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New vehicle sales report – March 2012

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Figures from the FCAI reveal 97,616 new vehicles were sold in March. Comfortably the best month of the year to date, it’s also a 3.9% increase on numbers from March 2011.

Seems we’ve still not come to our senses and continue to buy SUVs at a rate of knots. “SUVs continue to dominate Australian car sales, accounting for 28 per cent of all new car sales so far this year,” FCAI Chief Executive, Ian Chalmers said. “Combined with small passenger cars (23.6%) and light passenger cars (13.0%), these three segments make up 64.6 per cent of new cars sold this year.”

Toyota, Holden and Mazda were the three best selling marques. Although it’s a bit scary that Toyota sold almost as many cars as Holden and Mazda combined last month.

SUVs continue to dominate Aussie car sales

4th April, 2012

Official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows continued strong growth in vehicle sales for 2012 with 97,616 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles sold in March.

This is a 3.9 per cent increase (or 3,632 vehicles) compared to the same month in 2011. On a year to date basis, the strong results are also a 4.7% per cent increase (or 11,658 vehicles) on the same period last year.

“SUVs continue to dominate Australian car sales, accounting for 28 per cent of all new car sales so far this year,” FCAI Chief Executive, Ian Chalmers said. “Combined with small passenger cars (23.6 per cent) and light passenger cars (13.0 per cent), these three segments make up 64.6 per cent of new cars sold this year.”

While all categories of SUV have grown in sales, two passenger car categories have also shown strong growth compared with 2011. Medium passengers car sales are up 17.7 per cent (3,139) since the same time last year, while sales of sports cars have also sprung back with an increase of 31.2 per cent (1,142) compared with the same period.

“Yet again, the VFACTS data give us an overarching message – Australians will buy the cars that best meet their varied lifestyles, expectations and hip pockets,” Ian Chalmers said.

The sales of locally manufactured vehicles are up almost 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Toyota was the best performing brand in March selling 18,461 vehicles, followed by Holden with 10,196 and then Mazda with 9,345.

Record March Results for Holden Cruze and Captiva 5

Holden is showing solid growth across a number of carlines with record March performances for Cruze and Captiva 5, according to official VFACTS figures released today by the FCAI.

The homegrown Cruze celebrated its best ever March result, with 2,880 sales for the month. Cruze was also the third highest-selling model in the small car segment with a 13.4 per cent share and fifth in the market overall.

Commodore continues to be the stand-out in the large-car segment with 3,187 units for the month, capturing an impressive 62.5 per cent share of the segment. Commodore was the third highest-selling model in the marketplace in March and year-to-date.

Holden’s SUV sales continue to soar with the Series II Captiva 5 achieving the highest March result on record with 501 units, a 339.5 increase over March 2011. Captiva 7 was also up on last year by 55.2 per cent with 863 sales for the month.

Holden Director of Sales, Philip Brook, said it had been a tough March for Holden with the popular Colorado nearly sold out and the next-generation Colorado still a few months away.

However Mr Brook said the good news was the result reflected the company’s renewed focus on a broader product portfolio with strong offerings across the SUV, small, large and light car segments.

“Our Captiva range continues to be in strong demand in the growing SUV segment. We’ve seen significant growth for both our SUV entrants month-on-month, which shows its performance, improved fuel economy and keen pricing has really hit the sweet spot,” he said.

“We’ve just celebrated our first anniversary for the locally-built Cruze, which continues to be a favourite with our customers. One year on, the sporty 1.4 iTi SRi and SRi-V models are still winning new fans.

“We have a strong player in the competitive light-car segment with the new-generation Barina hatch and sedan. Customers are telling us that both sedan and hatch look good, are the right price and have all the right features.

“And we’re in run-out of the current Colorado so we’re focusing all our efforts on showcasing the next-generation Colorado at dealerships around the country and so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Holden’s total March volume was 10,196 units, giving the company a market share of 10.4 per cent. Year to date, Holden has sold a total of 28,945 units.

Hyundai sales reach new heights in March

In an Australian industry record month seeing over 97,616 vehicles sold and up 3.9% on March 2011, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has posted its best-ever March sales result since the brand was introduced to Australia in 1986 – the 12th consecutive month of year-on-year growth for the brand.

HMCA sold 7,806 vehicles, an increase of 9.5% over the same period last year, achieving a total market share of 8% and placing fifth position overall in sales.

In passenger car sales, Hyundai ranked third for the month with 6,065 vehicles sold and a market share of 11.9%.

The Veloster continues to win fans in Australia, again topping the Sports segment with 306 sales and a segment share of 19%, whilst the iLoad continues to be a favourite with tradies and small businesses, placing first with 553 sales and a segment share of 36.9% in the Vans/CC 2.5-3.5t segment.

