 (down from 17)
  3. BMW 6 Series – 13 (down from 19)/Lamborghini – 13 (up from 7)
  4. Aston Martin (not specified) – 12 (up from 5)
  5. Mercedes-AMG GT – 11 (down from 14)

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – A change of pace commercial vehicles might be, however, they remain one of the most popular vehicle types in Australia. Four-wheel drive utes are fast-becoming the lifestyle vehicle of choice. And it’s the Toyota HiLux that remains the most popular. Mitsubishi’s Triton moved up from fifth to fourth in August, while all other models remained in their places from the previous month. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined) for August 2016 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 3311 (up from 3136 of July 2016)
  2. Ford Ranger – 2964 (up from 2874)
  3. Holden Colorado – 1653 (up from 1648)
  4. Mitsubishi Triton – 1321 (down from 1345)
  5. Nissan Navara – 1291 (down from 1537)
  6. Isuzu D-Max – 1108 (down from 1336)
  7. Mazda BT-50 – 1063 (down from 1117)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 541 (up from 441)
  9. Foton Tunland – 62 (down from 101)
  10. Ssangyong Actyon Sports – 3 (up from 1)

2016 BMW X1

Like the utes, SUVs are a growing trend. And the best-selling SUV for August was the Mazda CX-5 once again. It was followed up by the Mitsubishi ASX and then the Toyota RAV4. As for the premium SUVs, BMW’s X range stood out as the clear favourite in August, posting top sales with the X1, X3, and X5 in the three respective segments.

The most popular size remains the ‘SUV Medium under $60,000’ class, with 11,619 sales in total. The figure is up a whopping 18.6 per cent compared with August last year when 9798 units were sold.

Right behind is the ‘SUV Large below $70,000’ class. Punters bought 10,342 units in August 2016, up 15.1 per cent compared with August 2015. This leaves the ‘SUV Small below $40,000’ class as the third most popular SUV category, with 7367 sales, down 19.5 per cent on August 2015.

The top three best-selling SUVs in all categories for August 2016 were as follows:

  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    BMW X1 – 318 (up from 313)
    Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class – 225 (down from 245)
    Audi Q3 – 216 (down from 218)
  • SUV Medium above $60,000:
    BMW X3 – 365 (up from 325)
    Mercedes-Benz GLC – 326 (up from 238)
    Lexus NX – 309 (up from 264)
  • SUV Upper Large under $100,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser – 1350 (up from 1214)
    Nissan Patrol – 154 (up from 144)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in August were up on July figures. During August, Australian consumers bought 94,909 vehicles, compared with 91,331 in July. Sales are up 4.6 per cent compared with August 2015, with year-to-date figures up 3.0 per cent.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.