• CarLoans.com.au
  • www.1800accident.com.au
  • performancedrive.com.au

Australian vehicle sales for February 2017 – SUVs overtake passenger cars

The Australian VFACTS sales figures for new vehicle registrations in February, 2017, have been released. And it looks like SUV sales have overtaken passenger cars for the first time.

According to the stats, Australians purchased 35,497 SUVs in February, making up for a record 39.9 per cent of the overall market. This is fractionally up on passenger car sales of 34,740, taking 39.0 per cent share.

In terms of the most popular brands, Toyota crosses the line first once again racking up 16,308 sales. The figure is up 0.7 per cent on Feb last year and 0.8 per cent year-to-date. Mazda is well and truly in second place with just under 10,000 sales, with third-favourite going to Hyundai with 7000 sales. Hyundai overtakes Holden, which itself has slipped down to fifth.

As for the biggest losers of the main brands, Proton sales are down 86 per cent year-to-date, SsangYong dropped 71.8 per cent, Jeep fell 59.4 per cent, and Chrysler drooped 58.5 per cent year-to-date. The top 10 most popular car brands for February 2017 were as follows:

  1. Toyota – 16,308 (up from 12,554 of January 2017 sales)
  2. Mazda – 9923 (down from 10,067)
  3. Hyundai – 7001 (up from 6705)
  4. Mitsubishi – 5758 (up from 5075)
  5. Holden – 5724 (down from 7184)
  6. Ford – 5669 (down from 5912)
  7. Nissan – 4425 (down from 5012)
  8. Volkswagen – 4618 (up from 3995)
  9. Kia – 4174 (up from 4015)
  10. Subaru – 3746 (down from 4009)

The best-selling vehicle model for the month was the Toyota Corolla, by a whisker. It just nudged ahead of the Toyota HiLux, with the Mazda3 taking up third. Holden’s Commodore drops all the way down to 10th overall, perhaps hinting at a sign of times ahead. The top 10 best-selling vehicles for February 2017 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 3392 (up from 2943)
  2. Toyota HiLux – 3386 (up from 2702)
  3. Mazda3 – 3143 (down from 3473)
  4. Ford Ranger – 2931 (up from 2622)
  5. Hyundai i30 – 2003 (down from 2018)
  6. Mitsubishi Triton – 1990 (up from 1155)
  7. Mazda CX-5 – 1933 (up from 1924)
  8. Toyota RAV4 – 1726 (up from 1394)
  9. Hyundai Tucson – 1596 (down from 1678)
  10. Holden Commodore – 1566 (down from 1960)

Medium Cars under $60,000 – The Toyota Camry is smashing through the segment once again, posting ridiculously high sales for this class. Rivals, such as the Mazda6 and Ford Mondeo, simply didn’t have a chance last month. The top five best-selling models in this class for February were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 1473 (up from 580 of January)
  2. Mazda6 – 299 (up from 250)
  3. Ford Mondeo – 295 (up from 251)
  4. Subaru Liberty – 201/Volkswagen Passat – 201
  5. Skoda Octavia – 159 (down from 162)

Medium Cars over $60,000 – In the premium class, the Mercedes C-Class is once again proving its worth with impressive sales. It’s sleeker brother, the CLA, posted good enough figures for second place, leaving German rivals BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 behind. Interestingly, the new Alfa Romeo Giulia only posted 21 sales, despite the initial excitement and hype. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for February were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 745 (up from 651)
  2. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 287 (up from 244)
  3. BMW 3 Series – 201 (down from 270)
  4. Audi A4 – 149 (down from 234)
  5. Lexus IS – 134 (up from 117)

Large Cars under $70,000 – It’s all pretty grim here at the moment, unfortunately, with even the Holden Commodore posting depressing figures. Holden Commodore production in Australia will cease in October, ending the rear-wheel drive family sedan as we know it. Aussie Toyota Aurion production is also winding up, preparing closure in August. Ford Falcon numbers are now sadly almost gone. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for February 2017 were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 1566 (down from 1960)
  2. Toyota Aurion – 176 (up from 95)
  3. Skoda Superb – 82 (up from 61)
  4. Ford Falcon – 50 (down from 73)
  5. Hyundai Genesis – 10 (down from 14)

