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Australian vehicle sales for August 2017 – Toyota sets pace for FY18

Australian VFACTS sales figures for new vehicle registrations for August are in, and it looks like Toyota is pretty much taking over the entire market, with top sales in multiple segments. We also see utes and SUVs now make up 50 per cent of the overall top 10 best-selling vehicles.

Kicking off with the best-selling brands, it’s Toyota at the top, of course. In other areas, Mazda, Hyundai and Holden make up the rest of the top four, in that order, as usual. However, further down the top 10 we see Mitsubishi skips over Ford into fifth, and Volkswagen jumps from 10 in July to seventh in August. All brands in the top 10 rebounded from July efforts, posting a positive, except Mazda. The top 10 most popular car brands for August 2017 were as follows:

  1. Toyota – 18,511 (up from 17,931 of July 2017 sales)
  2. Mazda – 8511 (down from 9528)
  3. Hyundai – 7800 (up from 7501)
  4. Holden – 6984 (up from 6467)
  5. Mitsubishi – 6649 (up from 6020)
  6. Ford – 6645 (up from 6270)
  7. Volkswagen – 4730 (up from 3803)
  8. Subaru – 4579 (up from 4265)
  9. Kia – 4507 (up from 4266)
  10. Nissan – 4095 (up from 4094)

As for the best-selling models, specifically, it’s the Toyota HiLux that brings home the biggest medal. It outsold its nearest competitor by almost a thousand units, and easily squashed the best passenger car, its sibling Corolla, by well over a thousand. Interestingly, as mentioned, the top 10 now comprises of only 50 per cent passenger cars with utes and SUVs moving in to make up the remaining 50 per cent. The top 10 best-selling vehicles for August 2017 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4287 (up from 3742)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3588 (up from 3076)
  3. Toyota Corolla – 2948 (down from 3208)
  4. Hyundai Tucson – 2206 (up from 1719)
  5. Mazda3 – 2163 (down from 2466)
  6. Hyundai i30 – 2143 (up from 2123)
  7. Toyota Camry – 2107 (down from 2385)
  8. Holden Commodore – 2071 (up from 1633)
  9. Mazda CX-5 – 2048 (down from 2305)
  10. Mitsubishi Triton – 1970 (up from 1708)

Small Cars under $40,000 – The Mazda3 is slipping behind the Corolla in their usual dogfight, with Mazda3 sales almost being overtaken by the new Hyundai i30 in August. Volkswagen has moved up quite a few rungs with the Golf, now sitting in fourth place, while the latest Honda Civic – recently expanding with hatch and sedan formats – is sitting in a healthy sixth. The top 10 best-selling small cars in August were as follows:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 2948 (down from 3208 of July)
  2. Mazda3 – 2163 (down from 2466)
  3. Hyundai i30 – 2143 (up from 2123)
  4. Volkswagen Golf – 1535 (up from 1005)
  5. Kia Cerato – 1425 (up from 1327)
  6. Honda Civic – 1138 (up from 1072)
  7. Subaru Impreza – 972 (up from 914)
  8. Holden Astra – 831 (down from 1125)
  9. Mitsubishi Lancer – 474 (down from 801)
  10. Ford Focus – 431 (down from 447)

Medium Cars under $60,000 – Up a segment and we see the Toyota Camry continues to shine. Toyota Australia will launch the all-new model in November, including a V6 option to replace the Aurion, which is expected to help see the figures rise even higher. Mazda6 and Ford Mondeo continue to take home the runner up prizes. The top five best-selling models in this class for August were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 2107 (down from 2385 of July)
  2. Ford Mondeo – 376 (up from 241)
  3. Mazda6 – 328 (up from 272)
  4. Skoda Octavia – 164 (up from 157)
  5. Subaru Levorg – 141 (down from 175)

Medium Cars over $60,000 – Into the premium class, we see the Mercedes C-Class is the long-loved favourite. It easily squashes all other sales in this segment, despite a number of other, perhaps more interesting models being available. The all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia doesn’t seem to be inspiring Aussie buyers, with just 57 sales for the month, while the Infiniti Q50 reported just 10 sales. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for August were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 663 (up from 538)
  2. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 244 (up from 235)
  3. BMW 3 Series – 232 (up from 222)
  4. Audi A4 – 211 (up from 207)
  5. Lexus IS – 124 (up from 92)

Large Cars under $70,000 – There doesn’t seem to be any slackening of Holden Commodore sales, despite local production closing down in October. Holden will introduce the all-new, Euro-developed Commodore in February, but we suspect remaining VF II Aussie-made stock will help overlap the figures. Ford Falcon sales are almost non-existent, while the Toyota Aurion, which went out of production last week, is still selling well. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for August 2017 were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 2071 (up from 1633)
  2. Toyota Aurion – 295 (up from 261)
  3. Skoda Superb – 72 (down from 108)
  4. Peugeot 508 – 44 (up from 1)
  5. Ford Falcon – 6 (up from 2)

