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Toyota tops June sales boom

Hotcake: Corolla out-sold Commodore again in June to become Australia's most popular car by an even bigger margin.

Luxury car, SUV and Toyota sales boom in June despite finance and fuel price hikes

3 Jul 2008

NEW-VEHICLE sales reached an all-time record in the first half of 2008 according to figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), despite soaring fuel prices and a number of interest rate rises this year.

Official VFACTS sales figures released today by the FCAI show that 106,541 new cars, trucks and buses were retailed in June - a 1.4 per cent (or 1444-vehicle) increase on the same month last year, and an all-time record for any month in Australian motor vehicle sales history.

A total of 542,695 sales so far in 2008 is up 3.5 per cent or 18,319 vehicles on figures recorded in 2007, when a record total of 1,049,982 new vehicles were sold, while the sales total for the 2007-08 financial year was 1,068,301 - an increase of almost 65,000 vehicles over the previous financial year.

Seasonally adjusted, the industry is on target to achieve 1.081 million new-vehicle sales.

"The continued growth of the motor vehicle market so far this year is an encouraging result given current economic circumstances," said FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar.

"Business sales in particular have remained resilient in the face of interest rate rises, fuel price increases and general turbulence in world financial markets.

"While there are reasons to be cautious about the general market outlook in the second half of the year, the industry remains confident that total 2008 sales will once again top a million units," said Mr McKellar.

In what the FCAI has described as “a significant impact on vehicle sales”, sales of so-called luxury vehicles (those priced over $57,123, as defined by the federal government’s luxury car tax) were estimated to have increased by around 23 per cent or 1575 vehicles month-on-month.

The FCAI says that is because buyers appear to have brought their purchases to beat the proposed July 1 luxury car tax (LCT) increase, from 25 to 33 per cent, which is now the subject of a Senate committee review. If approved, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has ruled the higher LCT rate will be payable retrospectively, from July 1.

“It is clear that many car buyers have brought forward their purchases in order to try to beat the proposed tax hike,” said FCAI chief executive, Andrew McKellar.

“With many people moving to get in ahead of the tax increase, we are likely to see a distortion in sales over coming months. It is another reason why the automotive industry appeals to the federal government to ensure that this proposed tax increase is not levied retrospectively,” he said.

“People who have ordered vehicles before the Senate has undertaken its inquiry into the proposed tax increase should not face the threat of being burdened with an additional tax bill, months down the track,” Mr McKellar said.

IN an apparent indifference to surging fuel prices, sales of SUVs also boomed in June, by 12.9 per cent or 2440 sales, while passenger car sales slumped by 3.5 per cent or 2262 sales.

Large SUVs experienced the biggest sales spike in June (up 33.8 per cent or 405 vehicles), followed by luxury SUVs (up 23.0 per cent or 427 sales), compact SUVs (up 17.1 per cent or 1451 sales) and medium SUVs, which were up 2.1 per cent or 157 sales.

Similarly, sales of light trucks were either static or significantly up, and as a whole the category lifted 6.9 per cent or 1302 vehicles sales in June. The light bus segment was the biggest mover (up 55.9 per cent or 127 sales), followed by vans (up 30.6 per cent or 608 sales) and the pick-up/cab-chassis 4x2 segment (up 10.3 per cent or 739 sales), while pick-up/cab-chassis 4x4 sales were 1.8 per cent or 171 vehicles down.

Meantime, sales in all passenger car segments were down last month, with the exception of sports cars (up 19.4 per cent or 306 sales) and small cars (up 2.7 per cent or 644 sales).

The biggest decline was in the people-move segment (down 26.9 per cent or 507 sales), followed by the upper large segment (down 25.9 per cent or 225 sales), large cars (down 11.2 per cent or 1557 sales), light cars (down 5.3 per cent or 694 sales) and medium cars, which were down 2.6 per cent or 229 sales.

IN year-to-date terms, the passenger vehicle market, at 316,025 sales, is down by 5197 vehicles or 1.6 per cent, due to downturns in sales of upper large cars (down 1529 units or 32.0 per cent), people-movers (down 1620 sales or 19.1 per cent), large cars (down 11,647 cars or 16.2 per cent) and sports cars, which are down 43 sales or 0.5 per cent.

However, sales of light, small and medium vehicles remain up in the first half of 2008. Light cars are ahead the most (up 3590 cars or 5.6 per cent), ahead of small cars (5410 cars or 4.6 per cent) and medium cars, which so far this year are up 642 sales or 1.4 per cent.

Contrary to industry expectations, SUV sales (of 109,669) are up YTD – by no less than 12,757 units or 13.2 per cent. The YTD rise is attributable to all SUV segments, led by large SUVS (up 2293 vehicles or 33.2 per cent), medium SUVs (up 6662 vehicles or 18.5 per cent), luxury SUVs (up 1382 sales or 14.4 per cent) and compact SUVs, which YTD are up 2420 sales or 5.4 per cent.

