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Australian vehicle sales for July 2016 – Corolla returns to form

The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has released the national VFACTS new vehicle registration figures for July 2016, with most brands experiencing a drop in figures compared with June, likely due to the start of the financial year.

2015 Toyota Corolla SX hatch

For the top 10 best-selling vehicle brands, Toyota is still the favourite car brand in this country. Although figures were down compared with June, it still posted a 3.7 per cent increase compared with July last year. Most of the top 10 standings remain the same, but Kia has moved up to ninth position. Ford also moved from sixth to fifth compared with June, and Subaru slipped into the top 10, pushing out Honda from the previous month. The top 10 most popular brands for July 2016 were as follows:

  1. Toyota – 17,465 (down from 22,083 of June 2016 sales)
  2. Mazda – 8460 (down from 12,455)
  3. Hyundai – 7603 (down from 12,300)
  4. Holden – 7071 (down from 11,376)
  5. Ford – 6894 (down from 8316)
  6. Mitsubishi – 5412 (down from 8726)
  7. Nissan – 5304 (down from 6781)
  8. Volkswagen – 4193 (down from 5933)
  9. Kia – 3555 (down from 5170)
  10. Subaru – 3356 (down from 5135)

In terms of the best-selling vehicle models, specifically, the Toyota Corolla burst through all with impressive figures. Well, it wasn’t that the figure jumped from last month but it didn’t drop as much as the rivals leading into the new financial year. The top 10 looks very odd this month, with a number of unusual models high up in the rankings. You’ll probably notice a common theme in the top 10 nowadays as well; plenty of utes and SUVs. The top 10 best-selling vehicles for July 2016 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 3427 (down from 4427)
  2. Toyota HiLux – 3136 (down from 4613)
  3. Ford Ranger – 2874 (down from 4078)
  4. Hyundai i30 – 2216 (down from 6432)
  5. Toyota Camry – 2172 (down from 3049)
  6. Mazda CX-5 – 1933 (down from 2643)
  7. Holden Commodore – 1874 (down from 3054)
  8. Toyota RAV4 – 1825 (down from 2088)
  9. Mazda CX-3 – 1744 (down from 1790)
  10. Holden Colorado – 1648 (down from 2397)

Medium Cars under $60,000 – It’s no surprise the Toyota Camry sits atop this segment once again. It couldn’t match the impressive figures it achieved during June, likely due to fleet buyers jumping in before the end of the financial year, but it still trumped its rivals quite easily. Interestingly, the new Subaru Levorg managed to surpass its bigger brother, the Liberty. Could this be a sign of things to come, with buyers preferring sportier models over the regular counterparts? The top five best-selling models in this class were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 2172 (down from 3049)
  2. Mazda6 – 405 (down from 464)
  3. Volkswagen Passat – 300 (down from 257)
  4. Ford Mondeo – 257 (down from 444)
  5. Subaru Levorg – 230 (down from 249)

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

Medium Cars over $60,000 – Mercedes-Benz continues to be the favourite in the premium mid-size segment, with the C-Class and CLA-Class coming in 1-2. Jaguar’s XE pushed its way into the top five, nudging out the Lexus IS. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 536 (down from 649)
  2. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 344 (down from 390)
  3. Audi A4 – 238 (equal)
  4. BMW 3 Series – 224 (down from 615)
  5. Jaguar XE – 114 (down from 167)

Large Cars under $70,000 – Even though production will soon be winding down, the Holden Commodore is still a popular model in the large car class. It stands clear ahead of its locally-made rivals. It will be interesting to see what Ford comes up with as a replacement when the Falcon is killed off. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 1874 (down from 3054)
  2. Ford Falcon – 346 (down from 475)
  3. Toyota Aurion – 365 (down from 459)
  4. Skoda Superb – 62 (up from 53)
  5. Hyundai Genesis – 47 (up from 15)

Large Cars over $70,000 – The bigger brothers to the premium mid-size class were blown away by the Mercedes E-Class in July. It posted big figures. Jaguar moved up to third spot with the new XF, while the Audi A6 pushed out the Mercedes CLS for fifth. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment in July 2016 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 177 (up from 65 of June)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 57 (down from 59)
  3. Jaguar XF – 49 (up from 38)
  4. Maserati Ghibli – 26 (down from 42)
  5. Audi A6 – 23 (down from 31)

