Australian vehicle sales for May 2019 (VFACTS)

Australia vehicle VFACTS sales figures for May 2019 have been released, revealing some interesting trends as we make our way to the mid point of the year. Overall market sales are still slumping compared with last year though, with total figures across the board down 8.1 per cent year-to-date (YTD).

Kicking off with the brands that are in the highest demand in Australia. Toyota is clearly the favourite, with high sales of its Corolla, Camry, Prado, and HiLux all contributing to a result that no other carmaker can match. The new RAV4 also contributed big numbers during the month. However, Toyota sales are down 3.8 per cent compared with May last year, and down 5.8 per cent across YTD.

Further down the ranks we see Kia has moved up a couple of spots from the previous month, to fifth. This was helped by impressive sales of the Cerato. Subaru also moved up one position to ninth. See below for the top 10 best-selling car brands for May 2019:

  1. Toyota – 18,220 (up from 15,135 in April 2019 sales)
  2. Mazda – 8578 (up from 7644)
  3. Hyundai – 8106 (up from 6469)
  4. Ford – 5788 (up from 4803)
  5. Kia – 5533 (up from 4521)
  6. Mitsubishi – 5120 (up from 4717)
  7. Volkswagen – 4520 (up from 3505)
  8. Holden – 4392 (up from 3483)
  9. Subaru – 4023 (up from 3006)
  10. Nissan – 3970 (up from 3025)

As for the best-selling vehicle models specifically, it was the HiLux that crossed the line first in May. The biggest highlight was the new RAV4 though which jumped straight into third position for the month. Toyota Australia only recently launched the all-new model, which no doubt helped. The top 10 best-selling vehicle models for May 2019 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4206 (up from 3621 in April 2019)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3972 (up from 3011)
  3. Toyota RAV4 – 2917 (up from 1238)
  4. Hyundai i30 – 2901 (up from 1910)
  5. Toyota Corolla – 2467 (up from 2429)
  6. Mazda3 – 2359 (up from 2195)
  7. Mazda CX-5 – 2100 (up from 1827)
  8. Kia Cerato – 2024 (up from 1650)
  9. Toyota Prado – 1776 (up from 1473)
  10. Holden Colorado – 1719 (up from 1252)

Small Cars under $40,000 – In the battle between the Mazda3 and Corolla, things are really heating up. Toyota introduced its fantastic new Corolla recently, and now Mazda has launched its all-new 3. During May more buyers swarmed to the Corolla. However, while these two were fighting it was the Hyundai i30 that came through during May to become the favourite. The Kia Cerato also looks like it is catching up. Overall segment sales are down 17.7 per cent YTD. The top 10 best-selling small cars in May 2019 were as follows:

  1. Hyundai i30 – 2901 (up from 1910)
  2. Toyota Corolla – 2467 (up from 2429)
  3. Mazda3 – 2359 (up from 2195)
  4. Kia Cerato – 2024 (up from 1650)
  5. Volkswagen Golf – 1398 (up from 1095)
  6. Honda Civic – 812 (up from 652)
  7. Subaru Impreza – 440 (up from 217)
  8. Holden Astra – 379 (up from 212)
  9. Ford Focus – 282 (up from 273)
  10. Hyundai Elantra – 192 (down from 205)

Small Cars over $40,000 – We’re introducing this segment this month as it does contain some interesting and quite popular models. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class leads the way, with the Audi A3 not too far behind in May. There are only 10 models listed in this class, and here are the standings for May 2019:

  1. Mercedes-Benz A-Class – 462 (up from 346  in April 2019)
  2. Audi A3 – 302 (up from 225)
  3. BMW 1 Series – 224 (up from 181)
  4. Mercedes-Benz B-Class – 174 (up from 3)
  5. MINI Clubman – 27 (up from 15)
  6. Lexus CT 200h – 10 (down from 18)
  7. BMW i3 – 9 (equal)
  8. BMW 2 Series – 0 (equal)
  9. Volvo V40 – 0 (equal)
  10. Volvo V40 Cross Country – 0 (equal)

