Australian vehicle sales for February 2019 (VFACTS)

Vehicle sales in Australia are continuing on a decline, according to the national VFACTS figures for new vehicle registrations for February 2019. But the year is off to a good start for some brands and some vehicle models.

Kicking off with the best-selling vehicle brands for February, Toyota continues its strong lead head of all other rivals. However, the Japanese manufacturer posted a 3.8 per cent decline in total sales for the first two months of the year compared with last year. This is a trend we’re seeing from most brands, except Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi reported a 22.2 per cent increase on year-to-date figures (YTD).

Mazda remains as second favourite, but its figure is down 6.5 per cent YTD. Mitsubishi continues on in third place ahead of Hyundai, of which is reporting a decline of 16.5 per cent YTD. Rounding out the top five is Ford, with its figure down 13.7 per cent. Holden only just made it into the top 10 for February, with its figure down an alarming 23.2 per cent. See below for the top 10 best-selling car brands for February 2019:

  1. Toyota – 16,359 (up from 15,961 of January 2019 sales)
  2. Mazda – 9235 (down from 9490)
  3. Mitsubishi – 8495 (up from 6669)
  4. Hyundai – 6429 (up from 6205)
  5. Ford – 5678 (up from 4421)
  6. Kia – 4856 (up from 4651)
  7. Volkswagen – 4067 (up from 3617)
  8. Nissan – 3923 (up from 3803)
  9. Honda – 3865 (down from 4042)
  10. Holden – 3825 (down from 4167)

In terms of the best-selling vehicles models, the Toyota HiLux is pretty much the permanent king of the industry. It reported more sales than some of the bigger car brands in total, including Nissan, Honda and Holden. No other ute could get close, with even the popular Ford Ranger falling well short.

Interestingly, the new Mitsubishi Triton seems to be on a strong climb, nipping right at the heels of the Ranger. And yes, you may have noticed, the top three best-selling vehicles in Australia during February were utes. The top 10 best-selling vehicle models for February 2019 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4431 (up from 3871 of January 2019)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3377 (up from 2564)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 3155 (up from 1697)
  4. Mazda3 – 2655 (down from 2831)
  5. Mazda CX-5 – 2257 (down from 2347)
  6. Mitsubishi ASX – 2122 (up from 1818)
  7. Toyota Corolla – 2070 (down from 2417)
  8. Hyundai i30 – 1929 (up from 1891)
  9. Toyota RAV4 – 1639 (down from 1800)
  10. Toyota Prado – 1569 (up from 1350)

Small Cars under $40,000 – Mazda3 sales continue to dominate this market space, despite coming second place for most of last year behind the ever-popular Corolla. And this is despite the fact Mazda Australia will soon launch the all-new Mazda3. The Hyundai i30 and Kia Cerato complete the top four. Interestingly, the segment overall is seeing a 20.2 per cent decline in YTD sales. The top 10 best-selling small cars in February 2019 were as follows:

  1. Mazda3 – 2655 (down from 2831 of January)
  2. Toyota Corolla – 2070 (down from 2417)
  3. Hyundai i30 – 1929 (up from 1891)
  4. Kia Cerato – 1568 (up from 1426)
  5. Volkswagen Golf – 1153 (down from 1231)
  6. Honda Civic – 867 (down from 1066)
  7. Holden Astra – 774 (down from 1071)
  8. Ford Focus – 421 (up from 291)
  9. Hyundai Elantra – 247 (down from 269)
  10. Subaru Impreza – 235 (down from 494)

Medium Cars under $60,000 – Into the conservative mid-size sedan class, and it’s the Toyota Camry that continues the lead. Most models in here are reporting drops in sales across YTD, including the segment overall that has dropped 6.2 per cent. Amazingly, the Camry is one of three models that is actually seeing a rise. Specifically, 18.7 per cent. Mazda6 sales are up 7.8 per cent, and Hyundai Sonata sales are up 30.8 per cent. The top five best-selling models in this class for February were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 1298 (up from 1237 of January 2019)
  2. Mazda6 – 252 (down from 273)
  3. Subaru Liberty – 104 (down from 112)
  4. Skoda Octavia – 93 (up from 79)
  5. Hyundai Sonata – 86 (down from 105)

Medium Cars over $60,000 – Moving up a class and we see the Mercedes C-Class remains in front. The nameplate is also reporting an impressive 47.9 per cent increase in sales across YTD compared with last year. Arch rival BMW 3 Series is dwindling, and we suspect some buyers are holding out for the all-new 3 Series which is scheduled to arrive later this month. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class during February were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 838 (up from 622)
  2. BMW 3 Series – 143 (down from 169)
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 139 (up from 104)
  4. Audi A4 – 111 (up from 95)
  5. Audi A5 Sportback – 88 (up from 43)

