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New vehicle sales report – May 2012

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Last month Australians set a new vehicle sales record for the month of May. A total of 96,069 vehicles were sold, representing a very healthy increase of over 24% (18,668 vehicles) compared to May 2011.

Year-to-date numbers are up almost 9% on 2011 numbers, with a total of 435,288 sales in the first five months of 2012.

Toyota, as usual, claims the major monthly honours of top selling manufacturer (20,443) and highest selling individual model with the HiLux (4,626). Holden (9,017) and Mazda (8,346) fall in behind Toyota on the sales charts.

With such a bumper month it’s no surprise to see so many manufacturers releasing brag sheets. You can read them all after the break.

New record for May vehicle sales

A new record has been set for vehicle sales in the month of May, according to the official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

Overall, 96,069 vehicles were sold in May 2012, an increase of 24.1 per cent (or 18,668 vehicles) compared to May 2011, which was disrupted with supply issues from Japan and Thailand.

On a year to date basis, this is an 8.8 per cent increase (35,209 vehicles) on sales for the first five months in 2011. Overall, 435,288 vehicles have been sold since the beginning of 2012.

Aussies’ passion for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) has not abated, with sales increasing by 56.6 percent (9,705) compared with May last year and 30.3 per cent (28,291) compared with the same period in 2011. The Upper Large SUV segment saw the biggest increase (85.0 per cent or 597 vehicles), followed by Small SUVs with a 77.2 per cent increase (2,282 vehicles) compared with May 2011.

Sales for some other vehicle categories were also promising, with the passenger vehicle market up 13.9% (5,908 units) and the light truck segment by 19.8 per cent (3,006) compared with May last year.

Sales of locally manufactured vehicles are up 11.0 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The popular Mazda3 was again pipped at the post in May by the Toyota HiLux with 4,626 sales.

Toyota was the best performing brand overall in May selling 20,443 vehicles, followed by Holden with 9,017 and then Mazda with 8,346.

Top 10 selling marques – May 2012

  1. Toyota – 20,443
  2. Holden – 9,017
  3. Mazda – 8,346
  4. Ford – 7,738
  5. Nissan – 6,966
  6. Hyundai – 6,886
  7. Mitsubishi – 5,154
  8. Volkswagen – 4,739
  9. Subaru – 3,803
  10. Honda – 3,103

Fiat and Alfa Romeo VFACTS Sales Statement – May 2012

The Fiat Chrysler Group advises that, due to systemic issues which occurred during the changeover from local distributors Ateco Automotive to the Fiat Chrysler factory group, no sales were registered on VFACTS for the Fiat or Alfa Romeo brands during May. The relevant figures will be included in next month’s report.

Holden Ute and Barina Star in May Sales Result

Solid performances across a number of key carlines underpinned Holden sales last month, although stock shortages of its popular Barina small car and Colorado LCV continued to impact overall results.

According to official VFACTS figures released today, Holden achieved 9.4 per cent market share in May, selling 9,017 vehicles for the month.

Holden’s special edition Thunder Ute pack helped the iconic Australian vehicle to its highest sales for the year, with 817 units sold. The value for money Thunder pack offers alloy wheels, satellite navigation, leather seat bolsters and iPod® compatibility at no extra cost.

The popularity of the new-generation Barina hatch and sedan saw 1,000 Barina sales last month, which was the nameplate’s best May since 1996.

The home-grown Cruze was Holden’s top-selling car and fourth in the overall market with 2,860 units and Commodore was close behind with 2,521 cars sold.

In the booming SUV segment, Captiva continued to hold its own with combined Captiva 5 and 7 sales of 1,385 units.

Holden Director of Sales Philip Brook said Holden’s May performance was restricted by stock shortages of Barina and Colorado which were expected to ease with the launch of the all-new Colorado this month.

“We’re really excited about Colorado, it’s a very important car for Holden and has traditionally been one of the strongest performers in the Holden family,” he said.