Sports Car under $80,000 –There’s no denying the success of the Ford Mustang. Since its introduction in Australia, buyers have been expressing more interest than Ford can supply. Along with the Hyundai Veloster, it was the only model in the top five to produce higher sales figures compared with June. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 619 (up from 382)
  2. Toyota 86 – 169 (down from 190)
  3. Hyundai Veloster – 166 (up from 109)
  4. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 129 (down from 240)
  5. Mazda MX-5 – 112 (down from 109)
    (Subaru WRX – 267 [down from 289] – not officially in this segment)

Sport Cars over $80,000 – Those with a little more money to spend on a sports car seem to be jumping to the new Mercedes C-Class Coupe more than anything else. The BMW 4 Series is hanging in there, with the Audi TT jumping into the top five. The top five best-selling vehicles in this category were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 259 (up from 254)
  2. BMW 4 Series Coupe/Convertible – 99 (down from 169)
  3. Audi TT – 39 (up from 34)
  4. Lexus RC – 34 (down from 51)
  5. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 31 (down from 128)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – If money is no object, the Porsche 911 seems to be the place most buyers are heading. Interestingly, McLaren jumped right up into the top five, excelling above rivals from Ferrari and Lamborghini. The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during July 2016 were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 28 (down from 38 of June)
  2. BMW 6 Series – 19 (up from 15)
  3. McLaren (not specified) – 18 (up from 6)
  4. Ferrari (not specified) – 17 (equal)
  5. Mercedes-AMG GT – 14 (up from 11)

McLaren 570S

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – This segment seems to be everything buyers want in a car, with sales slowly but steadily on the rise. The Nissan Navara made some ground compared with June efforts, while the Holden Colorado is fast-becoming one of the overall favourites. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined) for July 2016 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 3136 (down from 4613 of June 2016)
  2. Ford Ranger – 2874 (down from 4078)
  3. Holden Colorado – 1648 (down from 2397)
  4. Nissan Navara – 1537 (down from 1697)
  5. Mitsubishi Triton – 1345 (down from 2858)
  6. Isuzu D-Max – 1336 (down from 1652)
  7. Mazda BT-50 – 1117 (down from 1917)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 441 (down from 1082)
  9. Foton Tunland – 101 (down from 98)
  10. Ssangyong Actyon Sports – 1 (down from 2)

SUVs are the go-to place for buyers in this generation. And who can blame them with the level of highly-desirable offerings out there. Mazda’s CX-3 dominated the junior class, with the relatively new BMW X1 taking out the premium portion.

Land Rover jumped ahead in the mid-size premium class with the Discovery Sport, while the large premium class saw most buyers opting for the Audi Q7. Interestingly, almost as many buyers bought a Toyota LandCruiser compared with its often more popular Prado little brother.

The most popular category remains the ‘SUV Medium under $60,000’ class, with 10,287 sales in total. The figure is up 3.6 per cent on the same month last year when 9929 units were sold.

Following just behind is the ‘SUV Large below $70,000’ class. Buyers signed up for 9089 units in July 2016, up 1.6 per cent compared with July 2015. Rounding out the favourite sizes is the ‘SUV Small below $40,000’. New registrations hit 7472 during July, actually down 14.1 per cent compared with the same month last year (8703).

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

  • SUV Small under $40,000:
    Mazda CX-3 – 1744 (down from 1790 of June)
    Mitsubishi ASX – 1130 (down from 2182)
    Nissan Qashqai – 1061 (down from 1339)
  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    BMW X1 – 313 (down from 406)
    Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class – 245 (down from 358)
    Audi Q3 – 218 (down from 431)
  • SUV Medium under $60,000:
    Mazda CX-5 – 1933 (down from 2643)
    Toyota RAV4 – 1825 (down from 2088)
    Hyundai Tucson – 1497 (up from 1481)
  • SUV Large above $70,000:
    Audi Q7 – 389 (up from 314)
    BMW X5 – 322 (down from 559)
    Land Rover Discovery – 257 (down from 311)
  • SUV Upper Large under $100,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser – 1214 (up from 842)
    Nissan Patrol – 144 (down from 184)
  • SUV Upper Large above $100,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class/GL – 111 (down from 136)
    Range Rover – 26 (down from 47)/Lexus LX – 26 (up from 18)
    Mercedes-Benz G-Class – 8 (up from 6)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in July were down on June figures. During July, Australian consumers bought 91,331 vehicles, compared with 128,569 in June. Sales are down 1.1 per cent compared with July 2015, with year-to-date figures up 2.8 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.