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News - VFACTS - Sales 2008 - May

New Falcon closes gap to Commodore in May

On the ground: Ford sold 3320 Falcons last month.

Ford's new Falcon off to a solid start in May as Commodore holds off HiLux, Corolla

6 Jun 2008

FORD’S FG Falcon has recorded a solid start, notching up 3320 sales in its first three weeks. With retail sales of the large sedan officially starting on May 11, its performance was viewed as “pretty good” by Ford Australia.

The success of the Falcon will of course take several months to determine. Its biggest rival, the Holden Commodore, was the best-selling car in Australia in May, according to official VFACTS figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

Holden sold 4215 Commodores for the month, which gave it enough to knock-off the nation's best-selling vehicle in April, Toyota’s HiLux.

In May, Toyota sold an impressive 3914 HiLux models - just ahead of its Corolla small-car, which recorded 3668 sales for the month.

The Corolla is still the best-selling car in Australia for the year, with 19,392 sales to the end of the May, just ahead of the Commodore with 19,049 sales.

That gap is expected to stretch in June, which is usually a bumper month for the fleet-heavy Corolla.

Toyota’s HiLux has found 17,602 buyers so far this year and currently holds down third place in the 2008 sales race.

The FG range has a lot of work ahead of it if it is to transform the Falcon into a sales leadership contender. So far this year, Ford has sold just 11,298 of them.

Despite recent interest rate increases and petrol price pain, the Australian new car market actually managed to grow slightly in May.

The May result of 88,640, was larger than the corresponding result from May 2007 but only by 43 sales.

Even so, FCAI chief Andrew McKellar said it was a good result.

“This is a good result for the automotive industry, although there is evidence that interest rate rises and other factors have slowed the rate of growth in recent months,” Mr McKellar said.

Year-to-date, the Australian new car market is up by four per cent, which means it is on track to break the million mark unless soaring fuel prices and interest rate rises have a more dramatic effect later in the year.

Closer examination of last month’s sales figures reveals passenger car sales were down by four per cent in May.

The pick-up/cab-chassis 4x4 ute segment rose 5.7 per cent over May last year, while the van segment lifted by 22.5 per cent.

106 center imageTop to bottom: Toyota Corolla, Chrysler 300C, Toyota TRD HiLux and VE SS Ute.

SUV sales appear to bucking the trend with sales up by 16.8 per cent in the medium SUV class and up 12 per cent in the large SUV class. Light commercial sales continued to be strong in May.

Mr McKellar said it appeared more customers were choosing more fuel-efficient vehicles and pointed to an increase in "clean" diesel SUV sales.

“Several new common-rail injection clean diesels have entered the market in the past few months, and we can see that Australian drivers are keen to give the new technology a try,” Mr McKellar said.

He said customers were also looking for more efficient petrol engines.

“Our analysis shows that higher fuel costs are prompting people to shop around to find a new car that both suits their needs and also has better fuel economy than the one they are currently driving,” he said.

So far this year Toyota has sold 101,816 cars, in front of Holden with 55,155 and Ford on 44,183.

Toyota was clearly the top-selling brand in May with 20,754 sales, equating to a 23.4 per cent share of the market.

A clear second in May was Holden, which recorded 11,118 sales for a 12.5 per cent share.

Ford took the last podium spot with 9650 sales for the month, which gave it a 10.9 per cent share.

Mazda was the first full-import brand, with 6530 sales in May, which meant a 7.4 per cent share.

Mitsubishi and Nissan continued their battle for fifth place, with Mitsubishi winning in May with 5134 sales to Nissan’s 5073.

Mitsubishi also leads when it comes to the year-to-date figures, selling 26,831 (for a 6.2 per cent share) compared to Nissan with 25,448 (5.8 per cent).

Honda, which last year was level with both brands, has slipped slightly this year and was seventh in May with 4503 sales and a 5.1 per cent share.

Hyundai continued to improve its result with 3912 sales in May and a share of 4.4 per cent, ahead of Subaru with 3217 sales and a 3.6 per cent share.