“The new-generation Colorado is only days away and we can’t wait to start delivering the first cars to customers in the coming weeks.”

“June is historically one of the strongest months of the year, and we hope to post some solid results helped along by a number of compelling offers we’ve got available in the marketplace.

“Our 3-2-1 campaign offers new customers three years extra free roadside assist, two years extra free factory warranty and their first standard Holdenwise service free of charge which we see as fantastic value.”

Veloster Achieves Fourth Consecutive Month Leading Sports Car Segment

In a month that saw 96,069 vehicles sold nationally, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) finished in sixth position overall with 6,886 total sales, achieving a total market share of 7.2%.

In passenger car sales, Hyundai ranked fourth for the month with 5,059 vehicles sold and a market share of 10.4%.

For the fourth consecutive month since its launch the Veloster topped the Sports segment with 359 sales and a segment share of 19.7%, while the ix35 placed second in the SUV Small segment with 921 sales and a 17.6% segment share. The iLoad remains a popular choice for small business and fleet operators alike placing second with 494 sales and a segment share of 33.3% in the Vans/CC 2.5-3.5t segment. The competitive People Mover segment saw the consistent iMax rank second overall with 174 sales and a segment share of 16.9%.

Hyundai was third in the Small segment with a combined segment share of 13.3% for the i30 and Elantra models.

“For a fourth consecutive month since launch, the new Veloster leads the Sports car segment,” said Damien Meredith, Director of Sales, Hyundai Motor Company Australia. “Veloster continues to bring a range of new Hyundai buyers to the brand.”

In the U.S., Hyundai Motor America (HMA) announced an all-time May sales record of 67,019 units, up +13.2% over May 2011. The May 2012 result is the second best monthly sales result in HMA’s history, and third consecutive month topping 60,000 unit sales.

Hyundai Motor Company has seen an overall increase in global sales of +8.1% rising from 338,198 units in May 2011 to 365,501 units in May 2012.

Hyundai’s Australian highlights include:

  • Veloster ranked first in the Sports segment, posting a sales result of 359 units and a 19.7% segment share.
  • iMax ranked second in the People Mover segment, achieving 174 vehicle sales and a segment share of 16.9%.
  • ix35 ranked second in the SUV Small segment, posting a sales result of 921 units and a 17.6% segment share.
  • iLoad ranked second in the Van/CC 2.5-3.5t segment, achieving 494 vehicle sales and a segment share of 33.3%.

Kia Stays on Growth Target

It is all systems go for Kia’s ambitious growth program in Australia as new car sales continued to track upwards in May.

With 2,900 cars sold in May for a 3 per cent market share, Kia’s year-on-year growth continued at 22.8 per cent to keep the company on track for its target of being Australia’s fastest growing mainstream car company.

“Once again we have hit our numbers and continued the trend of solid growth that has been so pleasing this year,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow said.

“As has been the case in previous months we have kept what is an ambitious business plan on track and there is again a pleasing spread of sales growth across the model range.”

Kia’s top-selling model for May was the Cerato range with 820 new cars sold, a 41.8 per cent jump over 2011. It was closely followed by the award-winning all-new Rio with 710 sales, an increase of 17.6 per cent over last year’s outgoing model.

In the SUV market Kia’s large Sorento and compact Sportage again made significant gains in a very competitive segment with 31.7 and 32.7 per cent improvement respectively over last year. The stylish Optima jumped 114.2 per cent over 2011, boosted by the arrival of satellite navigation as standard in the Platinum model and the choice of the even more cost-effective Si model.

However, once again the most dominant Kia in the marketplace is the Grand Carnival people mover which continues to outsell its nearest competitors two-to-one with a 35 per cent market share.

John Hughes Kia Cracks the Ton in Monthly Sales

John Hughes Kia based in Victoria Park, Western Australia has set Kia Motors Australia history by becoming the first dealer to sell more than 100 new cars in one month with their May figures of 101 vehicles made up primarily of private sales.

