New vehicle sales report – February 2010

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Monthly sales figures have continued to trend upwards on 2009 data with an increase of 17% (almost 12,000 vehicles) compared to February last year. According to official VFACTS numbers 82,219 new vehicles rolled off showroom floors last month.

Breaking the monthly comparison numbers down further, business sales remain strong, up by almost 23% on 2009 sales. But it was the rental segment that has given a major boost to results for February 2010 with an increase in sales to rental companies of 175%.

There was also a modest 9.3% increase in the number of private buyers taking delivery of new vehicles. FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar says, “Looking ahead, sustaining the confidence of private buyers is the key challenge for the economy.”

“For that reason we continue to be cautious about the impact of interest rate increases,” Mr McKellar said.

Toyota and Holden held their recent traditional placings as the top two selling marques in Australia. However, Hyundai has displaced Ford from third position by boosting their sales to the tune of 8.8%. This is the first time Hyundai has reached a top three position on local sales charts. The news is worse for Ford, too, as Mazda, in fourth place, have relegated the blue oval further down the charts.

Interestingly, the number of manufacturers sending out press releases trumpeting their results is significantly down on January’s efforts.

Private Buyers Help Lift New Car Sales

Official VFACTS data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 82,219 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in February, up 17.1 per cent (or 11,978 vehicles) on the same month in 2009.

“This is a very strong result and provides further evidence of renewed growth in vehicle sales,” FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.

Private buyers returned to the market in greater numbers during February, recording a 9.3 per cent increase on the same month last year.

“It is encouraging to see private buyers edging back into the market following the financial concerns of the past year,” he said.

Business sales remained strong (22.7 per cent increase) and there was a sharp rise in the number of vehicles sold to rental companies (175 per cent increase).

“Deliveries of vehicles purchased under the business tax break are gradually phasing down and we need to examine how the market will look without the impact of economic stimulus,” Mr McKellar said.

“Looking ahead, sustaining the confidence of private buyers is the key challenge for the economy,” he said.

“For that reason we continue to be cautious about the impact of interest rate increases,” Mr McKellar said.

Toyota retained the top selling position in February, increasing its market share to 20.5 per cent; followed by Holden with 13.6 per cent and for the first time in third position, Hyundai with 8.8 per cent.

TOYOTA SALES UP 17.8 PER CENT IN FEBRUARY

Toyota Australia lifted its February sales almost 18 per cent compared with the same month last year, according to official figures released today.

Australian motorists bought 16,814 Toyota vehicles last month – 17.8 per cent higher than the same month last year and up 15.5 per cent on January 2010.

Toyota’s February total was 5,601 vehicles – or approximately 50 per cent – ahead of its nearest rival.

The most popular Toyota vehicles were HiLux (3,271 sold), Corolla (3,042) and Camry (2116).

So far this year, Toyota dealers have sold 31,378 vehicles or 9,647 more than any other company.

Toyota is the only carmaker to have surpassed 30,000 sales in the first two months of any year – a feat it has achieved on three previous occasions.

The company’s executive director sales and marketing, Matthew Callachor, said the market-leading result was due to a strong vehicle line-up supported by customer-focused dealers.

Mr Callachor said a highlight was introduction of Toyota’s petrol-electric Hybrid Camry – the first hybrid car to be built in Australia.

He said Hybrid Camry sales totalled 742 or approximately one-third of all Camry sales.

“Hybrid Camry is the most fuel-efficient and most technologically advanced car built in Australia,” Mr Callachor said.

“It is a practical way for drivers of mid-size and large cars to save money on fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

“It is the first locally built car and the first mid-size car to score the maximum five-star rating from the Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide.”

Hyundai on the Podium for the First Time

Hyundai has posted its best ever sales ranking since the brand started selling cars in Australia in 1986. The sales result of 7,208 units was also its best ever February result.

Hyundai’s market share of 8.8% represents the best ever monthly market share result and the second best monthly sales result since the factory established the wholly owned subsidiary Hyundai Motor Company Australia in 2003.

In a total market that has increased +17% (February YTD 2010 v. February YTD 2009), Hyundai Motor Company Australia has achieved an overall increase in sales of +73.6%.

iLoad posted its best ever sales result of 657 units and best ever market share of 33.7%, ranking first in the van segment for the first time.

