Good news for the car industry last month, with sales increasing for the first time since the middle of last year. Official VFACTS data shows sales were up 2.2 per cent last month when compared to October 2008.
“The industry is looking to round out the year on a positive note and we expect a further surge in sales as businesses move to take advantage of the successful tax break prior to the end of the year,” FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.
However, the overall downward trend remains for year-to-date new vehicle sales, which are down 11.7 per cent compared to the same period last year (762,787 sales to date).
Toyota, Holden and Ford round out the usual top three placings for overall sales, but that hasn’t stopped a number of manufacturers from putting their spin on things. A bunch of press releases to that effect can be viewed after the jump.
Car Sales Rise for the First Time in More Than a Year
The October new car market provides evidence of a broadening economic recovery with sales up on a year ago for the first time in 16 months.
Official VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 80,813 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in October 2009 – an increase of 2.2 per cent compared to the same month last year.
“This was a good solid monthly result with the welcome return of private, business and rental buyers in larger numbers,” FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.
“This is the first month since June 2008 that sales have increased when compared to the year before,” he said.
“The industry is looking to round out the year on a positive note and we expect a further surge in sales as businesses move to take advantage of the successful tax break prior to the end of the year,” Mr McKellar said.
“While the latest figures are encouraging we would urge the Reserve Bank to proceed with caution in contemplating further interest rate rises until the foundations of a full recovery are clearly established,” He said.
The SUV segment led the market in October recording a 9.5 per cent increase, followed by light commercials (up 3.4 per cent) and passenger cars (up 1.3 per cent). Heavy commercial vehicles recorded a decline of 24.9 per cent.
Year-to-date 762,787 new vehicles have been sold, down 11.7 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Toyota remains in the top sales position for October with 17,888 vehicle sales, ahead of Holden with 10,737 and Ford with 8,240.
Audi Tops 2008 Sales After 10 Months
- Audi outsells 2008 total sales following record October result
- Managing director, Hofmann, says tough 18 months for industry has not stopped Audi’s growth
- October 2009 was company’s 58th consecutive month of growth
Audi Australia Pty Ltd has eclipsed its 2008 record total after just 10 months this year, selling 9,612 cars year-to-date.
Managing director, Joerg Hofmann, says the result – which represents the 58th straight month of growth for the company – is all the more pleasing after a tough 18 months for the whole industry – not only in Australia, but also worldwide.
“It has been an interesting and challenging time for the entire automotive industry and the whole Audi team is very proud of the result so far. Even in the light of a sharp increase to Luxury Car Tax in 2008, followed by 14 months of economic downturn, Audi has managed to increase sales volume and market share, and kept profitability, and we’re very proud of this achievement,” Mr Hofmann said.
Following a record October 2009 result of 1,022 cars, up 45% compared with October 2008, the year-to-date total of 9,612 units puts the Audi brand well ahead of its 2008 full year result of 9,410 units – a result which was, at the time, an all-time record for Audi in Australia.
October 2009 represents the 58th straight month of record sales (month on month). The company is now within sight of a year end goal of 11,000 units.
Hofmann says the reason the brand is going from strength to strength in Australia is clear strategic focus, investment, strong teamwork, and a desirable product range.
“When we opened the new Audi Lighthouse, Sydney, in August, we knew the investment would make a very strong national statement for Audi, and it has certainly paid off.
“We have already outsold our 2008 full year total. It’s one thing to build a brand new dealership and head office but it has to prove successful and profitable as early as possible to guarantee future growth – and this is already the case,” Mr Hofmann said.
The brand’s new Q5 has proven to be very successful, and combined with other key volume models like the Audi A3, A4, TT, A5 and Q7 – the core range is selling very strongly.
“Of course our success year-to-date will not stop us pushing to over-achieve,” Hofmann said.
“Audi is a successful brand for successful people and we certainly plan to run as hard and fast as we can.
“It is still too early to guarantee our full year result, however it is clear that we will head towards 11,000 cars in 2009,” Mr Hofmann said.