Owner John Hughes started the business in 1969 and today is the largest single-location motor vehicle retailing company in Australia. In August 2007 John Hughes Group added Kia to the fold and has enjoyed watching the line up evolve, particularly over the last five years.

“We have recently enjoyed watching Kia undergo huge changes to the point where it is today – a sensational range of vehicles,” said John Hughes Kia Director, Gary Fitch.

“The new Schreyer styling, the 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and competitive pricing across the board makes Kia second to none and more importantly a very easy vehicle to sell. We’ve also been following Kia sales in the US where they are going through the roof, a positive sign we believe of things to come in the Australian market.”

John Hughes Kia prides itself on sales and service with its impressive showroom recently being complemented by a state of the art service centre, just a couple of kilometres away in East Victoria Park.

The company employs approximately 500 people and with an annual turnover of close to $450 million has been able to diversify into many peripheral areas in the automotive industry.

It now has its own insurance company, its own finance company, is in the tyre and battery business, has a recreational vehicle centre, provides its own roadside assistance, has twelve mobile service vans, and has its own fleet of trucks to transport vehicles to and from the varied locations.

MAY Delivers for Mercedes-Benz Australia

  • Mercedes-Benz leads in four segments
  • 1917 passenger cars and SUV’s registered in May

The month of May demonstrated that the old adage “In challenging times there is a flight to quality and to brands people know and trust” for the Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicle range.

The Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Horst von Sanden said “ We saw the Federal Budget contributing to economic uncertainty juxtaposed against an interest rate cut that encouraged economic activity. These conspired to cause questioning of the economic direction and some retail pullback across all sectors. We have an ongoing strategy that whilst it could not address some of the economic caution and uncertainty it more than met the interest rate cut with a finance offer that provided zero interest finance offer for two years. Allied with new model releases we were able to record one of our best months ever in over fifty years in Australia. May delivered for our brand a beautiful set of numbers”, concluded Mr von Sanden.


  • C-Class continued its dominance of the Medium over $60K segment with a commanding 35%+ month and YTD sales performance. The Edition 30 and C63 AMG more than pulled there weight in a segment that stretches from the mid $50’s all the way north of $150K.
  • C Class Coupe. From the entry level C180 Coupe at $58,600 to the C63 AMG Black Series at $245K the C-Class Coupe cemented its position as the prestige leader in a segment that contains more than twenty seven rivals.
  • E-Class Sedan. The E-Class Sedan boosted by the new powertrain in the E350 BlueEfficiency along with the all new E200 BlueEfficiency which has enabled more consumers to access a larger prestige sedan and a two year interest free offer secured E-Class a more than 50% share of its segment.
  • E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet. With more than 57% of the segment for the month of May and a consistent 30% share over the last two years the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet continue to be the number one choice in an extremely competitive segment.
  • SLK. The all new SLK has put in one of its best ever performances in May making it the most popular roadster in a segment dominated by choice. When added to E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet two out of every three vehicles in this segment in May were a Mercedes-Benz.
  • M-Class. The successful launch of the M-Class (in limited variants) saw it win the segment for May against some stiff and well established competition.
  • GL-Class. The gentle giant of the Mercedes-Benz SUV range won a crushing 45% share of the segment and leads the segment YTD.
  • S-Class. The flagship of the Mercedes-Benz passenger car range continued to dominate this small but exclusive segment with a 25%+ monthly and YTD share.


Strongest May Ever for Nissan as Dualis Reaches New Heights

Nissan Australia has recorded its strongest May sales result ever in a month that was also its fifth highest ever sales result as a full importer.

With 6,966 reported sales in May 2012, Nissan was the fifth highest selling brand for the month (ahead of Hyundai), representing 7.3 percent market share, up on 6.6 percent for the same month last year.

