New vehicle sales report – March 2011

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March was another month without much fanfare as far as vehicle sales go. The official press release from FCAI is very matter of fact.

In real terms, though, the numbers don’t seem too bad. A total of 93,984 sales were registered, a drop of just under 1% compared to March 2010.

FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar seemed to dismiss the drop in sales by saying, “Notwithstanding slightly lower sales during the month, the demand for new vehicles is broadly consistent with other retail and consumer demand indicators.”

Toyota and Holden remain unchallenged in their respective one and two positions on the sales charts. While it is Ford’s turn to hold the number three mantle from Mazda.

Vehicle Sales Softer In March

5 April 2011 – Official VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 93,984 new vehicles were sold in March 2011, down by just under 1 per cent compared with the same period twelve months ago.

“Notwithstanding slightly lower sales during the month, the demand for new vehicles is broadly consistent with other retail and consumer demand indicators,” FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.

“The reality is the overall level of new vehicle sales remains robust and remains well above 1 million units over the past 12 months,” he said.

Toyota was the market leader in March (18,466 units), followed by Holden (10,816 units) and Ford (8,698 units). Year-to-date Toyota leads Holden with a margin of slightly in excess of 7 percent market share.


Audi Australia Finishes First Quarter 2011 As Number One Premium Brand In Passenger Cars

  • 4,323 sales year-to-date is an all-time record for Audi in Australia
  • For the first time Audi Australia tops the premium passenger car market to be the highest-selling luxury automotive brand for the first three months of 2011
  • Sales success underpinned by strong profitability and sustainable growth strategy

Audi Australia has finished the first quarter of 2011 with record sales results, setting the brand with the four rings as Australia’s topselling premium automotive manufacturer of passenger cars for the first three months of the year.

On the back of a record 2010 with 12,900 vehicles sold, Audi Australia is forging ahead in 2011, finishing March with 1,387 sales and the first quarter of 2011 with a total of 4,323 sales – a new record for the brand with the four rings in Australia.

Since 2004, Audi has enjoyed unprecedented growth and success in Australia, with sales more than tripling from 3,700 to 12,900 units last year, and this latest round of sales success strengthens Audi Australia’s target to achieve 15,000 total sales for 2011.

A raft of new product in 2010 – including the urbane A1, the stylish and versatile A5 Sportback and the flagship A8 limousine – helped push Audi to these record numbers, but this ongoing sales success is also due in large part to Audi’s resolute dedication to customer service and ongoing improvements to key areas including service and aftersales.

“This latest round of sales success is just reward for the hard work and dedication of the entire Audi Australia network,” said Audi Australia Managing Director Uwe Hagen

“And while we are very happy to finish the first quarter of 2011 as number one in our segment, we will continue to work hard to grow and strengthen our brand. We are continuing to expand our presence in this country, and by the end of 2011 we will have invested more than $250 million into our dealer network, with a number of new dealerships opening and extensive upgrades to existing sites.”

“Our financial results have also been exceptional and the remainder of 2011 is looking extremely promising for Audi Australia. I am particularly excited about launching a fresh assault on the C and D segment with the outstanding new A6 which will go on sale mid-year.”

“The combination of exceptional product and a strong and profitable dealer network means Audi Australia is achieving its target of customer delight, and this is the core of our ongoing success.”

Audi Australia sales 2011 (source: VFACTS)
January: 1,466
February: 1,460
March: 1,387
Year to date: 4,323


Mazda Marches On

Mazda Australia has smashed its previous March best recording 8,039 sales and an 8.6 per cent market share for the month according to official VFACTS figures released today.

This is 474 vehicles more than the previous March best set back in 2008 but the result also made a significant contribution to Mazda Australia’s record first quarter of 22,883.

Year-to-date, the Hiroshima-based company has secured a 9.2 per cent market share, 0.8 per cent ahead of the same time last year.

Star-performers across the Mazda range contributed to the March result but it was the smallest members of the family that led the way with segment-leading performances.

The stylish Mazda3 continued to set new benchmarks in March as it scored a record high of 3,979 sales, beating the previous best by just over 100. This result has maintained the Mazda3’s position as Australia’s best-selling car year-to-date.

