Australian vehicle sales for July 2018 (VFACTS)

It’s the start of the new financial year and as expected car sales took a dive last month, according to the July 2018 VFACTS report. Overall vehicle sales are down 0.2 per cent in the first seven months of the year compared with the same period last year.

Even Toyota took a decent blow in July, although it still remains the most popular new vehicle brand in the country. Its July figure is down 5.7 per cent on July last year, but year-to-date (YTD) sales for the Japanese brand are up 1.4 per cent.

Mazda, in second place, reported monthly drop of 6.4 per cent and a YTD drop of 3.9 per cent, while third-place Hyundai dropped 5.9 per cent for July and 0.6 per cent YTD. Poor old Holden has dwindled once again, dropping to ninth place in July, following an elimination from the top 10 earlier in the year. See below for the top 10 best-selling brands during July 2018.

  1. Toyota – 16,915 (down from 23,171 of June 2018 sales)
  2. Mazda – 8920 (down from 12,469)
  3. Hyundai – 7061 (down from 10,436)
  4. Mitsubishi – 5908 (down from 10,232)
  5. Ford – 5481 (down from 7492)
  6. Kia – 4403 (down from 7067)
  7. Nissan – 4260 (down from 6604)
  8. Volkswagen – 3981 (down from 6334)
  9. Holden – 3927 (down from 7385)
  10. Subaru – 3366 (down from 4920)

In terms of the best-selling vehicle models, the HiLux takes the crown once again. But sales took a big drop from the previous month, like most vehicles in the top 10. The Ford Ranger remains in second place, while the Corolla continues to dominate the small car market. Interestingly but not surprisingly there are only two utes in the top 10 for July, unlike the usual four, likely due to the start of the new financial year.  The top 10 best-selling vehicles for July 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 3747 (down from 5787)
  2. Ford Ranger – 2950 (down from 4768)
  3. Toyota Corolla – 2594 (down from 3780)
  4. Mazda3 – 2443 (down from 3327)
  5. Mazda CX-5 – 2233 (down from 3136)
  6. Hyundai i30 – 2178 (down from 3547)
  7. Toyota RAV4 – 1853 (down from 2690)
  8. Volkswagen Golf – 1628 (down from 2317)
  9. Nissan X-Trail – 1603 (down from 2151)
  10. Hyundai Tucson – 1490 (down from 2000)

Small Cars under $40,000 – The small car market is led by the Corolla as mentioned, but further down we see the Lancer has shifted up a spot from the previous month, while the Ford Focus sneaks into 10th spot, kicking out the Hyundai Elantra. Focus sales are set to spike soon, with the arrival of the new model in November. The top 10 best-selling small cars in July 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 2594 (down from 3780)
  2. Mazda3 – 2443 (down from 3327)
  3. Hyundai i30 – 2178 (down from 3547)
  4. Volkswagen Golf – 1628 (down from 2317)
  5. Kia Cerato – 1428 (down from 2485)
  6. Honda Civic – 918 (down from 1750)
  7. Subaru Impreza – 758 (down from 877)
  8. Mitsubishi Lancer – 729 (up from 673)
  9. Holden Astra – 588 (down from 851)
  10. Ford Focus –  449 (up from 491)

Medium Cars under $60,000 – Sales of the Toyota Camry seem to be holding strong, posting a similar figure in July as in June. This is a pretty good effort considering most of the market is reporting drops in sales. The rest of the segment dwindled, with the VW Passat dropping to fifth spot. The top five best-selling models in this class for July 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 1317 (down from 1380 of June)
  2. Mazda6 – 276 (down from 405)
  3. Skoda Octavia – 188 (down from 210)
  4. Ford Mondeo – 140 (down from 160)
  5. Volkswagen Passat – 129 (down from 214)

Medium Cars over $60,000 – The entry luxury sedans continue to be led by the Mercedes C-Class, although the BMW 3 Series managed to get pretty close in July. Apart from the 3 Series moving up to second spot and above the Mercedes CLA, the rest of the rankings remain the same. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class during July 2018 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 401 (down from 484)
  2. BMW 3 Series – 316 (down from 351)
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 199 (down from 420)
  4. Audi A4 – 110 (down from 213)
  5. Lexus IS – 66 (down from 122)

Large Cars under $70,000 – Holden Commodore fans will be disappointed to see sales dropping by a big chunk in July. The Kia Stinger is holding relatively steadily, while the Skoda Superb is the only other model in this class doing reasonable numbers. This segment isn’t doing so great overall, with YTD figures down 48.6 per cent, and for the month of July the overall sales of 814 is down 59.6 per cent compared with July last year. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for July 2018 were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 557 (down from 1159 in June)
  2. Kia Stinger – 174 (down from 188)
  3. Skoda Superb – 74 (down from 96)
  4. Toyota Aurion – 6 (up from 5)
  5. Ford Falcon – 3 (up from 0)

Large Cars over $70,000 – The luxury version of the segment above isn’t shaping up much better. This class reported a YTD drop of 33.5 per cent, and a July drop of 38.4 per cent compared with last year. A majority of the customers are heading for the Mercedes E-Class, with a lot of the competitors slumping behind. However, the Volvo S90 storms into the top five for July, straight into third spot. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class in July 2018 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 124 (down from 180)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 41 (down from 86)
  3. Volvo S90 – 17 (up from 4)
  4. Jaguar XF – 16 (down from 18)
  5. Maserati Ghibli – 13 (down from 20)

