Australian vehicle sales for May 2018 (VFACTS)

The national new vehicle sales figures have been released, in the form of the May 2018 VFACTS report. Overall sales are up 2.1 per cent in the first five months of the year compared with the same period last year.

At the top of the charts for vehicle brands is Toyota. It easily outsold all competitors by a big margin. And it doesn’t look like the company is slowing down, with its May result securing a 5.0 per cent increase on year-to-date (YTD) figures. Mazda remains as second favourite from April, although its figure is down 4.3 per cent year-to-date, leaving Hyundai in third spot and a 5.2 per cent increase year-to-date. At the other end of the top 10 best-sellers, we see Holden has dropped to eighth place, while Kia has jumped up into sixth. See below for the top 10 best-selling brands during May 2018.

  1. Toyota – 19,571 (up from 16,647 of April 2018 sales)
  2. Mazda – 9403 (up from 7723)
  3. Hyundai – 8807 (up from 7132)
  4. Mitsubishi – 6916 (up from 5508)
  5. Ford – 5738 (up from 4822)
  6. Kia – 5500 (up from 4502)
  7. Volkswagen – 5430 (up from 3918)
  8. Holden – 5129 (up from 4576)
  9. Nissan – 4334 (up from 3028)
  10. Subaru – 4019 (up from 4017)

In terms of the best-selling model during May, the Toyota HiLux has crushed all other models on the market. During May its sales skyrocketed through the 4000 barrier, selling almost 1000 more than its next nearest rival. The top 10 best-selling vehicles for May 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux –4385 (up from 3596)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3674 (up from 2796)
  3. Toyota Corolla – 3120 (up from 2979)
  4. Hyundai i30 – 2779 (up from 1903)
  5. Mazda3 – 2586 (up from 2261)
  6. Mazda CX-5 – 2382 (up from 1725)
  7. Toyota RAV4 – 2063 (up from 1444)
  8. Mitsubishi ASX – 2029 (up from 1706)
  9. Mitsubishi Triton – 2026 (up from 1334)
  10. Volkswagen Golf – 1951 (up from 1326)

Small Cars under $40,000 – Into the most popular passenger car class and it’s the Toyota Corolla that takes the crown. Interestingly, its arch rival, the Mazda3, has slipped behind leaving the door open for the Hyundai i30 to become the second favourite. The top 10 best-selling small cars in May 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 3120 (up from 2979)
  2. Hyundai i30 – 2779 (up from 1903)
  3. Mazda3 – 2586 (up from 2261)
  4. Volkswagen Golf – 1951 (up from 1326)
  5. Kia Cerato – 1843 (up from 1322)
  6. Honda Civic – 953 (up from 800)
  7. Subaru Impreza – 664 (down from 850)
  8. Ford Focus – 441 (up from 352)
  9. Hyundai Elantra – 435 (up from 282)
  10. Holden Astra – 423 (down from 497)

Medium Cars under $60,000 – Moving up a class and we see the Toyota Camry continues to be the strongest contender. The figures are starting to climb back to where the Aussie-made Camry sat, at around the 2000 units mark. Most of the rivals are reporting noticeable drops in sales, with the Mazda6, Ford Mondeo, and VW Passat seeing drops of at least 10 per cent year-to-date. In fact, the segment in general is reporting a 25.6 per cent downturn year-to-date and 26.4 per decline for the month of May compared with last year. This is yet more evidence of the growing demand for SUVs and utes. The top five best-selling models in this class for May 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 1451 (up from 1114 of April)
  2. Mazda6 – 297 (up from 180)
  3. Subaru Liberty – 169 (equal)
  4. Ford Mondeo – 167 (down from 208)
  5. Volkswagen Passat – 149 (up from 110)

Medium Cars over $60,000 – The Mercedes C-Class continues to be the favourite when it comes to medium executive cars. However, its year-to-date figure is down an alarming 23.4 per cent. Most vehicles in this class, like the segment above, are reporting declines in sales, except BMW 3 Series sales are up 7.9 per cent YTD, and Alfa Romeo Giulia figures are up 18.7 per cent. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class during May 2018 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 550 (up from 494)
  2. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 266 (up from 206)
  3. BMW 3 Series – 196 (down from 256)
  4. Audi A4 – 194 (up from 107)
  5. Lexus IS – 95 (down from 117)

Large Cars under $70,000 – It looks like Holden Commodore sales are bouncing back, even if only a little bit. The local nameplate, although now built overseas, easily outsold all of its rivals in May. The Kia Stinger is still showing promise, leaving the Skoda Superb to third spot. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for May 2018 were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 1040 (up from 587 from April)
  2. Kia Stinger – 215 (up from 184)
  3. Skoda Superb – 132 (up from 62)
  4. Toyota Aurion – 14 (down from 16)
  5. Peugeot 508 – 1 (up from 0)

Large Cars over $70,000 – Into the luxury class, Mercedes-Benz is soaking up the most sales with its E-Class, followed by its long-time rival, the BMW 5 Series. Most of the other competitors here are dwindling, and the segment in general is seeing a drop of 33.8 per cent year-to-date. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class in May 2018 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 130 (up from 101)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 60 (up from 52)
  3. Audi A6 – 33 (down from 35)
  4. Audi A7 – 25 (up from 8)
  5. Maserati Ghibli – 15 (up from 14)