Hyundai was first in the Light segment with a combined segment share of 16.1% for i20 and Accent models and third in the Small segment with a combined segment share of 13.2% for the i30 and Elantra models.

“Hyundai’s sales growth is testament to the quality of the product we are bringing to the Australian market,” said Damien Meredith, Director of Sales, Hyundai Motor Company Australia. “In particular, the new Veloster has played an important part in our passenger car sales result.”

In the U.S., Hyundai Motor America (HMA), announced an all-time monthly sales record of 69,728 units, up 12.7% over March 2011, which held the previous record. For the first quarter, Hyundai sales were up 14.7%over the same period last year.

Hyundai Motor Company has seen an overall increase in global sales of 15.2% rising from 324,473 units in March 2011 to 382,659 units in March 2012.

Hyundai’s Australian highlights include:

  • i20 ranked third in the Light segment, achieving 1456 vehicle sales and a market share of 11.1%.
  • Veloster ranked first in the Sports segment, posting a sales result of 306 units and a 19% market share.
  • iMax ranked second in the People Mover segment, achieving 135 vehicle sales and a market share of 14.4%.
  • ix35 ranked third in the SUV Small segment, posting a sales result of 835 units and a 15.6% market share.
  • iLoad ranked first the Van/CC 2.5-3.5t segment, achieving 553 vehicle sales and a market share of 36.9%.



Kia Sales on Target

Kia’s steady climb up the Australian new car ladder continued unabated with a record March sale of 2738 units.

The stellar month, up 26.5 per cent over the same month in 2011, lifts Kia into the Top 10 new car sales list for March and for the first quarter with 7004 sales, a solid 22.1 per cent improvement over the same period last year.

“It is a very pleasing result for us and shows clearly that we are well on track to make good on our target of being Australia’s fastest-growing mainstream new car importer or manufacturer,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said.

“What is particularly satisfying is the spread of sales improvements across almost our entire model range. Cerato is showing strong growth _ something that the newly released limited edition Extra can only help, while the new award-winning Rio is also gaining good traction in a very competitive segment.

“The SUV segment is still strong with Sportage and Sorento sales continuing to grow and the growth in demand for the stylish Optima _ aided by the duel bonus of better supply and the super value of the Si model _ has been incredible with a breathtaking 244.6 per cent growth over March last year.”

Following the introduction the 3- and 4-door Rio to join the COTY winning 5-door, Rio sales for the month hit 751 for a first quarter total of 1966.

“That made Rio our best-selling model, but we are not the ‘Rio car company’ anymore,” Mr Barlow said. “With 601 Ceratos, 341 Sorentos, 339 Sportages, 193 Optimas and 338 Carnivals it is a very healthy outlook.”

Kia’s perpetual hero, the Grand Carnival, again dominated the people mover market with a 38.9 per cent share _ a whopping 23.4 per cent ahead of its nearest challenger.


Mazda Caps Off Record First Quarter with All-Time High in March

Mazda Australia has capped off a record first quarter performance with a best-ever month of 9,345 sales according to VFACTS figures released today.

That is 207 sales up on the company’s previous best result of 9,138 last August.

Strong demand for All-New CX-5 and BT-50 sent sales sky-rocketing with the All-New CX-5 achieving an impressive 1,419 retails and All-New BT-50 not far behind at 1,124.

Mazda’s SUV sales were further boosted by 492 sales of CX-7 now in runout, which together with All-New CX-5, brought Mazda’s total in the Medium SUV segment to 1,911 (21.5 per cent share).

Clocking up 3,818 retails, Mazda3, Australia’s top-selling car last year, continued its strong run holding on to top spot for March and the quarter.

Mazda2 with 1,510 sales (up 9.6 per cent YTD) and the Mazda6 with 561 sales (up 18.1 per cent YTD) also posted strong results.

Mazda Australia remains the country’s top-selling full-line importer. So far this year retails are up 15.9 per cent and market share up one percentage point to 10.2 per cent.

Mazda Australia’s managing director, Doug Dickson said: “We are delighted with Australian car buyer’s response to our latest offerings – BT-50 and CX-5.

Our first quarter running rate continues to give us confidence for a strong sales year but we will not be losing focus on looking after our valued customers.”


Record March for Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) ended the first quarter of 2012 on a high note registering an all-time March record for imported vehicles with 6,007 units.

The stand out performer in March was Triton 4×4, retailing 1,186 units and strengthening its place as Australia’s third best-selling utility in a highly competitive segment. Triton 4×2 came in at 535 units, also taking third spot in its respective segment.