Sports Car under $80,000 – Over in the driver’s car segment, the Ford Mustang is showing no sign of losing steam. During July most of the rivals reported low numbers, and the segment itself dropped 42.4 per cent YTD. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment for July 2018 were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 546 (down from 635 of June)
  2. Toyota 86 – 80 (down from 111)
  3. Hyundai Veloster – 76 (down from 16)
  4. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 56 (down from 110)/Subaru BRZ – 56 (up from 51)
  5. Mazda MX-5 – 49 (down from 60)
    (Subaru WRX – 197 [up from 169] – not officially in this segment, shown for comparison)

Sport Cars over $80,000 – Into the more desirable stuff, and it’s the Mercedes C-Class two-door that wins the most hearts. The BMW 4 Series and Mercedes E-Class two-door tied for second place, helping the Porsche Cayman sneak into fifth. Segment sales are down 20.3 per cent YTD. The top five best-selling models in this category for July 2018 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 92 (down from 260)
  2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 46 (down from 92)/BMW 4 Series Coupe – 46 (down from 55)
  3. Audi A5 – 28 (down from 63)
  4. Lexus RC – 26 (down from 28)
  5. Porsche Cayman – 22 (down from 27)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – Speed freaks bought more Porsche 911s than anything else in this class in July. July seemed like a popular month for supercar buyers actually, as Ferrari came in just behind in second place, with rival Lamborghini in third. YTD sales are down just 0.2 per cent.  The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during July 2018 were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 19 (down from 46)
  2. Ferrari (not specified) – 14 (down from 23)
  3. Lamborghini (not specified) – 13 (up from 10)
  4. Mercedes-AMG GT – 10 (down from 19)
  5. Aston Martin (not specified) – 7 (down from 12)

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – Into the ever-popular ute class, and we see all models reported a drop from June. This is understandable as many businesses would have made their purchases before the end of the financial year. The HiLux continues as the favourite, followed by the Ford Ranger, while the Isuzu D-Max makes a big jump up into third spot. The new Mercedes X-Class doesn’t seem to be gaining any traction, while the Colorado moved into fourth spot for the month.  The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined – excludes LandCruiser) for July 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 3747 (down from 5787 from June)
  2. Ford Ranger – 2950 (down from 4768)
  3. Isuzu D-Max – 1434 (down from 2223)
  4. Holden Colorado – 1432 (down from 2472)
  5. Mitsubishi Triton – 1418 (down from 3919)
  6. Nissan Navara – 1072 (down from 1621)
  7. Mazda BT-50 – 920 (down from 1426)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 733 (down from 1250)
  9. LDV T60 – 270 (down from 295)
  10. Mercedes-Benz X-Class – 75 (down from 226)

Sports Utility Vehicles, as they’re called, are showing no sign of disappearing any time soon. In fact, combined SUV market sales are up 9.1 per cent YTD, at 36,625 units, with the Mazda CX-5 reporting once again as the most popular for the month.

As for the favourite class, the ‘Medium under $60,000’ reported the most sales, with 12,793 units, up 0.4 per cent on July 2017 and up 8.8 per cent YTD. Second favourite, the ‘Large under $70,000’ class saw 9013 sales, up 0.2 per cent on July last year but down 4.1 per cent YTD. Rounding out the top three segments is the ‘Small under $40,000’ class. It reported 8775 sales, up 4.4 per cent on July 2017, and up an amazing 26.8 per cent YTD.

It doesn’t look like there were very many movements in the rankings for the top three in each segment. The Prado overtook its brother, the Kluger, for top spot in the large class, and the CX-3 moved into number one position for the entry class. The top three best-selling SUVs in all categories for July 2018 were as follows:

  • SUV Small under $40,000:
    Mazda CX-3 – 1233 (down from 1869 in June)
    Nissan Qashqai – 1205 (down from 2198)
    Mitsubishi ASX – 1154 (down from 2053)
  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLA – 215 (down from 486)
    Audi Q3 – 207 (down from 276)
    BMW X1 – 145 (down from 441)
  • SUV Medium under $60,000:
    Mazda CX-5 – 2233 (down from 3136)
    Toyota RAV4 – 1853 (down from 2690)
    Nissan X-Trail – 1603 (down from 2151)
  • SUV Medium above $60,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLC – 493 (down from 739)
    BMW X3 – 326 (down from 554)
    Lexus NX – 310 (down from 458)
  • SUV Large under $70,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser Prado – 1434 (down from 1688)
    Toyota Kluger – 1256 (down from 1757)
    Subaru Outback – 853 (down from 1152)
  • SUV Large above $70,000:
    BMW X5 – 204 (down from 298)
    Mercedes-Benz GLE – 192 (down from 325)
    Range Rover Sport – 159 (down from 268)
  • SUV Upper Large under $100,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser – 1066 (down from 1359)
    Nissan Patrol – 85 (down from 129)
  • SUV Upper Large above $100,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class/GL – 103 (down from 121)
    Range Rover – 45 (up from 31)
    Lexus LX – 35 (down from 38)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in July were down on June figures. During July 2018, Australian consumers bought 85,551 vehicles compared with 130,300 in June. Sales for the month are down 7.8 per cent compared with July 2017, and YTD sales are down 0.2 per cent as mentioned.

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.

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