Nissan Navara, X-TRAIL and DUALIS led the way as all three core models continued their strong performance.

DUALIS recorded its best sales month on record, almost doubling its sales result for May 2011.

Nissan achieved its best ever May for both X-TRAIL and Navara, up over 50 percent on May 2011 for X-TRAIL and over 20 percent for Navara.

Other highlights included the best sales month for Murano in over 12 months and Patrol wagon sales up 77 percent compared to May 2011.

Nissan Australia CEO Bill Peffer said that May’s sales figures continued a strong start to the company’s financial year as the 2011/12 Australian fiscal year entered its final month.

“Our record sales achievements for May reinforce our ambitions to reach number one full-line importer status in Australia,” said Peffer.

“DUALIS, X-TRAIL and Navara continue to perform as core models for Nissan as our line-up is set to become even stronger over the next 12 months.

“Innovative and exciting models on the way include Australia’s first mass-produced family EV as LEAF is launched this month, with Almera, the new Patrol and the return of Pulsar all not too far away.”

Renault Posts Best Month Yet Since Turnaround

Renault Australia has posted it biggest sales month since the company-wide turnaround that spelled the start of an across the board new model offensive and change of management.

With 420 vehicles delivered in May 2012, the result was the strongest since the appointment of Justin Hocevar as Managing Director in September 2010, and the best result in a decade in Australia.

Sales were improved across the board, in passenger cars, high performance Renault Sport models and the fast improving light commercial vehicles segment.

An enduring highlight for the brand is the flagship R.S. 250 model, while the turbo diesel Mégane Hatch had one of its best months yet, underlining the growing popularity of small diesel powered vehicles in Australia.

Light commercial sales were strong on the back of solid gains for the New Master, as well as the ever-popular Kangoo compact LCV and mid-sized Trafic.

“May sales demonstrate Renault is continuing on an upward trajectory, and that our model range is finding favour with buyers who appreciate the value and pleasure a Renault product delivers,” Justin Hocevar, Managing Director of Renault Australia said.

“Our offer to the market, in terms of well-equipped product, attractive finance terms, and our five-year warranty on the passenger range, has struck a chord.

“We are delighted the LCV range is beginning to make significant headway in this market and that the Renault Sport models continue to be perceived as the benchmark in their relative hot hatch segments.

“In June, Renault is launching a brand campaign which sets out the core values of the brand, and in the third quarter we will be releasing an even more powerful version of the Mégane R.S. Coupé, the 265 hp model which last year lapped the Nürburgring faster than any previous front-wheel drive car and many other highly respected sports cars.

“Further new model activity will roll on through the remainder of the year, while in Europe all eyes will be on the Paris Motor Show where our all-new Clio IV will be unveiled, resetting the benchmark for the 5-door light car class,” Justin said.

Record May Highlights Subaru SUV Surge

Subaru achieved record May sales of 3803 vehicles, according to official VFACTS figures released today.

Subaru’s year-to-date sales of 17,240 vehicles are also its best result for the period.

Topping the Subaru sales was Forester, with 1109 retailed in May.

New generation Impreza sales of 1033 were up 50.1 per cent on May last year, while XV sales of 704 were constrained by supply due to sheer demand for the car.

Outback also sold 442, Liberty 415 and Tribeca 100.

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: ”Staggeringly, passenger car sales dropped to just 50.4 per cent of total sales in May, compared to 55.0 for May last year.

“Conversely, our love affair with SUVs continues.

“In May, SUV sales represented 28.0 per cent of total sales compared to 22.2 per cent for May last year.

“Year-to-date SUV sales represent 27.9 per cent of the total market, compared to 23.3 per cent this time last year.

“There is little doubt that in the near future SUVs will account for 30 per cent of total industry sales.

“This is a seismic shift – one of the most significant ever, and in a short period of time.

