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News - VFACTS - Sales 2007 - May

May VFACTS: Roll on, summer

Gang-busters: Honda sold a big 1043 examples of its new CR-V in May.

Get set for an all-time sales record in 2007, following more bumper car sales in May

6 Jun 2007

THE Australian new-car market rolled closer to the million sales mark after record May sales were announced yesterday.

VFACTS sales figures revealed May sales were 6.2 per cent stronger than the same month last year.

The healthy result, which saw 88,597 new cars sold in May, ties in with the prediction made by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) that the Australian market will break through the million mark for the first time this year.

Australian new-car sales hit a previous peak of 988,269 in 2005 and the FCAI is confident that will be bettered this year.

So far this year the market is up 8.4 per cent on the first five months of 2006, for a total of 419,279, and 5.3 per cent up on the same period of the 2005 record year. Seasonally adjusted, the May sales total equates to an annualised total of 1.022 million vehicles.

Almost all segments contributed to the sales boost, including a revitalised large-car class which was up 5.4 per cent on May last year.

The FCAI said the strong performance of the large-car class, along with rebounding SUV sales, shows there is still demand for big models.

“The resurgence in sales of SUVs and large cars demonstrates that family-sized vehicles continue to meet the preferences of a significant number of Australian consumers because they suit their lifestyles and transport requirements,” said FCAI CEO Andrew McKellar.

“There remains a substantial and legitimate market for these kinds of vehicles – and there always will be.”

The Holden Commodore clawed past the 5000 sales mark (selling 5001) in May to continue its reign as the best-selling car in Australia. Its share of the large-car market now stands at 44 per cent – up from 42.2 per cent in May 2006.

The Commodore’s May result represents an improvement of 639 over the same month last year. Toyota’s Aurion has continued its momentum to capture 17.2 per cent of the large-car market with 1954 sales in May.

Ford steadied the Falcon ship last month after the big car was mauled in April, recovering to post 2801 sales. It is a far cry from previous years, though, and down 587 on last May, but the Falcon performance is still better than the April result of 2255.

106 center imageLeft: Toyota Corolla and Suzuki Swift (below).

Falcon’s market share for May stands at 24.6 per cent, down from 32.8 per cent last year. Ford Australia is facing the tough task of maintaining interest in the ageing model, at the same time as heavily disguised prototypes of the new Orion model are spotted on Victorian roads in the lead up to the launch expected to be held next April.

Mitsubishi’s struggling 380 large car improved slightly, but still managed to post just 841 sales in May. That figure is up on April’s dismal result of 723 sales, but still represents a large-car market share of just 7.4 per cent, which is down from 11.6 per cent in May 2006.

The upper-large segment also continued its upward path in May, increasing sales by 1212 (an increase of 44.9%) over May 2006. The Holden Caprice continues to provide the momentum behind the fightback, with 224 models sold for the month – up from 43 in May last year. Its Statesman sibling recorded 179 sales for the month, which was up from 138 in the same month of 2006.

The Corolla still topped the May sales sheets in the sub-$40,000 small-car class with 3558 units, but the arrival of the new model in the middle of the month did not deliver as many sales as its rivals expected.

The May Corolla result was down 5.1 per cent, but the car was still the clear leader with a market share of 19.1 per cent. Next best was the ageing Mazda3, which managed 2758 sales for a share of 14.8 per cent, in front of the Ford Focus with 1958 sales and 10.5 per cent share of the market.

The Lancer again proved to be the best selling Mitsubishi, with 1469 sales for May, just behind the Holden Astra with 1520 sales.

The Toyota Yaris continued its position as the number one sub-$25,000 light car with 2389 sales (down 4.2%), in front of the Hyundai Getz with 1757 (down 5%).

The star performer was the Suzuki Swift which increased its sales from 674 to 1112 (an increase of 65%).

Toyota’s Camry topped the class in the medium sub-$60,000 segment with 31.9 per cent. Its tally of 2027 (up 37%) was almost double that of its nearest competitor – the Mazda6 which sold 1022. Holden’s Epica had a solid start, with 480 sold in May – just 18 less than the ageing Honda Accord Euro.

Sales of most SUVs were up by 8620 in May (a boost of 12.4%), but the growth was not spread across all SUV segments. Compact SUV sales were up 21.6 per cent, medium SUVs rose by 7.7 per cent and luxury SUVs moved up by 8.6 per cent, but large SUVs were down by 9.2 per cent.

The new Honda CR-V was the star of the compact SUV segment, boosting sales from 789 in May 2006 to 1043 last month. It could not quite take the prize for best-selling car in the class that honour still went to the Toyota RAV4, even though it was down by 8.8 per cent.

Nissan’s X-Trail took account of 13.6 per cent of the segment with 1071 sales, while the Subaru Forester was fourth with 12.6 per cent share and 983 sales for May.

The Ford Territory still dominated the medium SUV segment although it relinquished some share to the fast-improving Holden Captiva. Ford sold 1665 Territory models (down 8.0 per cent) to take a May share of 29.3 per cent. The Captiva, now available with a diesel engine, sold 971 for a share of 17.1 per cent.

Toyota’s Prado held onto second spot in the segment with 1234 sales (down 0.6 per cent) for a share of 21.7 per cent.

Toyota continued to dominate the battle of the brands, notching up 19,371 sales in May for a market share of 21.9 per cent. Holden was a clear second with 12,902 sales and a market share of 14.6 per cent, while Ford came in third with 9571 sales and a share of 10.8 per cent. So far this year, Toyota has sold 91,984 cars to Holden’s 61,683 and Ford’s 43,997.

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