The Mazda2 city car also hit the sweet spot in March to lead the light segment with 1,544 sales and a 13.2 per cent market share. The evergreen appeal of the Mazda2 is highlighted by the fact that March produced its third best ever result, nearly four years after it was launched.

The other members of the Mazda family played solid supporting roles in March as they helped to illustrate the diversity of the Mazda line-up to Australian new cars buyers.

Mazda Australia managing director, Doug Dickson said, “It’s been an incredible first quarter for the company and it’s satisfying to see strength across the whole Mazda range. While Mazda2 and Mazda3 have been particularly strong, it’s very pleasing to see that our other stylish, insightful and spirited products continue to fulfil our customer’s needs.”

Holden Has Small, Large And Light Covered In March

  • Commodore still Australia’s favourite car
  • Cruze cracks the top four
  • Best Barina Spark monthly sales

Holden Commodore has extended its reign as Australia’s highest-selling vehicle in March, backed by strong performances across the Holden portfolio.

According to figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Holden sold 4,170 Commodores in March, capturing 57.7 per cent of the large car segment.

With the first arrivals of locally-built Cruze models at dealerships around the country, Holden’s Series I small car continued to impress, closing the month as Australia’s fourth highest-selling passenger vehicle with 2804 sales.

The success of Cruze and Commodore was reinforced by a stand-out performance from Holden’s smallest model, Barina Spark. Holden’s baby Barina achieved 444 sales, its best result since launching in October 2010.

Holden Executive Director, Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, John Elsworth, said the success of local heroes Commodore and Cruze set the tone for a positive year ahead.

“Commodore is dominating the large car segment with great fuel economy, flex-fuel capability and technology like Holden IQ,” said Mr Elsworth.

“In the small car segment, not only has Cruze had its second best month since launch, sales are up 32 per cent on March last year.

“And the Barina Spark is fast gaining a foothold in the very competitive light segment.

“Production is running smoothly in South Australia and we’re looking forward to deliveries of Series II Cruze, including models powered by the all-new 1.4 litre intelligent turbo induction petrol engine, to our first customers in the coming days.”

Holden’s total March volume was 10,816 units, down slightly on last year, giving Holden 11.5 per cent market share.


Record Highs Continue for Hyundai

Hyundai continued its record-breaking run with another strong sales result achieved in March.

Record high month end results were achieved by i20 with 579 units sold, i45 with 452 units sold, and ix35 finishing the month with 982 units sold. Meanwhile the multi-award winning Hyundai iLoad range continued to deliver outstanding sales results, securing first place in the van segment for a second consecutive month with 680 units and a segment share of 30%.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) posted its second highest March sales result since the brand was introduced to Australia in 1986, realising a total market share of 7.6% placing the brand at sixth position for the month in total sales (and fifth for the year to date).

In passenger car sales, HMCA ranked fourth for the month with 5,036 vehicles sold representing a market share of 10% for the month.

Hyundai Motor America (HMA) March results were 61,873 units, up 32 percent compared with the same period last year and up 42 percent over February. For the year, total Hyundai sales are up 28 percent, with retail volume up 46 percent, representing an all-time record first-quarter performance for HMA.

“While overall industry sales for March were slightly down, results indicate HMCA is tracking on target to achieve steady growth in 2011,” said Damien Meredith, Director of Sales Hyundai Motor Company Australia. “Hyundai will introduce four all-new models to the Australian market in 2011, therefore consolidating our market position is important as we head towards a strong second half of the year.”

Hyundai’s Australian highlights include:

  • Getz ranked second in the light car segment achieving 1,463 vehicle sales and a market share of 12.5%.
  • i20 ranked ninth in the light car segment posting a sales result of 579 units and 4.9% market share (the highest on record).
  • i30 ranked fourth in the light car segment achieving 2,376 vehicle sales and a market share of 11.9%.
  • i45 ranked fifth in the medium car segment posting a sales result of 452 units and an 8.7% market share (the highest on record).
  • ix35 ranked sixth in the SUV compact segment achieving 982 vehicle sales and a market share of 4.5% (the highest on record).
  • iLoad ranked first in the van segment after posting a sales result of 680 units and a market share of 30% (the highest on record).