New Liberty and Outback Sales Success
The new generation Subaru Liberty and Outback have achieved remarkable sales in their first full month, helping the brand to a monthly total of 3302 vehicles, according to official VFACTS figures released today.
Liberty achieved its best October since 1991, retailing 738 – 119.6 per cent ahead of the same month last year and outselling key Japanese competitors.
Outback sales of 543 were 95.3 per cent up on last October.
It was Outback’s best October result since 2000.
Forester maintained its status as best-selling SUV year-to-date (YTD) across all categories, with 1039 sales.
Impreza sold 965 in October, up 15.6 per cent for the month and 8.9 per cent YTD.
Tribeca sales of 17 reflected low stock, due to be replenished in the near future.
Subaru’s successful October took its market share to 4.1 per cent for the month, with a YTD figure of 4.0 per cent.
The Outback 2.0D, Subaru’s first-ever diesel variant, and the Liberty Exiga family wagon – both launched this week – are expected to further highlight the new generation range’s success in November.
Suzuki Achieves Best Ever October Result
Suzuki has begun the last quarter of 2009 in record numbers, selling 2,091 vehicles nationally to better its previous October record set in 2008 by 2.5 per cent.
According to VFACTS figures released today, the Japanese brand was one of only a handful of main manufacturers to increase its monthly sales compared to the same month last year.
Year-to-date Suzuki has sold 16,692 vehicles across its passenger, light commercial and four-wheel drive model range.
Suzuki’s award-winning compact SUV led the charge with Grand Vitara sales up 55 per cent on the same month last year. A record total of 544 vehicles left the showroom floor to push its year-to-date figure to 3,465. This represents a 9.1 per cent growth on 2008 in a segment that is down almost 7 per cent.
Strong interest in the limited edition Swift RE4 model boosted Swift sales to 1,113; just nine units short of the October 2008 result. The Swift remains one of Australia’s most popular light cars with customers of all ages opting for its Japanese quality, stylish design and excellent value for money proposition.
Meanwhile the newly introduced Suzuki Alto – Australia’s first sub-light vehicle – continues to offer choice for the environmentally and budget-conscious buyer on the back of its record 2.0L/100km fuel economy achieved on the city leg of the 2009 Global Green Challenge.
In November Alto buyers can get behind the wheel for just $12,990 drive away for the GL model and $14,490 drive away for the high specification GLX variant, through a campaign initiated by the Suzuki Australia dealer network.
Suzuki performed strongly in most states. Sales were well up in Western Australia and South Australia, while Victorian Suzuki dealers put in an impressive performance with a 50 per cent increase over the 2008 figure.
Globally it was a similar state of affairs with the key markets of Europe and Asia both maintaining strong sales results. In India sales rose 21 per cent in the month of October for a total of 71,551 vehicles.
Maruti Suzuki is India’s largest car maker with more than 55 per cent market share in one of the world’s fastest growing automotive markets.
Last month Maruti Suzuki topped the list in the J D Power survey for customer service satisfaction for the tenth consecutive year.
The Suzuki operations were ranked number one with a total score of 824 (on a scale of 1,000 points) ahead of Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Ford.
The study measured overall satisfaction by examining five key factors – service quality, vehicle pickup, service advisor, service facility and service initiation – and mimics the J D Power sales satisfaction survey announced earlier in 2009 where Suzuki once again outranked all competitors with an industry leading score of 800 points.
The accolade comes at the same time as Suzuki Motor Corporation recorded a first half year profit for the 2009 fiscal year (April – Sept). The result saw the company remain in the black despite the effects of the world economy on the car manufacturing business.
Suzuki sales revenue equated to 1.18 trillion yen (AUD 14.2 billion), down 31 per cent on the April to September 2008 figure. Despite a slight decline in sales this fiscal year, Suzuki managed a surplus of 31.8 billion yen operating profit (AUD 403 million) and a 12.5 billion yen profit (AUD 158 million) by holding down business investments and cost reductions across the board.
