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Australian vehicle sales for May 2014 – Toyota in top two

Australian new vehicle registration VFACTS figures for May 2014 have been released, with Toyota dominating the more conservative segments and the three big German brands – Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz – taking over the premium classes.

2014 Toyota Corolla ZR sedan

Subaru WRX sales have dwindled on the previous month’s astounding effort, dropping from 691 sales in April to just 201 in May, while the gap between the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla was further widened by the Corolla extending its lead last month.

As for the overall best-selling manufacturers in Australia, Toyota has more than bounced back from average sales in April and holds onto the lead by a big margin. Most companies improved on April’s dismal effort as well, with Ford seeing the smallest change.

Mercedes-Benz managed to push Honda out of the top ten (2539) after coming very close in April. Kia (2444) and Jeep (2339) are now snapping at the heels of suffering Honda and could soon overtake. The top ten results for May 2014 are as follows:

1. Toyota – 17,246 (up from 14,930 of April)
2. Holden – 9012 (up from 8010)
3. Hyundai – 8403 (up from 7626)
4. Mazda – 7751 (up from 7000)
5. Ford – 6950 (up from 6449)
6. Mitsubishi – 5780 (up from 4360)
7. Nissan – 6281 (up from 4157)
8. Volkswagen – 4918 (up from 4019)
9. Subaru – 3302 (up from 2903)
10. Mercedes-Benz – 2611 (up from 2262)

What was the best-selling vehicle model for May? The trusty Toyota Corolla once again. It extended its lead on the Mazda3. Not only did Mazda3 sales take a blow from the Corolla, the Toyota HiLux has pushed it out from second spot. It’s now a battle between two Toyotas.

It’s good to see the Aussie Holden Commodore is holding onto decent figures, sitting in fourth spot as the Hyundai i30 edges closer. The top five models in terms of outright sales for May 2014 were as follows:

1. Toyota Corolla – 3871 (up from 3315)
2. Toyota HiLux – 3313 (up from 2574)
3. Mazda3 – 3291 (up from 3057)
4. Holden Commodore – 2648 (up from 2443)
5. Hyundai i30 – 2553 (up from 2271)

2014 Toyota Camry

Kicking off with the semi-sporty Medium Cars under $60,000 segment, it’s Toyota once again with the Camry. Toyota sold 1522 examples in May, which is an increase of almost 300 on April’s effort. The Mazda6 sits well behind with 544 sales, followed by the Ford Mondeo (261) which pushed out April’s third-best, the Holden Malibu (106).

Moving up into the Medium Cars over $60,000 segment, Mercedes-Benz has overtaken its arch rival in the battle between the C-Class and 3 Series. Lexus is still doing very well with the latest IS sedan, holding onto third spot ahead of the Audi A4. The top five in this segment were as follows:

1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 466 (up from 279 of April)
2. BMW 3 Series – 432 (up from 411)
3. Lexus IS – 261 (up from 237)
4. Audi A4 – 158 (down from 227)
5. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 144 (down from 160)

As for the Aussie sedans in the Large Cars under $70,000 segment, Holden is well and truly the king of this domain. The local company sold 2648 examples in May, up from 2443 in April. Ford Falcon sales continue to suffer, however, there was a spike in May with the company posting 706 sales. This is up on April’s 653 figure. The Toyota Aurion is hanging in there with 390 sales, up from 310 in April.

Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG S

Stepping up a class into the premium Large Cars over $70,000 category, BMW has regained its often second place on the podium with the 5 Series. The Audi A6 was shunted from second place, pushed back down into fourth by the Jaguar XF. The favourite was the E-Class though, with impressive figures. The Lexus GS was also pushed out from the top five by the Mercedes CLS-Class. The top five vehicle sales figures in this segment were as follows:

1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 142 (up from 130 of April)
2. BMW 5 Series – 80 (up from 49)
3. Jaguar XF – 74 (up from 42)
4. Audi A6 – 52 (down from 65)
5. Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class – 41 (up from 27)

In the fun-loving Sports Car under $80,000 category, the Toyota 86 is still the king. And it’s no wonder, really. The company surpassed a 100,000 global sales milestone recently, with a whopping 10 per cent of those sales attributed to Aussie buys.

