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Australian vehicle sales for March 2016 – Hyundai i30 dominates market

The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has released the national VFACTS vehicle sales figures for March 2016, with Hyundai reporting super-impressive results, particularly for the i30.

2016 Hyundai i30

In terms of the best-selling car brands, Toyota remains the champion of the industry in Australia. Most of the top-runners remain in the same positions as February, however, Mercedes-Benz has bumped out Honda for 10th spot in their usual battle. Out of the top 10, Subaru has reported the highest percentage gain over the same month last year, with figures jumping 20.6 per cent, followed by Hyundai (11.4 per cent). The top 10 most popular brands for March 2016 were as follows:

  1. Toyota – 17,849 (up from 16,191 of February 2016)
  2. Mazda – 10,228 (up from 10,205)
  3. Hyundai – 9700 (up from 7701)
  4. Holden – 8355 (up from 7340)
  5. Mitsubishi – 6519 (down from 6681)
  6. Ford – 6481 (down from 6656)
  7. Nissan – 5811 (down from 5989)
  8. Volkswagen – 5316 (up from 4922)
  9. Subaru – 4825 (up from 3538)
  10. Mercedes-Benz – 3728 (up from 3236)

As for the best-selling models during March, the Hyundai i30 blew the popular contenders out of the water. Interestingly, the new Hyundai Accent jumped straight into ninth spot in its first full month on sale. The contest between the Corolla and Mazda3 was taken by Toyota. The top 10 best-selling vehicles for March 2016 were as follows:

  1. Hyundai i30 – 4198 (up from 2461)
  2. Toyota HiLux – 3897 (up from 3261)
  3. Toyota Corolla – 3612 (up from 3455)
  4. Mazda3 – 3145 (down from 3354)
  5. Ford Ranger – 2960 (up from 2655)
  6. Mitsubishi Triton – 2740 (up from 2165)
  7. Holden Commodore – 2559 (up from 2331)
  8. Mazda CX-5 – 2252 (up from 2156)
  9. Hyundai Accent – 2034 (up from 1081)
  10. Nissan X-Trail – 1991 (up from 1669)

Medium Cars under $60,000 – The Toyota Camry continues to be the favourite in this segment, however, we suspect a slight swelling in numbers when the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore go out of production later this year. The top five best-selling models in this class were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 1939 (up from 1457)
  2. Mazda6 – 384 (down from 404)
  3. Subaru Liberty – 298 (up from 285)
  4. Hyundai Sonata – 229 (up from 79)
  5. Ford Mondeo – 210 (down from 409)

Medium Cars over $60,000 – Mercedes-Benz C-Class sales seem to be all over the place lately, with March figures shooting back up after disappointing  previous months. This pushed its arch rival, the BMW 3 Series, back to second favourite. Jaguar notched ahead of the Lexus IS with the new XE, for fifth place. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 696 (up from 344)
  2. BMW 3 Series – 389 (down from 403)
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 308 (down from 346)
  4. Audi A4 – 273 (up from 272)
  5. Jaguar XE – 190 (up from 149)

Mercedes-AMG C 63 und Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG Pressdrive Portimao 2015

Large Cars under $70,000 – The sad story continues with the Ford Falcon, with dwindling numbers compared with the Holden Commodore. Skoda launched the new Superb recently and it has jumped straight in with decent figures for the class. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 2559 (up from 2331)
  2. Ford Falcon – 411 (down from 421)
  3. Toyota Aurion – 226 (up from 145)
  4. Skoda Superb – 106 (new model)
  5. Hyundai Genesis – 61 (up from 20)

Large Cars over $70,000 – Jaguar reported impressive sales for the XF in February, and although it was unable to keep up the momentum in March it is holding in there against the more iconic German rivals.  The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment in March 2016 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 90 (up from 63 of February)
  2. Jaguar XF – 57 (down from 75)
  3. BMW 5 Series – 50 (up from 36)
  4. Audi A6 – 44 (down from 65)
  5. Maserati Ghibli – 33 (up from 28)

