January 2010 showed good signs for the automotive industry in Australia. While sales for the month did fall dramatically from December 2009 it is worth noting there were strong financial incentives, in the form of Federal Government tax breaks, that saw many businesses rushing to buy cars before the program ended on 31 December.
More importantly, the 74,864 new vehicle sales for January 2010 represents a healthy increase of 11.6% compared to the same month last year. Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Chief Executive Andrew McKellar believes the new cut in import tariffs has helped kick the year off, “New car affordability is better than ever and has been further enhanced by the tariff cut on many imported vehicles,” he said.
“New car buyers have effectively been handed a ‘tax cut’ and many brands have moved quickly to reduce prices or increase vehicle specifications. As a result, it is expected that this will encourage private buyers to return to the marketplace in greater numbers throughout the year,” Mr McKellar said.
Toyota, Holden and Ford maintained recent tradition as the top three selling marques.
STRONG START TO THE YEAR FOR NEW CAR SALES
The automotive industry has started the year on a positive note with a significant increase in the number of new vehicles sold during January.
Official VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 74,864 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in January, up 11.6 per cent (or 7,785 vehicles) on the same month in 2009.
“This is a strong result and provides the market with a confidence boost heading into 2010,” FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.
“Business purchases remained strong in January with some buyers taking delivery of vehicles ordered last year under the Federal Government’s business tax break,” he said.
“New car affordability is better than ever and has been further enhanced by the tariff cut on many imported vehicles,” he said.
“New car buyers have effectively been handed a ‘tax cut’ and many brands have moved quickly to reduce prices or increase vehicle specifications,” Mr McKellar said.
“As a result, it is expected that this will encourage private buyers to return to the marketplace in greater numbers throughout the year,” he said.
Toyota retained the top selling position with a market share of 19.5 per cent; followed by Holden with 14 per cent and then Ford with nine per cent.
Audi Sets a Cracking Pace in 2010
- Audi Australia leaps from the starting block in 2010 with a January result of 1,328 units
- January 2010 is now the all-time record sales month
Audi Australia Pty Ltd has come out of the starting blocks in 2010 with an all-time record result of 1,328 units for the month of January.
In 2009, the Audi brand grew by an impressive 20 percent over 2008, however following the first month of sales in the New Year, the company is already looking to beat it’s latest record.
The sales result of 1,328 units in January 2010 represents a 23 percent increase over January 2009 and is officially the 61st month of growth for Audi Australia Pty Ltd.
In February, Audi will officially launch the new A5 Sportback model, along with it’s fuel-sipping A4 2.0 TDI e – the latest in the company’s impressive range of ‘e’ or ‘efficiency’ models with consumption of just 4.8 litres per 100km.
Start/Stop technology will also makes its debut Downunder for the first time in February 2010 in the A4 and A5 model lines.
BMW Commences 2010 with Continued Consumer Confidence
Australia’s best selling luxury brand has recorded a 43.6 per cent increase in sales versus the same period last year.
After taking the luxury crown for the sixth successive year in 2009, BMW has continued to win the confidence of consumers to record a strong January sales result.
With 1,481 registrations recorded in January 2010, compared to 1,031 units in 2009, BMW has begun the year with a solid start and is looking forward to a new level of consumer confidence returning to the market.
“Although cautious, the early signs that consumer confidence is stabilising is very pleasing as we enter a new sales year,” says Stavros Yallouridis, managing director of BMW Group Australia.
“The continued success of the Efficient Dynamics programme has played a major role and the appetite for diesel power is winning the hearts of consumers.
“With key models such as the BMW X1, all new 5 Series and 5 Series Gran Turismo planned for market introduction in the first half of the year, we’re confident BMW will post another impressive result,” say Yallouridis.
MINI too recorded a buoyant start to 2010 with a 29.2% sales increase over the same period last year.
Hyundai Continues to Drive New Records
Hyundai has posted a sales result of 6,208 units, its best ever January result since the brand started selling cars in Australia in 1986. Hyundai’s market share of 8.3% represents the equal best ever monthly result since the factory established the wholly owned subsidiary Hyundai Motor Company Australia in 2003.
In a total market that has increased 12% (January YTD 2010 v. January YTD 2009), Hyundai Motor Company Australia has achieved an overall increase in sales of 67.7%.
iLoad posted its best ever sales result of 592 units and best ever market share of 30.8%, ranking first in the van segment in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. Hyundai was also the no. 1 selling brand in Tasmania.
“The team at Hyundai and the Hyundai Dealer network are thrilled with the start to 2010,” said Damien Meredith, Hyundai’s Director of Sales. “This month we launch the all-new ix35 compact SUV into the Australian market and we have other exciting all-new products on the way soon.”
Hyundai Motor Company’s global sales also increased 50.4% (January YTD 2010 v. January YTD 2009). In South Korea, the all-new YF mid-sized sedan sold 17,464 units, making it the best selling domestic model.