Medium Cars under $60,000 – Over in this shrinking segment, the Toyota Camry continues to dominate. Its sales are actually up 9.5 per cent YTD, despite the segment reporting a drop of 12 per cent YTD overall. Mazda recently introduced an update for the Mazda6 which could see a spike in sales over the coming months. The top five best-selling models in this class for May were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 1633 (up from 1274)
  2. Skoda Octavia – 199 (up from 154)
  3. Mazda6 – 177 (down from 205)
  4. Volkswagen Passat – 90 (up from 73)
  5. Subaru Liberty – 88 (up from 50)

Medium Cars over $60,000 – Buyers of executive sedans (and wagons) are still mostly turning to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. However, it looks like the new BMW 3 Series is earning some interest as its figure grows closer to the arch rival. Further down the top-runner’s list the Lexus IS has moved into fourth spot, and the Audi A5 jumps into the top five. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class during May were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 421 (up from 371)
  2. BMW 3 Series – 266 (up from 192)
  3. Audi A4 – 110 (down from 129)
  4. Lexus IS – 92 (up from 82)
  5. Audi A5 Sportback – 63 (up from 50)

Large Cars under $70,000 – Into the segment that used to dominate the Australian sales stats we see a familiar nameplate at the top. Commodore sales are holding quite steadily, despite the market’s general negative consensus regarding the demise of the Australian-made model. Segment sales overall are down 36.2 per cent from May last year, and down 31.3 per cent YTD. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment for May were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 670 (up from 629 in April)
  2. Kia Stinger – 157 (down from 160)
  3. Skoda Superb – 68 (down from 104)
  4. Hyundai Genesis– 0 (0)
  5. Peugeot 508 – 0 (0)

Large Cars over $70,000 – In the large executive sedan (and wagon) class the battle between the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class continues as close as ever. The E-Class has totalled 566 sales so far this year, to 525 BMW 5 Series sales. The Audi A7 Sportback is hanging in there, while the Jaguar XF and Lexus GS report under 10 units. Segment sales overall are down 2.0 per cent YTD. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class in May were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 95 (up from 86)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 45 (down from 109)
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class – 20 (up from 18)
  4. Maserati Ghibli – 15 (up from 9)
  5. Audi A7 – 11 (equal)

Sports Car under $80,000 – Into the weekend cars and we see Ford Mustang sales are continuing to drop. Compared with May last year the muscle car’s figure is down 30.3 per cent. Across YTD the figure is also down, 9.3 per cent. Even so, the second favourite of the class, the BMW 2 Series, doesn’t look like it’s going to be able to catch the Mustang any time soon. Segment sales overall are down 27.1 per cent YTD. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment for May were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 348 (down from 422 in March)
  2. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 98 (up from 76)
  3. Toyota 86 – 56 (up from 45)
  4. Subaru BRZ – 44 (up from 12)
  5. Mazda MX-5 – 42 (down from 43)
    (Subaru WRX – 82 [up from 30] – not officially in this segment, shown for comparison)

Sport Cars over $80,000 – The more serious fun stuff is lead by the Mercedes C- and E-Class two-door models. So far this year the C-Class two-door has racked up 1018 sales, which is almost four times as much as its closest rival, the BMW 4 Series, which has only managed 279 sales YTD. But, there might be a new rival for the Merc with the arrival of the new BMW Z4 already making some ground. The Z4 posted 10 sales in May, and we’d expect this figure to rise as production and deliveries hit full swing. The top five best-selling models in this class for May were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 197 (down from 211)
  2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 66 (up from 55)
  3. Audi A5 – 39 (down form 42)
  4. BMW 4 Series Coupe – 30 (down from 36)
  5. Lexus RC – 26 (up from 17)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – Standing proudly at the top of the sports car market, like Mufasa on Pride Rock, it’s the Porsche 911. Australia is yet to fully welcome the new 992 model, which is scheduled to arrive in the second quarter. We suspect sales will increase further over the coming months. In other areas, Ferrari continues to show promise, reporting very decent sales for such a high-end exotic brand. The top five best-selling vehicles in the segment during May 2019 were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 48 (down from 70 in April)
  2. Ferrari (not specified) – 26 (up from 11)
  3. Mercedes-AMG GT – 14 (up from 6)
  4. Bentley coupe/convertible – 11 (up from 6)
  5. McLaren coupe/convertible – 10 (up from 8)