Large Cars under $70,000 – The poor old Holden Commodore is holding on, but it remains in a segment that is quickly fading. The segment is reporting a 33.8 per cent drop in YTD sales, with only three main contenders now clinching on to any last hopes. Commodore sales are down 39.1 per cent YTD, while Stinger sales are down 8.0 per cent. Skoda Superb sales are actually up 20.7 per cent. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment for February were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 576 (up from 403 in January)
  2. Kia Stinger – 158 (up from 130)
  3. Skoda Superb – 84 (up from 56)
  4. Hyundai Genesis– 0 (0)
  5. Toyota Aurion – 0 (0)

Large Cars over $70,000 – The luxury version of the class above is doing a bit better in terms of market demand, reporting an 8.7 per cent increase in sales YTD. And the best-selling model for the month was the Mercedes E-Class, followed closely by rival BMW 5 Series. Most of the other contenders are well behind. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment in February were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 169 (up from 85)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 114 (down from 140)
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class – 24 (up from 22)
  4. Maserati Ghibli – 13 (up from 11)
  5. Audi A7 – 10 (down from 13)

Sports Car under $80,000 – Into the more exciting stuff, and it’s the Ford Mustang that continues as the favourite entry-level sports car. Sales for the American muscle car are down 6.8 per cent YTD, but sales overall in this class are down 26.8 per cent. All vehicles in this class reported a drop in sales across YTD except the Audi A3 convertible, which is up 2.4 per cent. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for February were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 500 (up from 369 of January)
  2. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 101 (down from 115)
  3. Toyota 86 – 47 (down from 66)
  4. Mazda MX-5 – 35 (down from 45)
  5. Renault Megane RS – 25 (down from 35)/Audi A3 Convertible – 25 (up from 17)
    (Subaru WRX – 81 [down from 139] – not officially in this segment, shown for comparison)

Sport Cars over $80,000 – Mercedes C-Class two-door models remain at the front of this segment, followed by the BMW 4 Series rival. Sales are down 16.9 per cent YTD though, and most of the top contenders are reporting decent drops in figures. The top five best-selling models in this class for February were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 157 (up from 121)
  2. BMW 4 Series Coupe – 65 (down from 102)
  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 39 (down from 45)
  4. Audi A5 – 33 (down form 43)
  5. Lexus RC – 26 (up from 17)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – Serious sports car buyers are mostly heading to the Porsche 911, and this is despite the new 992 version being on the horizon. Sales of Ferrari models continue to dominate the supercar class, with the Italian marque reporting an 11.6 per cent increase in sales across YTD. Porsche 911 sales are down 31.6 per cent. Segment sales overall took a 26 per cent dive for the first two months of the year (YTD).  The top five best-selling vehicles in the segment during February 2019 were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 54 (up from 39 of January)
  2. Ferrari (not specified) – 23 (down from 25)
  3. Mercedes-AMG GT – 14 (up from 6)
  4. Bentley Coupe/Convertible – 10 (equal)
  5. McLaren coupe/convertible – 9/Aston Martin coupe/convertible – 9

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – As we’ve already seen, utes are taking over the market in Australia. Aside from the HiLux taking the lead, the next biggest news would have to be the Triton moving up the leaderboard. Sales of the 4×4 models are up 51.9 per cent YTD alone. This helped the nameplate crack the 3000-unit mark for the month. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined – excludes LandCruiser) for February were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4431 (up from 3951 from January)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3377 (up from 2564)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 3155 (up from 1697)
  4. Holden Colorado – 13o2 (down from 1544)
  5. Nissan Navara – 1214 (up from 1083)
  6. Mazda BT-50 – 1088 (up from 1046)
  7. Isuzu D-Max – 1195 (up from 859)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 683 (up from 544)
  9. Mercedes-Benz X-Class – 193 (up from 120)
  10. LDV T60 – 238 (up from 117)

As for the fastest-growing vehicle style, the SUVs are lead by the Mazda CX-5. It easily outsold all other SUVs in February, perhaps helped by the introduction of the new 2.5-litre turbo-petrol variant. In other areas, the Volvo XC40 small SUV is showing promise in its class, while the Range Rover Sport moved up to top spot in its segment.

The ‘Medium under $60,000’ segment remains as the most popular, with 12,939 sales, down 6.4 per cent YTD. Following not far behind is the ‘Small under $40,000’ category, with 9369 sales, up 2.2 per cent. And completing the top three is the ‘Large under $70,000’ class, with 8753 sales, down 5.9 per cent. The top three best-selling SUVs in all categories for February 2019 were as follows:

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in February were up on January figures. During February, Australian consumers bought 87,102 vehicles according to VFACTS, compared with 81,994 in January. Overall sales for the month are down 9.3 per cent, and down 8.4 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.