Australian vehicle sales for October 2018 (VFACTS)

The October 2018 VFACTS report covering new vehicle registrations in Australia is out, and we can start to piece together what cars are likely to be the best-sellers in their respective segments for the year.

Kicking off with the best-selling vehicle brands. There’s no surprises here, with Toyota coming through as number one, again. Sales for the Japanese giant are up 1.2 per cent year-to-date (YTD), but down 0.1 per cent for the month of October compared with last October.

Mazda has shifted back into second place after spending some time in third and even fourth this year. Sales are down 3.7 per cent YTD, but are up 1.5 per cent for the month. Rounding out the top three, Hyundai is pushed into third spot. Sales for it are down 1.8 per cent YTD and down 15.5 per cent for the month. See below for the top 10 best-selling brands during October 2018.

  1. Toyota – 17,811 (up from 17,386 of September 2018 sales)
  2. Mazda – 8172 (up from 7070)
  3. Hyundai – 7432 (down from 8110)
  4. Mitsubishi – 6217 (down from 7622)
  5. Ford – 5362 (up from 5084)
  6. Holden – 5256 (up from 4651)
  7. Volkswagen – 4835 (up from 4694)
  8. Kia – 4583 (down from 5003)
  9. Subaru – 4370 (down from 4758)
  10. Nissan – 4241 (down from 5167)

Toyota’s HiLux keeps trucking on as the best-selling vehicle for the month. Further down the ranking we see the Mazda CX-5 is back in the top 10 after falling short the previous month. Perhaps the most interesting news of the top 10 is the welcome of the Subaru Forester. It stormed into seventh spot, likely helped by the launch of the all-new model recently. The top 10 best-selling vehicles for October 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4401 (up from 4338)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3511 (up from 3228)
  3. Toyota Corolla – 2663 (down from 2917)
  4. Mazda3 – 2094 (up from 1842)
  5. Hyundai i30 – 2049 (down from 2508)
  6. Mazda CX-5 – 2000 (up from 1506)
  7. Subaru Forester – 1792 (up from 1470)
  8. Mitsubishi ASX – 1739 (down from 2138)
  9. Mitsubishi Triton – 1650 (down from 1857)
  10. Nissan X-Trail – 1644 (down from 1908)

Small Cars under $40,000 – There were a few changes within the top sellers here. The Mazda3 moved back up into second spot, while the Hyundai Elantra bumped out the Ford Focus for 10th position. The top 10 best-selling small cars in October 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 2663 (down from 2917)
  2. Mazda3 – 2094 (up from 1842)
  3. Hyundai i30 – 2049 (down from 2508)
  4. Volkswagen Golf – 1418 (up from 1406)
  5. Kia Cerato – 1338 (down from 1574)
  6. Holden Astra – 1103 (up from 1049)
  7. Honda Civic – 728 (down from 1101)
  8. Subaru Impreza – 546 (down from 721)
  9. Mitsubishi Lancer – 461 (up from 416)
  10. Hyundai Elantra –  224 (down from 274)

Medium Cars under $60,000 – While many consumers are turning to SUVs and utes, it seems some still prefer the trusty mid-size sedan. Toyota Camry sales seem to be holding steadily, as with Mazda6 sales – although the figure is much lower. The top five best-selling models in this class for October 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 1132 (down from 1145 of September)
  2. Mazda6 – 306 (up from 213)
  3. Ford Mondeo – 193 (up from 168)
  4. Subaru Liberty – 131 (down from 136)
  5. Volkswagen Passat – 122 (down from 174)

Medium Cars over $60,000 – Into the premium sedan class, and it looks like BMW has taken the crown from the often-more-popular Mercedes C-Class. C-Class sales were down considerable in October compared with September, leaving the gate open for BMW with its 3 Series. Even the Audi A4 managed to barge on past the Merc. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment during October 2018 were as follows:

  1. BMW 3 Series – 219 (down from 296)
  2. Audi A4 – 161 (up from 136)
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 155 (down from 363)
  4. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 133 (down from 356)
  5. Lexus IS – 98 (up from 72)

Large Cars under $70,000 – It doesn’t look like this segment is going to be on the mend any time soon. Overall sales are down 55.4 per cent YTD, and 69.2 per cent for the month of October. Holden Commodore sales remain the strongest, with consistent numbers of the Kia Stinger far behind. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment for October 2018 were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 663 (down from 672 in September)
  2. Kia Stinger – 178 (up from 130)
  3. Skoda Superb – 39 (down from 63)
  4. Ford Falcon– 1 (up from 0)
  5. Peugeot 508 – 0

