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Australian vehicle sales for September 2017 – Ford Ranger climbs to top

Australian VFACTS figures for new vehicle registrations during September 2017 have been released, with a number of interesting shifts in various market segments taking place, shaking up the market trends.

Starting with the best-selling vehicle brands, Toyota remains at the top no doubt. Sales for the Japanese auto giant are up 4.9 per cent year-to-date too, conquering the other top two brands, Mazda and Hyundai, which have reported drops of 0.9 per cent and 5.9 per cent, respectively. The top 10 most popular car brands for September 2017 were as follows:

  1. Toyota – 17,377 (down from 18,511 of August 2017 sales)
  2. Mazda – 10,328 (up from 8511)
  3. Hyundai – 8130 (up from 7800)
  4. Mitsubishi – 7065 (up from 6649)
  5. Holden – 6882 (down from 6984)
  6. Ford – 6845 (up from 6645)
  7. Volkswagen – 4901 (up from 4730)
  8. Kia – 4662 (up from 4507)
  9. Subaru – 4641 (up from 4579)
  10. Honda – 4393 (up from 3724)

In terms of the best-selling vehicle models, the Ford Ranger has barged its way through to the top. It even outsold the ever-popular Toyota HiLux for 4×2 and 4×4 combined sales during September. The top 10 took quite a beating from its usual lineup, with two utes at the top, the Holden Commodore moving up into fifth, and the Mitsubishi Outlander jumping into tenth spot. As usual, five passenger cars make up the favourites, with SUVs and utes ready to take over. The top 10 best-selling vehicles for September 2017 were as follows:

  1. Ford Ranger – 4318 (up from 3588)
  2. Toyota HiLux – 3822 (down from 4287)
  3. Toyota Corolla – 3055 (up from 2948)
  4. Mazda3 – 2776 (up from 2163)
  5. Holden Commodore – 2547 (up from 2071)
  6. Hyundai i30 – 2300 (up from 2143)
  7. Toyota Camry – 2251 (up from 2107)
  8. Hyundai Tucson – 2220 (up from 2206)
  9. Mitsubishi Outlander – 2021 (up from 1558)
  10. Mazda CX-5 – 1910 (down from 2048)

Small Cars under $40,000 – As we’ve seen over the past few months, the Mazda3 is slipping behind its arch rival Toyota Corolla, with year-to-date sales down 8.7 per cent compared with Corolla’s decline of 7.4 per cent. The Hyundai i30 looks like it’s ready to catch up, but despite being a new model its sales are actually down 28.9 per cent year-to-date. All models remain in the same standing as the previous month, except the Elantra jumps into tenth. The top 10 best-selling small cars in September were as follows:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 3055 (up from 2948 of August)
  2. Mazda3 – 2776 (up from 2163)
  3. Hyundai i30 – 2300 (up from 2143)
  4. Volkswagen Golf – 1592 (up from 1535)
  5. Kia Cerato – 1588 (up from 1425)
  6. Honda Civic – 1497 (up from 1138)
  7. Subaru Impreza – 918 (down from 972)
  8. Holden Astra – 801 (down from 831)
  9. Mitsubishi Lancer – 608 (up from 474)
  10. Hyundai Elantra – 497 (up from 364)

Medium Cars under $60,000 – Moving into what will become the staple sedan segment with the departure of the Aurion, Commodore and Falcon, and it’s clear to see the Toyota Camry is more than ready to take the helm. This segment might see the introduction of the Kia Stinger next month, although it might be placed into a sports category or be placed in the Commodore-size class. The top five best-selling models in this class for September were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 2251 (up from 2107 of August)
  2. Mazda6 – 370 (up from 328)
  3. Skoda Octavia – 153 (down from 164)
  4. Subaru Levorg – 142 (up from 141)
  5. Subaru Liberty – 141 (up from 132)

Medium Cars over $60,000 – Over in the luxury class, Mercedes-Benz continues its dominance with the C-Class. It almost hit 1000 sales, which would have been super-impressive for this segment. All rivals are still far, far behind in any case, with the Mercedes CLA making up the runner-up spot. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for September were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 910 (up from 663)
  2. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 344 (up from 244)
  3. BMW 3 Series – 164 (down from 232)
  4. Audi A4 – 140 (down from 211)
  5. Lexus IS – 104 (down from 124)

Large Cars under $70,000 – Holden is pushing on with Commodore sales, with local production coming to an end later this month. The Ford Falcon is down to just two sales, while the Toyota Aurion is slowing down after local production came to an end yesterday. It’s unknown if the next-gen, Euro-made Commodore will be placed in this class or if it will join the Camry. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for September 2017 were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 2547 (up from 2071)
  2. Toyota Aurion – 214 (down from 295)
  3. Skoda Superb – 84 (up from 72)
  4. Hyundai Genesis – 7 (up from 4)
  5. Peugeot 508 – 4 (down from 44)