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – Here we see the Toyota HiLux continues as the clear favourite for Australian consumers. It reported not only the highest figure for the ute segment, but also the highest figure in the auto industry overall for a passenger car. The Ford Ranger is tracing right behind it though, but will it ever catch up? In other areas the Holden Colorado moves back into third spot, overtaking the Triton and D-Max from previous months, while the Mercedes-Benz X-Class drops out of the top 10. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined – excludes LandCruiser) for May 2019 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4206 (up from 3621 in March)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3972 (up from 3011)
  3. Holden Colorado – 1719 (up from 1252)
  4. Isuzu D-Max – 1419 (up from 1354)
  5. Mitsubishi Triton – 1382 (up from 1162)
  6. Nissan Navara – 1116 (up from 827)
  7. Mazda BT-50 – 1039 (up from 938)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 744 (up from 516)
  9. LDV T60 – 307 (up from 181)
  10. Great Wall Steed – 150 (up from 101)

Into the fastest-growing vehicle type, the SUVs. The overall best-seller for the month of May was the Toyota RAV4, no doubt helped by the launch of the new model as mentioned. It was followed up by the country’s overall best-seller, the Mazda CX-5. Across YTD, the CX-5 has sold to 11,045 buyers, followed by the RAV4 with 9080 sales, and then the Nissan X-Trail with 7544 sales. The best-selling premium SUV for the month was the Mercedes-Benz GLC. It’s also the best-selling premium SUV so far this year, reporting 2257 sales YTD (up 4.5 per cent).

The ‘Medium under $60,000’ segment remains as the most popular, with 15,229 sales during May, down 4.8 per cent YTD. The second favourite segment is the ‘Small under $40,000’ class, with 9339 sales in May, down 4.0 per cent YTD. In third place, the ‘Large under $70,000’ class recorded 8780 sales in May, down 4.9 per cent YTD.

Some of the interesting observations include the RAV4 obviously, storming through its class. The Subaru XV moved into third spot in its class, while the new BMW X7 is off to a cracking start in the super-large class. The top three best-selling SUVs in all segments for May 2019 were as follows:

  • SUV Small under $40,000:
    Mazda CX-3 – 1250 (up from 1071 in April 2019)
    Hyundai Kona – 1185 (up from 1030)
    Subaru XV – 1164 (up from 964)
  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLA – 308 (up from 229)
    BMW X1 – 260 (up from 168)
    Volvo XC40 – 258 (up from 204)
  • SUV Medium under $60,000:
    Toyota RAV4 – 2917 (up from 1238)
    Mazda CX-5 – 2100 (up from 1827)
    Hyundai Tucson – 1710 (up from 1355)
  • SUV Medium above $60,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLC – 577 (up from 518)
    BMW X3 – 406 (up from 355)
    Audi Q5 – 364 (up from 246)
  • SUV Large under $70,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser Prado – 1776 (up from 1473)
    Toyota Kluger – 958 (up from 851)
    Subaru Outback – 717 (down from 759)
  • SUV Large above $70,000:
    BMW X5 – 304 (up from 286)
    Range Rover Sport – 200 (up from 191)
    Lexus RX – 199 (up from 115)
  • SUV Upper Large under $100,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser – 1399 (down up 1177)
    Nissan Patrol – 195 (up from 114)
  • SUV Upper Large above $100,000:
    BMW X7 – 152 (up from 22)
    Audi Q8 – 44 (up from 38)
    Mercedes-Benz G-Class – 38 (up from 33)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in May were up on April figures. During May, Australian consumers bought 92,561 vehicles according to VFACTS, compared with 75,550 in April. Overall sales for the month are down 8.1 per cent, and down 8.1 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.