The official VFACTS figures for Australian new vehicle registrations for October 2013 are out, and with a number of all-new models being launched during the month, we see some segments are shaken up quite a bit. The introduction of the BMW 4 Series and the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class standing out as popular contenders straight from the gate, while the new Holden VF Commodore is starting to stretch its legs.
As for the overall best-seller, it is once again the Toyota Corolla. It easily overshadowed its arch rival, the Mazda3, by over 200 sales during October. Great news for the Australian car industry up near the top too, as the Holden Commodore sales took a big jump, placing it as the third-best seller overall. It even overtook the hugely popular Toyota HiLux.
Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus all showed dominance in various segments at the premium ends of the market. The new Lexus ES reported decent popularity, while the Porsche 911 proved all-too-strong for its rivals, with Cayman sales sitting firm in its segment.
As for the top manufacturers, Toyota maintains its monumental lead, selling 18,129 vehicles during October. The figure is around 1000 more than what was achieved in the previous month. Holden sits in second place, ahead of Mazda.
The standings for the top ten manufacturers in terms of sales remained mostly steady. Kia overtook Honda to take up 10th spot, while Nissan traded places Mitsubishi for 6th spot. The top ten manufacturers were as follows:
1. Toyota – 18,129 (down from 17,492 of September)
2. Holden – 10,528 (down from 9614)
3. Hyundai – 8130 (up from 8803)
4. Mazda – 7967 (down from 7615)
5. Ford – 7486 (up from 7505)
6. Nissan – 5286 (up from 5556)
7. Mitsubishi – 5071 (up from 5993)
8. Volkswagen – 4910 (down from 4466)
9. Subaru – 2860 (down from 2752)
10. Kia – 2529 (down from 2533)
As for the most popular vehicle models overall for October, the top five is dominated by the Toyota Corolla, however, Holden is creeping up with the Commodore. The top five vehicles for October 2013 in terms of outright sales were as follows:
In the Large Cars under $70,000 segment, the Holden VF Commodore maintains its stronghold over the Ford Falcon, which although made more sales in October compared with September, is still suffering. Ford sold 1076 examples of the Falcon, compared with 846 the previous month. The Toyota Aurion remains the third favourite, recording 599 sales.
Moving up to the Large Cars over $70,000 category, the rankings for overall popularity remained mostly unchanged except for one vehicle model; the new Lexus ES. It has set off with a storming start during its first month on sale, jumping straight into third spot. The top five vehicle sales figures in this category were as follows:
1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 140 (down from 184 in September)
2. BMW 5 Series – 100 (down from 111)
3. Lexus ES – 83 (first month on sale)
4. Jaguar XF – 77 (up from 61)
5. Audi A6 – 43 (up from 42)
In the semi-sporty Medium Cars under $60,000 segment, nobody could shake the Toyota Camry from top spot. It posted 2251 sales, followed by the Mazda6 with 472 sales. Sales in the rest of the category dwindled, with the third favourite, the Hyundai i40, posting just 197 sales. The new Holden Malibu maintains its fourth spot position, with 192 units.
Moving up to the luxury Medium Cars over $60,000 segment, BMW’s 3 Series has held strong popularity ahead of its main rival from Mercedes-Benz. The Lexus IS was the only sedan that recorded an increase in sales compared with September efforts. Interestingly, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class four-door coupe overtook the A4 for fourth spot. The top five in this segment were as follows:
In the entry level Sports Car under $80,000 segment, Toyota’s hugely popular 86 sports coupe sticks at the top. Most of the leaders in the segment remained steady in terms of rankings, although, the Subaru BRZ is back again, sitting in third spot. The top five sellers in this category were as follows:
1. Toyota 86 – 598 (up from 492 sales in September)
2. Hyundai Veloster – 379 (up from 360)
3. Subaru BRZ – 190 (up from 34)
4. BMW 1 Series Coupe/Convertible – 100 (down from 103)
5. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe – 92 (down from 96)
In the tempting Sport Cars over $80,000 segment, the new BMW 4 Series shuffled straight to the top after being on sale for only a few weeks. It outsold its nearest rival, the E-Class Coupe/Cabrio, by a decent chunk. The top five sellers in this category were as follows:
1. BMW 3 Series Coupe/Convertible/4 Series – 148 (up from 62)
2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Cabrio – 124 (down from 156)
3. Audi A5 – 57 (down from 60)
4. Mercedes-Benz SLK – 29 (down from 73)
5. Porsche Boxster – 24 (up from 17)
In the dreamy Sport Cars over $200,000 segment, the Porsche 911 is still the king. It easily overshadowed its main rivals in October. However, sales were down by almost 50 per cent compared with September figures. The rest of the category saw little change in overall rankings. The top five in this category were as follows:
1. Porsche 911 – 26 (down from 39 in September)
2. BMW 6 Series – 14 (down from 25)
3. Maserati (models not specified) – 9 (up from 6)
4. Aston Martin Coupe – 7 (equal)
5. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class – 5 (equal)
In the Aussie-favourite 4×4 ute segment, the Toyota HiLux isn’t budging from top position. Toyota sold 2404 examples of the 4×4 ute, followed by the Nissan Navara with 1860 sales, and then the Mitsubishi Triton with 1518 sales.