Sports Car under $80,000 – Muscle car fans continue to make their mark, with Ford Mustang sales still going very strong. As far as we know, Ford dealers are unable to keep up with the sheer demand for the car. If they could, these figures would be even higher. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 373 (up from 356)
  2. Toyota 86 – 210 (down from 246)
  3. Hyundai Veloster – 198 (up from 122)
  4. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 195 (up from 156)
  5. Mazda MX-5 – 192 (down from 209)
    (Subaru WRX – 309 [up from 280] – not officially in this segment)

2016 Ford Mustang

Sport Cars over $80,000 – BMW maintains dominant presence here but Mercedes-Benz is catching up, with the introduction of the new C-Class two-door models set to shake up the segment going forward. Porsche dropped out of the top five in March with the Cayman, which reported 24 sales. The top five best-selling vehicles in this category were as follows:

  1. BMW 4 Series Coupe/Convertible – 138 (down from 141)
  2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 108 (new model)
  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 78 (up from 55)
  4. Audi TT – 67 (up from 59)
  5. Lexus RC – 51 (up from 44)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – Lamborghini is really starting to leave a big dent in the market compared with previous years, with various new models entering the scene including the new Huracan 580-2. The brand sits in third spot overall, just behind Ferrari. Porsche is still the king of this class though with the 911. The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during March 2016 were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 53 (up from 31 of February)
  2. Ferrari (not specified) – 14/BMW 6 Series – 14
  3. Lamborghini (not specified) – 13 (up from 9)
  4. Bentley Coupe/Convertible – 11 (up from 8)
  5. Mercedes-AMG GT – 10/Maserati – 10

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – Isuzu made firm ground in the tradies segment in March, jumping right up into fourth spot. Toyota of course leads the segment, with the Ford Ranger well behind. Mitsubishi is catching the Ranger, sitting not too far behind. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined) for March 2016 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 3897 (up from 3261 of February)
  2. Ford Ranger – 2960 (up from 2655)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 2740 (up from 2165)
  4. Isuzu D-Max – 1792 (up from 1211)
  5. Holden Colorado – 1385 (up from 1259)
  6. Mazda BT-50 – 1236 (down from 1269)
  7. Nissan Navara – 1179 (down from 1428)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 987 (up from 779)
  9. Foton Tunland – 86 (up from 75)
  10. Ssangyong Actyon Sports – 7 (down from 12)

Isuzu D-Max

Over in the ever-growing SUV segments we see a number of little changes in popularity. The most popular size category continues to be the ‘SUV Medium under $60,000’ class, with 12,065 sales in total. The figure is up 2.4 per cent on the same month last year when 11,784 units were sold.

The second most popular SUV segment in March was the ‘SUV Large below $70,000’ class. Sales rose 4.0 per cent to 10,575 during the month compared with the same month in 2015. ‘SUV Small below $40,000’ sales also continue to rise, climbing 1.9 per cent to 8791, placing it as the third most popular size.

These stats show SUVs are clearly the trend at the moment, with no sign of backing down. The top three best-selling SUVs in all categories for March 2016 were as follows:

  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    BMW X1 – 524 (up from 374)
    Audi Q3 – 410 (down from 469)
    Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class – 293 (down from 297)
  • SUV Medium under $60,000:
    Mazda CX-5 – 2252 (up from 2156)
    Nissan X-Trail – 1991 (up from 1669)
    Subaru Forester – 1574 (up from 1051)
  • SUV Large above $70,000:
    BMW X5 – 373 (down from 451)
    Range Rover Sport – 315 (up from 250)
    Land Rover Discovery – 255 (down from 319)
  • SUV Upper Large under $100,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser – 791 (up from 679)
    Nissan Patrol – 136 (down from 176)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in March were up on February figures. During March, Australian consumers bought 104,512 vehicles, compared with 96,443 in February. Sales are down 0.5 per cent compared with March 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.