Volkswagen was the tenth top-seller, and the leading German brand, in May with 2812 sales and a share of 3.2 sales.

The light-car segment (less than $25,000) continued to grow as customers increasingly look for efficiency and was up 4.6 per cent in May.

Not surprisingly, the Toyota Yaris continued its run at the top of the class with 1987 sales for May, which gave it a market share of 19.6 per cent.

A clear second was the Hyundai Getz with 1568 (15.5% share), ahead of the Suzuki Swift with 1254 sales (12.4% share) and the Mazda2 with 1080 sales (10.7% share), while the Holden Barina was fourth with 952 sales for the month (9.4% share).

The honours in the light-car class (above $25,000) belonged to the Peugeot 207 with 125 sales and 44.6 per cent share of the class, ahead of the new kid on the block, the Fiat 500, with 64 sales and a share of 22.9 per cent.

The small-car segment contracted by 0.8 per cent in May, but the segment is still 5.1 per cent up YTD.

Toyota’s Corolla was the clear champion in the class with 3668 sales for May, which represented a 19.8 per cent share in the most competitive segment in the market.

Second was the Mazda3 with 2582 sales for month, which resulted in a 14 per cent share.

The Honda Civic was a strong third with 1634 sales in May, which gave it a share of 8.8 per cent share.

Mitsubishi’s Lancer continues its strong sales, this time recording a monthly total of 1520 for a share of 8.2 per cent, ahead of the Holden Astra with 1487 and a share of 8.0 per cent.

Ford’s Focus managed 1302 sales in May for a share of 7.0 per cent, which is slightly below its year-to-date result of 7.5 per cent but well down on its May 2007 result of 1958 sales.

Volkswagen has reason to smile with its Golf notching up 1229 sales for a share of 6.6 per cent.

The small (above $25,000) class was down 14.5 per cent in May. The Mini Cooper was the clear champion in this segment, recording May sales of 177 and a share of 25.5 per cent.

That was enough to pick off the Audi A3 with 149 sales and a share of 21.4 per cent and the BMW 1 Series with 141 sales and a share of 20.3 per cent.

Sales of medium-sized models (below $60,000) were down by 8.9 per cent in May, with year-to-date sales down by 3.8 per cent.

Toyota’s locally-made Camry was a clear winner in May with 1933 sales and an impressive share of 33.4 per cent.

The Mazda6 took second place with exactly 1000 sales less than the Camry and a share of 17.2 per cent.

Holden suffered a supply issue with its Epica stock coming from South Korea, which meant is sold just 49 of them for the month.

That allowed the Ford Mondeo, which is gradually building up steam, to grab third with 565 sales and a segment share of 9.8 per cent.

Subaru’s Liberty was close behind with 541 sales and a share of 9.4 per cent.

The medium-sized class (below above $60,000) was up by 47.4 per cent, almost all off the back of the new Mercedes-Benz c-Class.

The all-important Mercedes blew away its rivals in May, selling 656 cars and taking a hefty class share of 38.1 per cent.

That puts it well ahead of the BMW 3 Series with 367 (and a share of 21.3%), the Lexus IS250 with 346 (a 20.1% share) and the Audi A3 with 325 (and an 18.9% share).

Despite the slight boost from the arrival of the FG Falcon, the large-car class (below $70,000) is still down month on month by 6.7 per cent.

This is not as bad as the decline that is apparent when you compare the YTD figures, which show sales of large cars are down by 17.1 per cent.

The Commodore managed to hang on to its number one spot in the class with its figure of 4215 sales for the month, equating to a 39.7 per cent share. That compares to a figure of 5001 in May 2007.

Second last month was the Falcon with 3320, which represents a 31.3 per cent share and is up from 2801 sales last May.

The Toyota Aurion recorded sales of 1618 last month, for a share of 15.3 per cent, which is slightly off its year-to-date share of 19.3 per cent and down on the May 2007 result of 1954.

Honda’s large new Accord got off to a good start in May with a sales total of 953 which scored it a share of 9.0 per cent.