As for the combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute sales, Toyota’s HiLux is also the best seller. The Nissan Navara on the other hand has been pushed from second place to make way for the Ford Ranger. The Nissan Navara then follows. The rest of the rankings remained steady, with the Volkswagen Amarok trading places with the Isuzu D-Max for 7th spot. The top ten 4×2 and 4×4 combined figures for October 2013 were as follows:
1. Toyota HiLux – 3172 (down from 3341 in September)
2. Ford Ranger – 2027 (down from 2037)
3. Nissan Navara – 1969 (down from 2278)
4. Mitsubishi Triton – 1836 (up from 1761)
5. Holden Colorado – 1263 (down from 1402)
6. Mazda BT-50 – 990 (up from 946)
7. Volkswagen Amarok – 900 (up from 428)
8. Isuzu D-Max – 871 (up from 791)
9. Great Wall V200 – 201 (down from 213)
10. Great Wall V240 – 120 (up from 99)
Lastly, the SUV market was jumbled up a bit in various categories. The Toyota RAV4 moved up into top spot in its segment, while the Hyundai ix35 remains the favourite in the entry-level market.
Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee is carrying on its popular trend from September, dominating the large segment. The rest of the contenders maintained their positions from September.
At the premium end of the market, BMW X5 sales dropped considerably, partly due to the new model coming in. This left the door open for Mercedes-Benz to take out the class with the M-Class. Lexus’s RX pushed its way right up to second position, nudging the Volkswagen Touareg out of the top three.
In all SUV segments, the top-sellers for October 2o13 were as follows:
SUV Small under $40,000:
Hyundai ix35 – 1480 (down from 1667 in September)
Mitsubishi ASX – 833 (down from 846)
Subaru XV – 706 (down from 725)
SUV Small above $40,000:
BMW X1 – 219 (up from 198)
Audi Q3 – 158 (down from 177)
MINI Countryman – 45 (down from 48)
SUV Medium under $60,000:
Toyota RAV4 – 1598 (up from 1508)
Mazda CX-5 – 1540 (down from 1670)
Subaru Forester – 930 (down from 1116)
SUV Medium above $60,000:
Audi Q5 – 250 (up from 209)
BMW X3 – 220 (down from 278)
Range Rover Evoque – 200 (up from 198)
SUV Large under $70,000:
Jeep Grand Cherokee – 1373 (down from 1402)
Holden Captiva7 – 1292 (up from 1133)
Ford Territory – 1114 (down from 1130)
SUV Large above $70,000:
Mercedes-Benz M-Class – 220 (down from 391 in September)
Lexus RX – 195 (up from 152)
Land Rover Discovery – 184 (up from 161)
SUV Upper Large under $100,000:
Toyota LandCruiser – 640 (down from 838)
Nissan Patrol – 136 (up from 118)
SUV Upper Large above $100,000:
Overall, new vehicle sales in Australia in October dropped compared with the previous month’s effort; 92,603 new vehicle registrations compared with 92,662 in September. Overall sales were down by around 3.1 per cent on October 2012 figures as well.
The drop is sales is being put down to the Fringe Benefits Tax. FCAI chief executive Tony Weber spoke about the FBT changes, saying,
“The October data leads us to conclude there is still confusion in the market following the previous government’s FBT proposal. It is hard to have any other explanation for the 3.1 per cent fall in the automotive market, particularly given a number of positive economic indicators across the broader economy in recent weeks.
“I want people to know the FBT system has reverted to the status quo that existed before 16 July.”
As for what fuel types buyers preferred in October, the sales figures for private buyers in terms of vehicle fuel were as follows (passenger, SUV, and light commercial combined):
Petrol – 34,726 (up from 33,195 in September)
Diesel – 11,934 (down from 12,313)
Hybrid – 354 (down from 460)
LPG – 43 (down from 50)
Electric – 3 (down from 9)