Based on this result, SMC has increased its forecast for the full fiscal year to 40 billion yen (up from 10 billion yen) in operating profit and 15 billion yen (up from 5 billion yen) net profit.
BMW Extends Sales Lead of the Luxury Segment
Australia’s best selling luxury brand is extending its sales lead over its nearest rival, according to official figures released today.
BMW consolidated its lead of the luxury segment last month and now leads the second-best selling luxury brand by a handy margin of 2,018 units for the year.
A month ago BMW’s lead stood at 1,600 units.
Stavros Yallouridis, managing director of BMW Group Australia, is confident BMW is on track to become luxury market leader in Australia for the sixth year in a row.
“Despite increasing competitiveness in the luxury market and uncertain economic conditions this year BMW is on the right path to continue its run as the country’s best selling luxury brand.
“The arrival this month of nearly a dozen new BMWs, all equipped with the latest EfficientDynamics technologies, will also bolster the appeal of the blue and white roundel in Australia,” he said.
This year BMW has delivered a total of 13,939 passenger cars and four-wheel drives. The corresponding figure for its nearest rival, Mercedes-Benz, is 11,921. The other luxury brands are all below 10,000 units.
Sales of BMW’s re-positioned 323i Sedan continued to rise, jumping to 142 units for the month, compared to 92 last month, helping to give the BMW 3 Series market leadership in October.
BMW’s flagship 7 Series continues to lead the upper luxury segment, and extended its lead over its rivals last month.
In the sports car category below $80,000, BMW’s 1 Series Coupé and Convertible models continue to dominate the field accounting for nearly one in four customer deliveries.
The appeal of BMW’s new Z4 Roadster is taking hold as summer approaches, with sales this year twice as high as last year.
In the luxury SUV market, BMW’s dominance continues unabated with the company’s X models being snapped up by 25.4 per cent of all buyers this year.
Mitsubishi’s October Sales Show Steady Growth
Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) today announced sales results for October, with a total of 4,775 vehicles sold throughout the month.
Compared to October 2008, MMAL have shown a national sales increase of approximately 7.5 per cent year-on-year, due largely to the very strong sales result for Lancer, and the consistently solid sales performance of the Outlander, Pajero and Triton models.
The popular Lancer range sold a total of 2,066 units in October which represents a 38.1 per cent increase for the range year-on-year. Other models also showed growth with the Outlander compact SUV posting an 11.9 percent improvement year on year, and the legendary four-wheel drive Pajero rounding out October with a 44.9 per cent rise year on year.
Triton 4×2 and 4×4 models, while down in comparison to October 2008, continued their important contribution to MMAL’s consistent performance, with sales exceeding 1,250.
MMAL’s president and chief executive officer, Robert McEniry today commented on the positive sales results for October 2009.
“The October results continue the trend of an improving market environment, and, with the imminent release of our new Challenger four-wheel drive, we look forward to seeing more strong results in the coming months,” said McEniry.
Mazda on Song in October
- Mazda sales up 2% on October 2008
- Mazda still #1 full-line importer year-to-date
- New Generation Mazda3 up 5.1% on October 2008
- Mazda CX-7 sales double in October
Mazda Australia is in full force to achieve its 2009 sales target of 74,000 following another month of sales growth.
According to VFACTS figures released today, Mazda sold 5,637 new vehicles last month – up 2% on October 2008 sales.
Year-to-date Mazda is still the country’s top-selling full line vehicle importer, retailing 63,332 new passenger and light commercial vehicles so far this year. This equates to an 8.3% share in the Australian new vehicle market, up 0.5 percentage points on the same time last year.
There’s no doubting the popularity of the company’s sporty and stylish Mazda3 small car. October sales of the New Generation Mazda3 hatchback and sedan are up 5.1% on the same month last year, with 2,211 retails.
Meanwhile sales of the company’s sporty crossover SUV CX-7 doubled in October following the successful launch of the New CX-7 facelift range adding two all-new powertrains to the line-up. Mazda sold 523 CX-7s in October, up 110% on October 2008 figures.