VFACTS figures show dealers were still clearing Mitsubishi 380s, 418 of which were sold in May.

The large-car (over $75,000) class is down 20.2 per cent compared to May 2007.

BMW’s 5-Series leads the very small segment with 130 sales for May and a market share of 27.9 per cent.

That easily accounts for the Mercedes E-class with 89 sales and a 19.1 per cent share.

The upper-large segment, also a niche class, was down 39.6 per cent in May.

Heading the class was the Holden Caprice with 171 sales (and a share of 40.4%), while its Statesman sibling added 86 sales (and a 20.3 per cent share).

Chrysler’s 300C shows no sign of fashion fatigue and sold a solid 159 units in May, which represents a segment share of 37.6 per cent and is up slightly on its year-to-date share if 26.7 - as well as stronger than its May 2007 result of 147 sales.

An even smaller class is the upper-large (above $100,000) class, with just 105 sales for May, which is down 19.2 per cent.

The Mercedes S-class took top spot with 39 sales and share of 37.1 per cent, ahead of Lexus with its LS accounting for 28 sales and a share of 26.7 per cent.

Sports cars (below $85,000) were up 4.0 per cent in May, but down 8.6 per cent year-to-date.

The Volkswagen Eos convertible is the top-seller here, with 231 sales for May (with a 28.6% share), while the new 1 Series Coupe and Convertible hit 157 (with a 19.4% share) in its second month on sale.

When it comes to more expensive sports cars (above $85,000 and below $200,000) sales are essentially stable, down just 1.6 per cent.

The BMW 3 Series Coupe and Convertible is the clear champ with 282 sales and a 45 per cent share.

Audi’s A5 coupe sold 95 per cent in May and took a 15.2 per cent share, in front of the Mercedes CLK with 77 sales and a share of 12.3 per cent.

Sales of people-movers (below $55,000) was down by 18.8 per cent in May.

The Kia Carnival was the winner with 261 sales (and a share 25%), in front of the Toyota Tarago with 229 sales (and a share of 21.9%).

Third for the segment was the Honda Odyssey with 149 and 14.3 per cent.

The vibrant van market continues to grow - up another 22.5 per cent in May, which is slightly below the year-to-date improvement for 30 per cent.

Toyota was a clear winner in this segment, with its HiAce recording sales of 919, which represents 39.4 per cent of the market.

A distant second was the Mitsubishi Express with 326 sales (for a 14% share), in front of the Hyundai iLoad with 223 (for a 9.6% share).

Volkswagen’s Caddy chipped in with 172 sales (with a 7.4 per cent share), the Ford Transit notched up 170 sales (with a 7.3 per cent share) and VW sold 161 units of the Transporter (for a share of 6.9 per cent).

It was no surprise that the Toyota HiLux won the PU/CC 4x2 ute class, with 1611 sales and a 26.1 per cent share.

Holden’s Ute was second with 1112 sales and 18 per cent of sales, while Ford's Falcon Ute, largely in run-out, recorded a May figure of 915 sales and a share of 14.8 per cent.

Ford’s Ranger added 664 sales (with a 10.7% share), ahead of Mitsubishi’s Triton with 633 sales (and a 10.2% share) and the Holden Rodeo with 622 sales (and a 10.1% share).

The PU/CC 4x4 segment grew by 5.7 per cent in May, which is in line with its year-to-date rise.

At the top of the class was the HiLux with the 2303 sales and a 29.8 per cent, share in front of the Nissan Navara with 1701 sales and a 22 per cent share.

Holden took third with the Rodeo racking up 909 sales (and a share of 11.8 per cent).

May Top 10:
Rank Make Sales % Share
1 Toyota 101,816 23.3%
2 Holden 55,155 12.6%
3 Ford 44,183 10.1%
4 Mazda 34,969 8.0%
5 Mitsubishi 26,831 6.2%
6 Nissan 25,448 5.8%
7 Honda 23,951 5.5%
8 Hyundai 18,970 4.3%
9 Subaru 16,690 3.8%
10 Volkswagen 13,102 3.0%

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