Mazda Kicks Off 2010 in Style
- Stylish Mazda3 is Australia’s best-selling small car and 2nd overall
- 6,658 retails in January, up 1.9pc year-on-year
- Mazda’s 2nd best January on record
- Mazda remains Australia’s leading full-line importer and 4th overall
Off the back of a record breaking December, Mazda Australia has started 2010 with its second best January on record. A total of 6,658 retails in January equated to a 1.9pc year-on-year increase and an overall market share of 8.9pc according to January VFACTS figures
Underscoring Mazda’s sales success in January was the ongoing popularity of the stylish and compact Mazda3, which notched up 3,223 sales making it Australia’s best-selling small car and second overall.
While the light Mazda2 and medium Mazda6 maintained their positions amongst the leaders in their respective segments, it was Mazda’s range of stylish, insightful and spirited SUV’s that really took the market by storm in January.
Mazda CX-7 had its best ever January, clocking up 620 sales and a year-on-year increase of 99.4pc. Mazda’s sporty SUV continues to challenge the leaders in the compact SUV segment with Australian buyers attracted to its impressive styling, features and powertrain options.
Meanwhile CX-7’s larger sibling, the 7-seater CX-9 found favour with 366 Australian buyers in January, a year-on-year increase of 29.3pc.
“Given our strong end to 2009 and the withdrawal of the Government’s investment allowance, it was always going to be interesting to see how the market would respond in the New Year,” said Mazda Australia’s Managing Director, Doug Dickson.
“The signs for Mazda throughout January have been extremely encouraging. Of course, we’re very pleased to see another solid performance from our perennially popular Mazda3, but it’s equally satisfying to see that the entire Mazda range is continuing to hit the sweet spot with Australian new car buyers.”
Mercedes-Benz Off to a Strong Start in 2010
Mercedes-Benz has made a strong start to 2010 with January sales up almost 57 percent over last year.
The leading German luxury auto maker retailed 1,470 new cars, SUVs, vans and trucks in Australia, well and truly exceeding its January 2009 result.
With a busy year of new-model releases ahead, local Mercedes-Benz sales are expected to grow during the course of the year. 2010 will see the introduction of a variety of fascinating sports and luxury models, including the return of a couple of motoring icons, such as the internationally famed SLS AMG “Gullwing” supercar.
Horst von Sanden, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Cars in Australia: “This month’s result is an indication of a good 2010.
“Customer demand for our vehicles from 2009 has certainly spilled into this year and with a number of exciting new models heading our way we expect a strong 2010.”
New highly efficient turbocharged direct-injection engines figure amongst the new Mercedes-Benz models heading Australian shores this year, as do a number of other technology highlights.
Liberty is a Subaru Star
Subaru sales of 3260 vehicles in January were up 7.8 per cent on the same month last year, according to official VFACTS figures released today.
New generation Liberty and Outback are proving a huge success for the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive brand – Liberty sales of 654 were up 37.1 per cent on January 2009, making it the best-selling imported medium car for the month.
Outback sold 435, up a massive 76.8 per cent, while Forester sales of 1205 maintained its best-selling SUV Compact status.
Impreza sales of 873 and Tribeca, 93, rounded out the Subaru result.
Subaru’s January market share was 4.4 per cent.
Among the standout regional results, Subaru achieved a 9.1 per cent market share in Tasmania and 6.6 per cent in the ACT.
Strong Start for Suzuki
Suzuki has emerged from the gloom of 2010 with a record January sales result.
A total of 1724 Suzukis were sold in January, easily surpassing the record January 2008 figure. That represents an 8.7 per cent increase year on year, and a market share of 2.3 per cent.
Suzuki’s fuel efficient range of light cars and compact SUVs lead the strong result, with Alto recording its best ever month, while Grand Vitara, Jimny Sierra and APV all recorded increased sales.
After being launched just six months ago, Suzuki’s dynamic sub-light car – the Alto – notched 315 sales.
“The new pricing structure makes Alto the best value new car on the market today, with outstanding fuel efficiency, zippy performance and four-star safety levels,” said Suzuki Australia General Manager Tony Devers.
“At just $12,990 driveaway, the top specification Alto GLX, which comes standard with ESP stability control, finally puts maximum safety within reach of all Australian customers.”
Devers said the company was confident of another record sales year in 2010.
“With a full year of Alto sales, the launch of a new SX4 small car with ESP and more powerful, fuel efficient engines and the imminent arrival of the exciting new Kizashi mid-sized car, Suzuki is set to cement its position as one of the country’s most significant automotive marques.”
RISING SALES, MARKET LEADERSHIP FOR TOYOTA
Toyota Australia’s January sales were up 8.5 per cent compared with the same month last year, according to official figures released today.
Toyota dealers sold more than 14,500 vehicles for the month or almost 39 per cent more cars and trucks than any other brand.
The result means Toyota is again the market leader – more than 4,000 sales ahead of its nearest rival.
Toyota has topped the sales charts every single month since April 2005.
In January, Camry, HiLux 4×4, HiLux 4×2, LandCruiser 200 Series, HiAce van and HiAce bus were the top-selling Toyota vehicles in their respective segments. Prius was the best-selling hybrid vehicle.
Toyota Australia senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the company and its dealers were positive about the outlook for 2010.
“Our order bank is strong – and growing – and our dealer confidence is high,” Mr Buttner said.
“We are also on the verge of launching one of the most significant cars in Australia’s automotive history – the first locally produced hybrid car, Hybrid Camry,” he said.