Large Cars over $70,000 – A step above sees the Mercedes-Benz E-Class following the same path as its brother, the C-Class, easily overshadowing the main rivals. BMW Australia has just launched the new 5 Series so we may see it fight back a little harder in the coming months. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment in February were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 193 (up from 154)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 85 (up from 80)
  3. Jaguar XF – 26 (up from 17)
  4. Lexus GS – 24 (up from 11)
  5. Audi A6 – 23 (down from 39)

Sports Car under $80,000 – Over in the entry sports category we see the Ford Mustang is still going very strong. Interestingly, the BMW 2 Series is catching up for a spot in second place, but for now the Hyundai Veloster and Toyota 86 just edge ahead. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for February were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 577 (down from 583 of January)
  2. Hyundai Veloster – 196 (up from 163)
  3. Toyota 86 – 185 (up from 107)
  4. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 184 (up from 148)
  5. Mazda MX-5 – 146 (up from 115)
    (Subaru WRX – 161 [down from 205] – not officially in this segment, shown for comparison)

Sport Cars over $80,000 – Up a notch and we see the Merc C-Class two-door is holding its stance, while the rival BMW 4 Series is far behind. Most rivals, in fact, are far behind the ‘Benz. The Porsche Cayman joins the top five during February. The top five best-selling models in this category were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 307 (up from 255)
  2. BMW 4 Series Coupe/Convertible – 89 (down from 150)
  3. Porsche Cayman – 25 (down from 46)
  4. Mercedes-Benz SLC – 22 (down from 27)
  5. Lexus RC – 21 (up from 18)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – Porsche is storming through this segment with the 911, leaving the exotics well behind. Ferrari comes in second place, and McLaren and Lamborghini report decent figures for their exclusivity status. The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during February were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 60 (up from 57)
  2. BMW 6 Series – 13 (down from 30)/Ferrari (not specified) – 13 (equal)
  3. Lamborghini (not specified) – 11 (down from 17)
  4. Aston Martin – 10/McLaren – 10
  5. Mercedes-AMG GT – 9 (down from 14)

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – SUVs might be in front of passengers cars for now, but we’d watch this space over the next few years. Most models here are seeing steady increases from past years, indicating an obvious trend. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined) for February were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 3386 (up from 2702 of January)
  2. Ford Ranger – 2931 (up from 2622)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 1990 (up from 1155)
  4. Holden Colorado – 1281 (down from 1458)
  5. Nissan Navara – 1166 (up from 966)
  6. Mazda BT-50 – 1106 (up from 1094)
  7. Volkswagen Amarok – 834 (up from 627)
  8. Isuzu D-Max – 823 (up from 711)
  9. Foton Tunland – 77 (up from 58)
  10. Great Wall Steed – 30 (up from 21)

As for the party crashers in February, the SUVs are very popular. In the ‘Medium under $60,000’ class, which continues as the favourite, Aussies bought 11,993 units, up 5.7 per cent year-to-date.

The second favourite class, ‘Large under $70,000′, there were 9265 sales, up 1.2 per cent year-to-date. Meanwhile in third place, it’s the ‘Small under $40,000’ segment. Sales topped 7341, down 9.2 per cent year-to-date.

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

  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    BMW X1 – 361 (up from 278)
    Audi Q3 – 306 (down from 320)
    Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class – 279 (up from 235)
  • SUV Upper Large above $100,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class/GL – 59 (down from 85)
    Range Rover – 49 (up from 26)
    Lexus LX – 39 (up from 22)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in February were up on January figures. During February, Australian consumers bought 89,025 vehicles compared with 84,910 in January. Sales are down 7.7 per cent compared with February 2016 though, and down 3.8 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.