Large Cars over $70,000 – The E-Class continues to dominate the large luxury sedan segment, easily outselling its main German rivals. E-Class sales are up an incredible 78.9 per cent year-to-date as well, with only the BMW 5 Series posting a higher increase of 141.4 per cent. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment in September were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 164 (up from 130)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 71 (up from 59)
  3. Jaguar XF – 23 (down from 40)
  4. Mercedes-Benz CLS – 17 (up from 12)/Audi A6 – 17 (up from 11)
  5. Maserati Ghibli – 16 (up from 14)

Sports Car under $80,000 – Into the driver’s segment, the popularity of the Mustang is unstoppable at the moment. No rivals have been able to get near the American muscle car since it was introduced and since supply could meet the demand. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for September were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 659 (down from 748 of August)
  2. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 151 (up from 126)
  3. Mazda MX-5 – 134 (up from 94)
  4. Hyundai Veloster – 98 (up from 77)
  5. Toyota 86 – 90 (down from 109)
    (Subaru WRX – 227 [down from 271] – not officially in this segment, shown for comparison)

Sport Cars over $80,000 – Moving up into the more serious end, everybody wants a Mercedes C-Class and E-Class two-door it seems. Their lead has been carried through for many months now. Sales are up 48.3 per cent year-to-date for the C-Class and down 2.6 per cent for the larger E-Class brother. The top five best-selling models in this category were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 242 (up from 240)
  2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 123 (up from 61)
  3. BMW 4 Series Coupe – 81 (down from 122)
  4. Audi A5 – 49 (up from 35)
  5. Lexus RC – 35 (up from 28)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – At the top, the Porsche 911 remains the king. Its sales are down 2.4 per cent year-to-date, while the runner-up Mercedes-AMG GT sees its sales drop 12.2 per cent over the same period. This segment overall is reporting a 1.0 per cent decline for year-to-date figures. The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during September were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 35 (down from 45)
  2. Mercedes-AMG GT – 17 (up from 12)
  3. McLaren (not specified) – 12 (up from 6)
  4. Aston Martin – 11/Audi R8 – 11/BMW 6 Series – 11/Lamborghini – 11
  5. Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe/convertible – 10 (up from 9)

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – Now into one of the fastest-growing segments of all, the Ford Ranger has shown its strength during September, outselling all. Holden Colorado sales took a big dive, dropping into seventh place, while the Isuzu D-Max shows some strength, almost catching the Mitsubishi Triton. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined) for September were as follows:

  1. Ford Ranger – 4318 (up from 3588 from August)
  2. Toyota HiLux – 3822 (down from 4287)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 1732 (down from 1970)
  4. Isuzu D-Max – 1470 (up from 1411)
  5. Mazda BT-50 – 1376 (up from 1079)
  6. Nissan Navara – 1174 (up from 1166)
  7. Holden Colorado – 1039 (down from 1694)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 945 (up from 786)
  9. Great Wall Steed – 36 (up from 29)
  10. All remaining models posted 0 sales

Where everyone wants to be, in an SUV. And during September the Hyundai Tucson overtook the Mazda CX-5 to become the best-selling SUV in the country for the month. Just 206 sales separate the Tucson from becoming the best-selling SUV this year (19,187 sales vs 18,981, so far). Mitsubishi surprised us all with the Outlander in September too, outselling the CX-5, while the Mercedes GLC was the best-selling premium SUV.

The ‘Medium under $60,000’ segment maintains its lead as the most popular segment, with 14,248 sales, up 17.7 per cent year-to-date. The second most popular SUV class was the ‘Small under $40,000’ category in September, with 9415 sales, up 0.3 per cent year-to-date. The ‘Large under $70,000’ segment rounds out the top three, with 8954 sales, down 1.4 per cent year-to-date.

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

  • SUV Small under $40,000:
    Mazda CX-3 – 1762 (up from 1245 from August)
    Mitsubishi ASX – 1526 (down from 1676)
    Subaru XV – 1173 (down from 1176)
  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLA – 383 (up from 347)
    BMW X1 – 305 (down from 324)
    Audi Q2 – 201 (up from 131)
  • SUV Medium above $60,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLC – 471 (up from 338)
    Audi Q5 – 354 (up from 344)
    Land Rover Discovery Sport – 321 (down from 350)
  • SUV Large above $70,000:
    BMW X5 – 272 (down from 408)
    Range Rover Sport – 230 (up from 205)
    Mercedes-Benz GLE – 229 (up from 181)
  • SUV Upper Large above $100,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class/GL – 83 (up from 69)
    Lexus LX – 20 (down from 27)
    Range Rover – 29 (up from 26)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in September were up on August figures. During September, Australian consumers bought 100,200 vehicles compared with 96,662 in August. Overall sales for the month are down 2.4 per cent compared with September 2016, and up 0.2 per cent year-to-date.

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.