Mazda Australia managing director Doug Dickson is pleased with the company’s October result.
“It’s pleasing to see that Australian consumers look to New Generation Mazda3 as one of the best looking, best driving, and best value for money small cars on the market. These driving attributes combined with a new national driveaway price of $23,990* will ensure Mazda3 remains a major player in the Small, sub $40,000 segment.
“It’s equally pleasing to see Mazda CX-7 do so well not even a month on from the launch of the upgraded range.”
*National driveaway price of $23,990 is for Mazda3 Neo (6MT)
Hyundai Sales up +106% for Highest Ever October Sales Result
In a market showing signs of recovery, Hyundai’s Australian Dealer network has secured another record for the brand, selling 6,281 vehicles and achieving a market share of 7.8%. Sales for October 2009 were up +106% over the same month last year – giving Hyundai its best ever October result. Topping off an outstanding month, the iLoad van range achieved its highest ever market share.
In a total market that has decreased 11.7% (October YTD 2009 v. October YTD 2008), Hyundai remains the only volume brand to grow sales in 2009 (October YTD), posting ten consecutive months of year-on-year growth and an overall increase of sales of 42%YTD.
Hyundai Motor Company’s global sales increased 6.9% (October YTD 2009 v. October YTD 2008). In South Korea, the all-new YF mid-sized sedan sold 17,906 units, making it the best selling domestic model.
Hyundai’s Australian highlights include:
- Hyundai ranked fourth overall in terms of total monthly sales.
- Hyundai’s YTD result for October YTD of 53,906 units (7.1% share) represents a 42% volume increase over its result of 37,962 units over the same period in 2008.
- Hyundai’s result in October of 6,281 units (7.8% share) represents a 106.7% volume increase over its achievement of 3,039 units (3.8%) in October 2008.
- iLoad achieved its best ever segment share of 19.7% in October, ranking second in the van segment after posting a sales result of 437 units, and consolidating its second position YTD.
- iMax ranked third in the people mover market, achieving a 9.5% market share, consolidating its third position YTD.
- Tucson ranked first in the compact SUV segment for the second consecutive month, posting a sales result of 1,049 units and a 14.3% market share.
- Getz ranked first in the light car segment achieving 2,198 vehicle sales and a 22.8% market share of the light car segment – this achievement makes Getz the best selling light car with 17,389 units sold October YTD.
UPLIFT IN VEHICLE SALES AS COROLLA, HILUX TOP CHARTS
Australian motorists bought more cars and trucks in October than for the same month last year – the first time in 16 months the industry has seen a year-on-year increase in monthly sales.
Toyota Australia senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner welcomed the October-on-October increase for the industry, saying it pointed to a strong end-of-year selling season.
In October, the industry sold 80,813 new motor vehicles – an increase of 2.2 per cent over the same month last year.
Not since June 2008 have a month’s sales been higher than for the corresponding month of the previous year.
“Over the past six months, confidence has grown among fleet and private customers, enabling them to return to the market,” Mr Buttner said.
“This has been supported by the Federal Government’s stimulus package, including specific support for business owners requiring vehicles.
“The general uplift in consumer sentiment plus the investment allowance that takes us through to December 31 should result in a strong end to 2009.
“The full-year result of around 920,000 sales will be appreciably stronger than most observers were predicting just a few months’ ago.”
In October, Toyota’s Corolla was again the country’s most popular vehicle with 3,724 sales, narrowly beating HiLux into second with 3,707 sales.
Corolla has topped the sales charts for three of the past four months and is Australia’s best-selling vehicle in the financial year.
Other segment leaders for Toyota were Camry, LandCruiser 200 Series, HiAce van, HiAce bus and Tarago.
Toyota remained market leader with sales of almost 17,900 vehicles in October – more than 7,000 ahead of its nearest rival.
After 10 months’ sales this year, Toyota dealers have sold more than 160,000 vehicles; no other company has reached 100,000.