“The team at Hyundai and the Hyundai Dealer network are excited that more Australians are considering Hyundai when they are looking for a new car,” said Damien Meredith, Hyundai’s Director of Sales. “The all-new ix35 compact SUV was launched last month and we have the i20 compact hatch and i45 mid-sized sedan launching before the middle of the year.”

Hyundai Motor Company’s global sales also increased +23.4% (February YTD 2010 v. February YTD 2009). In South Korea, the all-new i45 mid-sized sedan sold 12,217 units, making it the best selling domestic model.

Hyundai’s Australian highlights include:

  • Hyundai’s result in January of 7,208 units (8.8% share) represents a +73.6% volume increase over its achievement of 4,151 units (5.9% share) in February 2009.
  • iLoad ranked first in the van segment after posting its best ever sales result of 657 units and a 33.7% market share.
  • iMax ranked second in the people mover market, posting its best ever sales result (202 units) and market share (23.6%).
  • The i30 range ranked third in the small car segment, posting a sales result of 2,926 units and a 15.6% market share.
  • Getz ranked first in the light car segment achieving 1,927 vehicle sales and a 17% market share.

Fantastic February for Liberty and Outback

New generation Subaru Liberty and Outback models have again recorded massive monthly sales, retailing 854 and 621 respectively in February, according to official VFACTS figures released today.

Total Subaru sales of 3278 were up 15.1 per cent on last year, giving Subaru a market share of 4.0 per cent for the month and 4.2 per cent year-to-date (YTD).

Liberty sales were up 170.3 per cent on last February and 90.2 per cent YTD.

Liberty was again the best-selling imported Medium car and recorded its best ever February result, surpassing the previous record of 738, set in 1992. Its 16.1 per cent market share was up 126.7 per cent over the same month last year.

Outback sales, which include the new diesel variant, were up 201.5 per cent for the month and 133.6 per cent YTD. It was a record February for Outback too, passing the 555 sales achieved in February 2004.

Forester sales of 1001 maintained its best selling SUV Compact status for the month and YTD.

Sales of 716 Imprezas and 86 Tribecas rounded out the Subaru result.

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia said: “We are experiencing record levels of customer interest in both Liberty and Outback.

“Their specification, safety and engineering combined with Subaru’s rock solid reputation for retained value is proving an irresistible combination for both loyal Subaru customers and many people new to the brand.”

Mazda All Things Great and Small in February

  • Mazda3 was again the country’s top-selling small car and second overall
  • Mazda3 celebrates its best ever start to a year
  • Mazda CX-7 SUV records best ever month, up 384pc on February 2009
  • Mazda is the country’s top-selling full-line vehicle importer and fourth best-selling vehicle brand

Mazda Australia has enjoyed sales success on all things great and small in February, with the company’s popular Mazda3 maintaining its mantle as the country’s top-selling small car and the stylish CX-7 SUV notching its best ever sales month.

According to February VFACTS figures, Mazda3 topped Australia’s small car tally for the second time this year and was the second best-selling car in the country. The sporty and compact Mazda3 is now celebrating its best ever start to the year with 6,613 sold year-to-date after also topping the small car charts in January.

So far this year Mazda Australia has sold 12,908 new vehicles giving the country’s top-selling full-line vehicle importer a year-to-date market share of 8.7 pc. Mazda still sits strongly on the sales tables as the country’s fourth best-selling vehicle brand.

February was also Mazda CX-7’s month to shine, recording its best ever sales month with 944 sales. The stylish and elegant SUV moved up two spots in the Compact SUV segment to become the third best-selling vehicle in its class.

Mazda’s luxurious seven-seat SUV CX-9 also celebrated its best ever start to a year with 785 sales year-to-date. Combined sales of the five-seat CX-7 and the CX-9 means Mazda accounted for 7.5pc of the medium and large SUVs sold in Australia last month, that’s up 181pc on the same month last year.

Mazda Australia managing director Doug Dickson said: “We’re just absolutely delighted to see that, for the second month in a row, Mazda3 has outperformed every other small car in the country.

“We knew we were on a good wicket when the New Generation Mazda3 was introduced last year, but I must say it’s great to see that Australian consumers recognise Mazda3 for the outstanding value for money and stylish package it is.

“Mazda3’s ongoing sales success coupled with a strong month for Mazda CX-7 has really kick-started what I hope will be another fantastic year for Mazda.”