VFACTS is continuing to place the Subaru WRX in the small car segment with the Toyota Corolla, but we’ll continue to report it here where it should be. Subaru WRX sales took a bit of a tumble in May, especially after impressive sales in April. The rally icon should be sitting in third spot. The top five sellers in the category were as follows:

1. Toyota 86 – 391 (up from 312)
2. Hyundai Veloster – 300 (up from 228)
3. BMW 1/2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 151 (up from 111)
4. Subaru BRZ – 60 (down from 83)
=5. Nissan 370Z – 52 (up from 13)
=5. Kia Cerato Koup – 52 (up from 29)
(Subaru WRX – 201 [down from 691])

BMW 4 Series Convertible

In the more desirable Sport Cars over $80,000 segment, BMW is going strong with the new 4 Series (3 Series two-door replacement). It managed to fend off the popular C-Class Coupe from Mercedes by a tiny margin. The Mercedes-Benz SLK has sneaked its way back into the top five, pushing out the Jaguar F-Type from April. The top five sellers in this category were as follows:

1. BMW 4 Series Coupe/Convertible including 3 Series – 170 (down from 184)
2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe – 167 (up from 103)
3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Cabrio – 105 (up from 97)
4. Audi A5 – 59 (up from 39)
5. Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class – 27 (up from 25)

Where we all want to be, the Sport Cars over $200,000 segment saw some changes to the popular order. The top two favourites remained unchanged in terms of order, with the legendary Porsche 911 continuing its success, followed by the BMW 6 Series. In the lower order, the Jaguar XK fought it out with unspecified Ferrari models for fourth place. The top five in this category were as follows:

1. Porsche 911 – 30 (down from 32 of April)
2. BMW 6 Series – 21 (up from 13)
3. Maserati (models not specified) – 14 (up from 10)
=4. Ferrari (models not specified) – 11 (up from 6)
=4. Jaguar XK – 11 (up from 4)
5. Aston Martin (models not specified) – 9 (equal)

Nissan Navara ST-X 550

Over in the popular 4×4 ute segment, it’s all Toyota, Toyota, Toyota. The HiLux (2427) remains the obvious favourite, outselling its nearest rival by around 500 sales. The rest of the lineup saw some jumps in sales compared with April figures. The second most popular was the Mitsubishi Triton (1959), followed by the Ford Ranger (1734).

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute sales increased from April’s poor result. The top ten remains mostly unchanged although the Nissan Navara moved back up from 7th spot into its more usual 5th place. The top ten 4×2 and 4×4 combined figures for May 2014 were as follows:

1. Toyota HiLux – 3313 (up from 2574 in April)
2. Ford Ranger – 2317 (up from 2094)
3. Mitsubishi Triton – 2254 (up from 1372)
4. Holden Colorado – 1689 (up from 1260)
5. Nissan Navara – 1541 (up from 861)
6. Mazda BT-50 – 1078 (up from 1001)
7. Isuzu D-Max – 995 (up from 923)
8. Volkswagen Amarok – 578 (up from 562)
9. Great Wall V200 – 105 (down from 127)
10. Great Wall V240 – 72 (up from 49)

Audi A5 3.0TFSI

Finally, the SUV segments saw some minor increases across the board compared with April figures. The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class was off to a cracking start but it seems the excitement has backed off a bit.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has returned to the top of its class, while the Mazda CX-5 is back in form and on top of the RAV4 in its class.

In the higher end segments, the BMW X5 is the clear favourite in the large category, and the Audi Q5 is the favourite in the mid-size segment. Range Rover Sport sales are continuing strong and have overtaken the Mercedes-Benz M-Classs for May.

In all SUV segments, the top-sellers for May 2014 were as follows:

SUV Small under $40,000:

Hyundai ix35 – 1405 (up from 1357 of April)
Nissan Dualis – 1187 (up from 542)
Subaru XV – 942 (up from 610)

SUV Small above $40,000:

Audi Q3 – 293 (up from 250)
BMW X1 – 126 (up from 96)
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class – 76 (down from 160)

SUV Medium under $60,000:

Mazda CX-5 – 1715 (up from 1543)
Toyota RAV4
– 1522 (down from 1548)
Nissan X-Trail – 1448 (up from 1304)

SUV Medium above $60,000:

Audi Q5 – 324 (up from 222)
BMW X3 – 247 (down from 250)
Range Rover Evoque – 151 (down from 215)

SUV Large under $70,000:

Jeep Grand Cherokee – 1694 (up from 1014)
Toyota Prado
– 1460 (down from 1622)
Ford Territory – 877 (up from 697)

SUV Large above $70,000:

BMW X5 – 365 (up from 330)
Land Rover Range Rover Sport – 247 (down from 266)
Mercedes-Benz M-Class – 219 (down from 229)

SUV Upper Large under $100,000:

Toyota LandCruiser – 874 (up from 684)
Nissan Patrol – 209 (up from 89)

SUV Upper Large above $100,000:

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class – 50 (down from 59)
Range Rover – 42 (up from 24)
Lexus LX – 17 (up from 13)

Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in May jumped back up to more usual figures after April’s slow effort, with 94,562 sales in May compared with just 80,710 in April. The figure is slightly down on the May 2013 effort of 96,788.

As for what fuel types buyers preferred in May, the sales figures for private buyers in terms of vehicle fuel were as follows (passenger, SUV, and light commercial combined):

Petrol – 35,970 (up from 29,207 of April)
Diesel – 13,612 (up from 10,179)
Hybrid – 333 (up from 301)
LPG – 27 (up from 11)
Electric – 6 (down from 11)

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.