Overall MMAL’s SUVs performed extremely well, with total SUV sales of 2,470. Pajero was the strongest performer in March with 638 units, a massive 58.3 percent increase over the March 2011 result. This growth was almost three times greater than the SUV Medium segment which increased by 20.6 per cent for the month.

Challenger also ended the month strongly with 202 units, a healthy 14.8 percent jump over the same month in 2011.

The city-sized ASX enjoyed its best ever result since launch with 748 units while Outlander recorded a respectable 882 units, more than 24 per cent up on March 2011.

Vice-president of sales, Anthony Casey, said the strong March result, particularly in SUVs, was a reflection of MMAL’s commitment to responding to consumer needs.

“Mitsubishi is committed to sustainable, consistent growth, and with an exciting range of products coming to the Australian market during 2012-13 we are confident of growing the Mitsubishi brand well into the future,” he said.

Year-to-date, MMAL has recorded 15,739 units, a 2.8 per cent increase on 2011’s first quarter results.


New Subaru a Sales Success

Subaru’s new generation Impreza and XV were major sales winners in March, according to official VFACTS figures released today.

Both Impreza and XV retailed 1002 – the latter again best-seller in the SUV Small under $40,000 segment.

March was new Impreza’s first full month of sales since launch and its Australian success is also reflected overseas – in Japan it has sold 24,237 in its first four months, which is around three times higher than original predictions.

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: “We’re getting fantastic feedback on Impreza and XV.

“Both are being praised by customers for their combination of economy, style and quality.

“Features like fuel-saving auto start stop and information-packed multi-function displays are capturing customer attention, as are the cars good looks.”

Forester also passed 1000 sales in March, retailing 1071.

Total Subaru sales of 4004 vehicles also included 432 Outbacks, 393 Libertys and 104 Tribecas rounded out the result, which represented a 4.1 per cent market share in March.


Suzuki Continues Solid Sales Year

Suzuki continues to build toward a record sales year after another strong result in March.

Suzuki sold 2189 vehicles last month, making it one of the best March sales results on record for the company.

“The addition of the critically acclaimed Swift Sport was a major boost for Suzuki and only limited initial supplies stopped us from recording an even better sales figure,” said Suzuki Australia General Manager Tony Devers.

“The pipeline from our Sagara plant is now operating at full capacity and we look forward to record Swift sales in the coming months, particularly with the addition of the automatic version of the hot hatch.

“With improved supplies Grand Vitara, Jimny Sierra and APV are all up through the first quarter.

“SX4 continues to develop traction and will only improve when the updated model arrives in a few months’ time.”

He said the March result was particularly pleasing, given the strong growth in almost all states.

“Every state recorded a month on month increase in March except Tasmania and Queensland.”

Devers said the addition of several new dealerships was also contributing to the company’s optimistic outlook for the year.

“In the past two months we have opened new Suzuki dealerships in Alice Springs, Echuca, Berri, Griffith, Millicent and Goulburn; all regions where Suzuki previously had no representation.

“In addition to the new Barloworld Suzuki dealership in Five Dock and Brighton Suzuki in Melbourne, we are confident our dealer network is developing as a major force in the industry.”

HiLux stock arrivals back to normal

Toyota’s HiLux has resumed its best-seller status with stock arrivals back to normal for the first time since last year’s Thailand floods halted production.

HiLux 4×2 and 4×4 were the top-selling vehicles in their respective segments last month with combined sales of more than 3,500 vehicles.

This was more than three times the January total, well above twice the December figure and up 57 per cent compared with February.

In fact, March was the best month for HiLux since the same month in 2011 when Japan was hit by a deadly tsunami that also disrupted HiLux production.

With shipments now back to normal levels, the resurgent HiLux helped lift Toyota Australia’s overall total sales in March to 18461 vehicles – 81 per cent more than its nearest rival.

Camry sales, including the new-generation petrol and hybrid models – were up by 42.8 per cent over the same month last year.

Other double-digit percentage improvers compared with March 2011 were FJ Cruiser, Prius, Yaris and LandCruiser 200 Series.

Yaris was the best-selling compact car with sales up 20 per cent compared with the same month a year ago.

LandCruiser 200 Series recorded a March-on-March sales increase of 37.8 per cent.

Toyota Australia’s executive vice president David Buttner said Toyota and its dealers were working overtime to get the popular HiLux to customers as quickly as possible.

“We understand the importance of HiLux to businesses and to individual customers, whether it’s being bought for workhorse or family duties, or both,” Mr Buttner said.

“I would like to thank all our HiLux customers for their understanding and patience as well as the remarkable loyalty they have shown,” Mr Buttner said.