Kia Stays Ahead Of The Market During Tough First Quarter

Kia has defied a slowdown in the Australian new car market to continue its growth through a tough first quarter of 2011.

Official VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that the Australian new vehicle market took a slight backward step during the first quarter of 2011 to be down 1.3 percent compared to sales figures up to March 31 in 2010.

Kia Motors Australia has experienced 1.7 percent growth over the same period with a number of its models holding ground in an increasingly competitive market.

“Kia’s ability to stay ahead of the game is just another indication of the growing desirability of the brand,” Kia Motors Australia COO Tony Barlow said. “The stylish designs, leading-edge engineering and unbeatable value for money are all things valued by new car buyers _ as shown by their increasing interest in Kia.”

Leading the charge was the Kia Sorento with a 23.8 percent increase compared to 2010 first quarter sales figures. The addition of the five-door model to the Cerato range has also hit the mark with combined sales for the sedan and hatch up 51.9 percent compared to last year’s first quarter figures.

An 18.5 percent increase on March 2010 sales saw Kia Soul finish the quarter up 7.4 percent while Kia’s people movers held their own with Rondo sales up 12.1 percent over the same period last year and Carnival’s 283 sales for the month representing 31.3 percent of all people movers under $40,000 sold during March.

Demand for the new Sportage continued to be strong.

“The new models in key segments have played their part in keeping sales moving ahead,” Mr Barlow said. “We are quietly confident that with the arrival of the Rio replacement later this year that trend will continue.”

Subaru Record March Sales

Subaru achieved record March sales of 3901 vehicles, according to official VFACTS figures published today.

The result was 222 ahead of the March record set in 2010 and represents a 4.2 per cent market share for the month and 4.3 per cent year-to-date (YTD).

Star performer was Impreza, with 1336 sales, up 25.4 per cent for the month and 66.6 per cent YTD.

Forester sales of 1227 maintained its status as Australia’s best-selling compact SUV YTD.

Liberty sold 685, up 18.9 per cent over last March; Outback 538 and Tribeca 115.


Toyota extends leas in strong market

Rising fuel costs are likely to drive a fundamental acceleration of customer demand for energy-efficient vehicles and alternative power trains, according to market leader Toyota.

Demand for Toyota’s locally manufactured Hybrid Camry exceeded 28 per cent of all Camry sales in March, according to registration figures just released.

First quarter motor vehicle sales had been characterised by a consumer quest for value, Toyota said.

Sales figures released today by industry analyst VFACTS show Toyota claimed leadership for March and the first quarter in a market no longer influenced by government investment allowance incentives.

The cessation of government bonuses had caused the market to settle to natural levels, according to Toyota’s senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner.

“In 2010 the industry enjoyed a record March as a result of the improving economy and the final influence of government incentive,” Mr Buttner said.

“This March was 0.8 per cent below last year’s record but was well within expectation for a market that now depends on customer response to competitive retail offers.”

Toyota claimed 18,466 sales for the month, 70 per cent ahead of its nearest rival; and 47,887 sales for the quarter, 62 per cent ahead of the same rival.

“Value has become the greatest determinant in new vehicle sales,” Mr Buttner said.

The Toyota Finance Advantage – offering comparison rates as low as 3.9 per cent for personal customers and business customers, coupled with flexible balloon payment options and capped-price servicing – had resonated with buyers.

“It is up to each manufacturer to offer its own incentives in response to customers needs,” Mr Buttner said.

“Buyers increasingly depend on an all-of-life proposition which takes into account fluctuations such as fuel costs.”

Mr Buttner said March sales results and the first quarter analysis did not accurately reflect immediate customer response to fuel pricing.

“It is possible there will be a pull-through effect in the next quarter as motorists react to the cost of fuel,” he said.

“Traditionally there is a swing towards energy efficiency as fuel costs increase.”

In March results, Toyota claimed market leadership in seven of the 13 VFACTS categories in which it participates, and was second in another three.