“Five years ago (year end 2006) passenger cars represented 62.2 per cent of the market and SUVs 17.7 per cent. Compare that to 50.4 per cent and 28.0 per cent respectively in May this year.

“SUV sales have exploded because of their versatility, fit with the Australian way of life and the fact that drivers appreciate the field of vision and sitting higher.

“Also, our ageing population likes the ease of entry and exit offered by SUVs.

“Additionally, with new engine and transmission technology, the cost of running SUVs has dropped dramatically and that was one of the barriers to purchase.

“For instance our new Subaru XV automatic has a combined fuel consumption of 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres, which is better than many small cars.

“With our XV, Forester, Outback and Tribeca SUVs, Subaru is in a good position to capitalize on this growth.

“XV is the right vehicle in the segment at the right time. Supply remains tight, but we do have some XV 2.0i-S variants over the next couple of months to help clear the backlog of customer orders.”

Blockbuster Sales Month for Suzuki

Suzuki is using its sponsorship of top rating television show The Block to build another record sales year after its best ever May sales result.

Suzuki sold 2450 vehicles last month, making it the best May sales result on record and the second highest month ever for the company.

“The addition of Swift Sport has given us a full model line-up in the light car segment and we are confident of maintaining these sort of numbers for the rest of the year,” said Suzuki Australia General Manager Tony Devers.

“The Sagara plant is now back operating at full capacity and we are seeing the figures we anticipated from Swift and a return to expected sales of Grand Vitara.”

Suzuki has been a dominant player in national media in recent weeks, through its sponsorship of top rating reality show The Block.

“The Block is consistently one of the top two rating programs in prime time each night, and consistently draws audiences of around 2.5 million viewers,” said Suzuki Australia Marketing Manager Andrew Moore.

Suzuki features strongly with in program vehicle placement and product endorsement from the contestants who regularly use a Swift, Grand Vitara, Alto, SX4 or APV van to complete one of the weekly challenges.

“When we introduced a hotted up Swift into the show we saw a dramatic increase of nearly 70 per cent in web traffic.

“In addition, the win a Swift Sport competition linked into The Block has already attracted more than 40,000 entries in just three weeks.

“It’s a great mix of record ratings and record sales,” said Devers.

“The Block complements our sponsorship of other top rating lifestyle programs such as Australia’s Got Talent and Grand Designs.”

Toyota and HiLux dominate May sales

Toyota posted more than 20,000 sales in May on the back of a market-leading performance by the HiLux workhorse.

HiLux was the country’s best-selling vehicle for the second month in a row with 4,626 deliveries – more than 40 per cent ahead of any other vehicle.

The dominance of HiLux and strong results for other vehicles enabled Toyota dealers to sell 20,443 vehicles – an increase of 85.1 per cent on the same month last year.

Toyota’s market share in May was 21.3 per cent. No other carmaker reached double figures with Toyota outselling the combined results of its nearest two rivals by more than 3,000 vehicles.

The company’s executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said Toyota vehicles led eight market segments: Yaris, Camry, LandCruiser Prado, LandCruiser 200, HiAce van, HiAce bus, HiLux 4×2 and HiLux 4×4.

“Toyota’s strength is across the board with an extensive and growing model range that offers the performance, features and value demanded by Australian motorists,” Mr Callachor said.

“We have a strong mix of locally manufactured cars with new-generation models of Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion, plus recently arrived all-new models from Japan in the Prius c and Prius v.

“This month we are adding even more excitement to our range with the remarkable 86 sports car.”

So far this year, Toyota has sold 84,386 vehicles, an increase of 16.2 per cent on the first five months last year.

HiLux was the top-selling vehicle in Australia in May, with sales more than 1,000 higher than the previous month.

HiLux 4×4 posted an all-time record of 3,539 while LandCruiser 70 series, Prado and FJ Cruiser achieved records for the month of May.

HiLux was followed by Corolla (3,155 sales) and Prado (1,900).

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