Large Cars over $70,000 – Mercedes E-Class follows in the footsteps of its smaller brother, remaining at the head of the pack in the large luxury sedan segment. It more than doubled the sales of arch rival BMW 5 Series. Jaguar XF numbers got close in August, with third spot overall, with Maserati Ghibli and Mercedes CLS making up the top five. The segment overall is experiencing a 28.2 per cent increase in sales year-to-date from last year, interestingly. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment in August were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 130 (down from 150)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 59 (down from 108)
  3. Jaguar XF – 40 (up from 26)
  4. Maserati Ghibli – 14 (down from 16)
  5. Mercedes-Benz CLS – 12 (down from 38)

Sports Car under $80,000 – As for the driver’s department, it seems Aussie buyers simply can’t get enough of the Ford Mustang. It posted the biggest number overall for all sports cars, with sales up a whopping 75.1 per cent year-to-date from last year. The BMW 2 Series moves up into second place, ahead of the often popular Toyota 86 and Mazda MX-5. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for August were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 748 (down from 919 of July)
  2. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 126 (down from 135)
  3. Toyota 86 – 109 (down from 124)
  4. Mazda MX-5 – 94 (down from 110)
  5. Hyundai Veloster – 77 (down from 153)
    (Subaru WRX – 271 [up from 185] – not officially in this segment, shown for comparison)

Sport Cars over $80,000 – Stepping up a level, Aussie buyers continue to swarm to the Mercedes C-Class two-door, with the BMW 4 Series trailling behind. Audi has moved up in the top five in August with the new A5,  but it wasn’t enough to surpass Mercedes E-Class two-door sales. The top five best-selling models in this category were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 240 (up from 185)
  2. BMW 4 Series Coupe/Convertible – 122 (up from 69)
  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 61 (up from 53)
  4. Audi A5 – 35 (up from 25)
  5. Lexus RC – 28 (down from 31)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – Into the rich peoples’ arena, and it seems the car of choice continues to be the iconic Porsche 911. Ferrari sales are still going quite strong however, with equal third place, but Aston Martin jumped into second place. The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during August were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 45 (up from 26)
  2. Aston Martin – 14 (up from 8)
  3. Ferrari (not specified) – 13/BMW 6 Series – 13
  4. Mercedes-AMG GT – 12 (up from 10)
  5. Bentley (not specified) – 11 (up from 9)
  6. Maserati two-door – 9/Mercedes S-Class two-door – 9

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – Into one of the biggest and most demanding segments. The Toyota HiLux remains the king here, as mentioned. Ford Ranger sales are settled in second place, well ahead of the third-place-getting Mitsubishi Triton. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined) for August were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4287 (up from 3742 of July)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3588 (up from 3076)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 1970 (up from 1708)
  4. Holden Colorado – 1694 (up from 1311)
  5. Isuzu D-Max – 1411 (up from 1244)
  6. Mazda BT-50 – 1079 (down from 1089)
  7. Nissan Navara – 1166 (up from 958)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 786 (up from 566)
  9. Great Wall Steed – 29 (up from 28)
  10. All remaining models posted 0 sales

Into the very popular SUV classes. Mazda’s CX-5 remains the best-selling SUV overall for the year but Hyundai’s Tucson posted the biggest SUV sales figure for the month of August. The BMW X5 continues as the most popular premium SUV.

The ‘Medium under $60,000’ segment remains as the most popular, with 13,645 sales, up 19.7 per cent year-to-date. The second most popular SUV class was the ‘Small under $40,000’ category in August, overtaking the large class. The small segment saw 9052 sales, down 0.9 per cent year-to-date, while the large segment reported 8690 sales, up just 0.1 per cent.

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

  • SUV Small under $40,000:
    Mitsubishi ASX – 1676 (up from 1544 of July)
    Nissan Qashqai – 1454 (up from 1239)
    Mazda CX-3 – 1245 (down from 1420)
  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLA – 347 (up from 277)
    BMW X1 – 324 (down from 381)
    Audi Q2 – 131 (down from 143)
  • SUV Medium above $60,000:
    Land Rover Discovery Sport – 350 (down from 362)
    Audi Q5 – 344 (up from 325)
    Mercedes-Benz GLC – 338 (up from 240)
  • SUV Large above $70,000:
    BMW X5 – 408 (up from 394)
    Land Rover Discovery – 264 (down from 341)
    Range Rover Sport – 205 (down from 214)
  • SUV Upper Large above $100,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class/GL – 69 (down from 105)
    Lexus LX – 27 (up from 25)
    Range Rover – 26 (down from 37)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in August were up on July figures. During August, Australian consumers bought 96,662 vehicles compared with 92,754 in July. Overall sales for the month are up 1.8 per cent compared with August 2016, and up 0.6 per cent year-to-date.

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.