Sports Car under $80,000 – Ford Mustang sales have actually dropped off a little bit, perhaps in the lead up to the new model’s arrival in the next few weeks. Even so, it remains the most popular sports car on sale in Australia, followed by the BMW 2 Series and then the Toyota 86. Sales in this class are down 21.9 per cent year-to-date. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment for May 2018 were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 267 (down from 381 of April)
  2. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 140 (up from 124)
  3. Toyota 86 – 75 (down from 77)
  4. Mazda MX-5 – 58 (down from 84)/Subaru BRZ – 58 (down from 59)
  5. MINI Cabrio – 32 (up from 16)
    (Subaru WRX – 176 [up from 171] – not officially in this segment, shown for comparison)

Sport Cars over $80,000 – The Mercedes-Benz C-Class two-door continues to be the favourite here, followed by the E-Class two-door. This leaves arch rival BMW 4 Series to third spot. Sales in this segment are down 21.9 per cent year-to-date. The top five best-selling models in this category for May 2018 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 195 (up from 137)
  2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 70 (up from 62)
  3. BMW 4 Series Coupe – 69 (up from 53)
  4. Audi A5 – 59 (up from 53)
  5. Audi TT – 25 (up from 14)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – Over in this serious end of the market, the Porsche 911 is the king. Sales for the iconic German sports car are up 25.5 per cent year-to-date. Interestingly, overall sales in this class are up 4.6 per cent year-to-date. The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during May 2018 were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 38 (down from 57)
  2. Mercedes-AMG GT – 20 (up from 17)
  3. Ferrari (not specified) – 17 (down from 21)
  4. Aston Martin (not specified) – 16 (up from 8)
  5. Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe/Convertible – 13 (up from 6)

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – They are taking over the world. Well, maybe just Aussie new vehicle sales. And it’s the Toyota HiLux that is clearly the one that most buyers want. Its arch rival, the Ford Ranger, is normally very close to the HiLux but in May it feel behind, or rather, Toyota accelerated ahead. This could be in the lead up to the new Ranger’s arrival in September. Sales of the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class seem to have settled, following its decent first-month figure in April. This could be due to the initial registration of dealer and press models. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined – excludes LandCruiser) for May 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4385 (up from 3596 from April)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3674 (up from 2796)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 2026 (up from 1334)
  4. Holden Colorado – 1754 (up from 1491)
  5. Isuzu D-Max – 1674 (up from 1156)
  6. Mazda BT-50 – 1277 (up from 1017)
  7. Nissan Navara – 1102 (up from 806)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 909 (up from 570)
  9. LDV T60 – 241 (up from 227)
  10. Mercedes-Benz X-Class – 183 (down from 329)

Into the most demanding segments, SUV sales are continue to increase. The Mazda CX-5 returned to form as the most popular SUV for the month of May, followed by the Toyota RAV. The Mitsubishi ASX continues to attract big crowds as well, while the Mercedes-Benz GLC was the best-selling premium SUV for May.

During May, the ‘Medium under $60,000’ class was the most popular, with 15,080 sales, up 1.7 per cent on May 2017 and up 11.4 per cent YTD. The ‘Small under $40,000’ class remains as the second favourite SUV class, with 10,508 sales, up 35.8 per cent on May 2017 and up 30.8 per cent YTD. Continuing in third spot is ‘Large under $70,000’, recording 9626 sales, down 6.3 per cent on May last year and down 3.7 per cent YTD.

The top three best-selling SUVs in all categories for May 2018 were as follows:

  • SUV Small under $40,000:
    Mitsubishi ASX – 2029 (up from 1706 from April)
    Mazda CX-3 – 1274 (up from 1172)
    Subaru XV – 1223 (up from 1139)
  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLA – 385 (up from 297)
    Audi Q3 – 304 (up from 177)
    BMW X1 – 265 (up from 218)
  • SUV Medium under $60,000:
    Mazda CX-5 – 2382 (up from 1725)
    Toyota RAV4 – 2063 (up from 1444)
    Hyundai Tucson – 1839 (up from 1816)
  • SUV Medium above $60,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLC – 559 (up from 440)
    BMW X3 – 522 (up from 380)
    Lexus NX – 383 (up from 313)
    SUV Large under $70,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser Prado – 1712 (up from 1699)
    Toyota Kluger – 1271 (up from 1063)
    Subaru Outback – 903 (up from 862)
  • SUV Large above $70,000:
    BMW X5 – 299 (up from 195)
    Range Rover Sport – 242 (up from 218)
    Audi Q7 – 188 (up from 129)
    SUV Upper Large under $100,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser – 1368 (up from 1262)
    Nissan Patrol – 127 (up from 83)
  • SUV Upper Large above $100,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class/GL – 112 (up from 68)
    Lexus LX – 55 (up from 34)
    Range Rover – 18 (down from 25)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in May were up on April figures. During May, Australian consumers bought 100,754 vehicles according to VFACTS compared with 82,930 in April. Sales for the month are down 2.1 per cent compared with May 2017, but year-to-date sales are up 2.1 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.