Large Cars over $70,000 – Up a step, and it’s the opposite between BMW and Mercedes. The E-Class is by far the most popular, and then the BMW 5 Series, for October. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment in October 2018 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 104 (down from 190)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 52 (down from 75)
  3. Audi A6 – 18 (equal)
  4. Jaguar XF – 14 (down from 65)
  5. Maserati Ghibli – 12 (up from 10)

Sports Car under $80,000 – Sports car fans continue to flock to Ford dealerships for the Mustang, although its sales are down 35.1 per cent YTD. BMW 2 Series sales continue for second spot, while the Toyota 86 just edges out in front of the Mazda MX-5. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment for October 2018 were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 569 (up from 422 of September)
  2. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 136 (up from 101)
  3. Toyota 86 – 64 (down from 69)
  4. Mazda MX-5 – 63 (up from 61)
  5. Subaru BRZ – 51 (down from 53)
    (Subaru WRX – 174 [down from 189] – not officially in this segment, shown for comparison)

Sport Cars over $80,000 – Into the higher end of the market, and it’s the Mercedes E-Class two-door that wins most hearts. In fact, its nearest competitor is the smaller C-Class two-door. The top five best-selling models in this class for October 2018 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 95 (up from 60)
  2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 48 (down from 82)
  3. BMW 4 Series Coupe – 35 (down from 45)
  4. Lexus RC – 34 (up from 28)
  5. Audi A5 – 33 (down from 39)

Sport Cars over $200,000 – The real hardcore speed freaks love the Porsche 911, with sales of the German icon easily surpassing the rivals. Ferrari posted some impressive results in October, good enough for second spot. The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during October 2018 were as follows:

  1. Porsche 911 – 43 (down from 57)
  2. Ferrari (not specified) – 28 (up from 15)
  3. Bentley Coupe/Convertible – 13 (down from 36)
  4. Aston Martin (not specified) – 11/Mercedes-AMG GT – 11
  5. Mercedes S-Class Coupe/Convertible – 7 (down from 9)

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – Into one of the fastest-growing markets, the Toyota HiLux obviously dominates the utes. But further down we see the Holden Colorado has bumped up a few spots into fourth for the month, while further below the Mercedes X-Class is kicked out of the top 10 due to Great Wall Steed sales. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined – excludes LandCruiser) for October 2018 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4401 (up from 4338 from September)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3511 (up from 3228)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 1650 (down from 1857)
  4. Holden Colorado – 1578 (up from 1318)
  5. Isuzu D-Max – 1433 (down from 1446)
  6. Nissan Navara – 1124 (down from 1713)
  7. Mazda BT-50 – 886 (up from 875)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 793 (up from 753)
  9. LDV T60 – 342 (up from 278)
  10. Great Wall Steed – 108 (up from 56)

Lastly, the increasingly popular SUVs. The most popular class remains the ‘Medium under $60,000’ segment, reporting 13,773 units. Across YTD, this is up 7.0 per cent. For the second most popular size and category, it’s the ‘Small under $40,000’ segment which posted 9983 sales during the month. This is the fastest-grown segment, with YTD figures up 23.4 per cent.

Rounding out the top three classes is the ‘Large under $70,000’ segment, with 9426 sales, up just 0.2 per cent YTD. The top three best-selling SUVs in all categories for October 2018 were as follows:

  • SUV Small under $40,000:
    Mitsubishi ASX – 1739 (down from 2138 in September)
    Mazda CX-3 – 1274 (up from 1214)
    Hyundai Kona – 1224 (down from 1513)
  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    BMW X1 – 268 (up from 220)
    Audi Q3 – 249 (up from 203)
    Mercedes-Benz GLA – 245 (down from 392)
  • SUV Medium under $60,000:
    Mazda CX-5 – 2000 (up from 1506)
    Subaru Forester – 1792 (up from 1470)
    Nissan X-Trail – 1644 (down from 1908)
  • SUV Medium above $60,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLC – 537 (down from 681)
    Audi Q5 – 459 (up from 425)
    BMW X3 – 268 (down from 324)
  • SUV Large under $70,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser Prado – 1388 (down from 1518)
    Toyota Kluger – 1294 (up from 1042)
    Subaru Outback – 728 (down from 936)
  • SUV Large above $70,000:
    Lexus RX – 209 (up from 147)
    Porsche Cayenne – 152 (up from 115)
    BMW X5 – 156 (down from 211)
  • SUV Upper Large under $100,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser – 1181 (up from 929)
    Nissan Patrol – 55 (down from 88)
  • SUV Upper Large above $100,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class/GL – 62 (up from 45)
    Lexus LX – 58 (up from 24)
    Range Rover – 18 (up from 13)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in October were slightly down on September figures. During October 2018, Australian consumers bought 90,718 vehicles compared with 94,711 in September. Sales for the month are down 5.3 per cent compared with October 2017, and YTD sales are down 1.3 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.

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