Finally YTD, the light truck market, with 99,005 sales, is running 10.4 per cent or 9313 vehicles ahead of 2007 levels. All segments with the exception of 2.5-tonne trucks (down 16 vehicles or 2.4 per cent) are up, led by light buses (up 506 vehicles or 38.0 per cent), vans (up 3083 vehicles or 30.1 per cent), pick-up/cab-chassis 4x2s (up 4158 sales or 12.0 per cent) and pick-up/cab-chassis 4x4s, which are up 1582 vehicles or 3.7 per cent.

WHEN it comes to individual brands, Toyota continued its winning streak in June, when it sold an unprecedented 25,624 vehicles – up 4.4 per cent on June 2007 and an all-time record for any brand in any month – to easily out-sell Holden (11,968 sales – down 16.0%) and Ford (10,286 – down 0.2%).

It was the first time any company has exceeded 25,000 sales in a month, and gave Toyota a June market share of 24.1 per cent, well ahead of Holden on 11.2 per cent and Ford on just 9.7 per cent.

Mazda held down fourth place with sales of 7524 vehicles and a 7.1 per cent monthly share (up 8.5% on June 2007 and its second-best month ever), while Mitsubishi achieved 8336 vehicle sales in June (up 1.8 per cent) to round out the top five.

Honda posted its best month ever with 6217 sales to score a 5.8 per cent market share in June, defeating Hyundai (5447 sales, 5.1%), Nissan (5352, 5.0%), Subaru (4116, 3.9%) and Volkswagen (3305, 3.1%).

YTD, Toyota has now sold 127,440 vehicles – up 9.4 per cent on the first six months of 2007 and nearly double that of its nearest competitor in Holden, which has sold 67,123 vehicles so far in 2008 (down 11.8%).

That equates to a 23.5 per cent share of the market for Toyota in YTD terms – more than 1.2 percentage points higher than at the same stage last year and again almost double that of Holden (12.4 per cent) and Ford (10.0 per cent), which is now 0.3 per cent up on its own 2007 YTD result.

Toyota leads Holden with a margin of 60,317 vehicle sales or 11.1 market share points and its 2007-08 financial-year total of 247,564 (9.6 per cent ahead of the previous fiscal year's result) makes it the first company to sell more than 200,000 in any 12-month period.

Mazda still holds fourth spot YTD with 42,493 sales and a 7.8 per cent market share, ahead of Mitsubishi (35,167, 6.5%), Nissan (30,800, 5.7% - ????, Honda (30, 168, 5.6% - the only other brand to be down YTD), Hyundai (24,417, 4.5%), Subaru (20,808, 3.8%) and Volkswagen (16,407, 3.0%).

Toyota’s Corolla was the best-selling vehicle in June with 5023 sales, followed by the same brand’s HiLux (4530) and Holden’s Commodore (4274), while three more Toyota models also featured in the list of June top-sellers - Yaris (2770), Aurion (2552) and Camry (2261).

Toyota’s Corolla continues to be Australia’s most popular car in 2008 with 24,415 sales (up 7.3 per cent) to lead the sales race at the halfway mark of a year for the first time – more than 1000 sales ahead of Holden’s Commodore (23,323) and Toyota’s own HiLux (22,132).

TOYOTA’S Yaris found 2770 buyers in June to top the light car under $25,000 sales race last month with a 23.1 per cent share, even though the result was 5.3 per cent down month-on-month. Hyundai’s Getz was second with 1797 sales (and a 15.0 per cent share), ahead of the Mazda2 (1540 sales, 12.8% - its best month ever), Suzuki’s Swift (1356, 11.3%) and Kia’s Rio (1034, 8.6%).

YTD, Yaris continues to lead the light car class with 13,704 sales and a 20.9 per cent share – albeit 10.7 per cent down on 2007 figures. Second is Getz (8795, 13.4%), ahead of Mazda2 (7801, 11.9%), Swift (6902, 10.5%) and Holden’s Barina (6262, 9.5%). The Swift’s result helped Suzuki sell a total of 2419 vehicles in June – 2.2 per cent up on June 2007 and Suzuki’s best ever month.

Peugeot’s 207 was the runaway winner in the light cars over $25,000 segment in June, with 206 sales and a 60.8 per cent share, ahead of Fiat’s new 500 (57 sales, 16.8%) and the same brand’s Punto (47, 13.9%).

YTD, the 207 leads with 965 sales and a 58.1 per cent share, ahead of the 500 (246, 14.8%), Citroen’s C3 (226, 13.6%) and the Punto (224, 13.5%).

IN the small car stakes under $40,000 it was all Corolla last month, with 5023 sales (down 14.7 on June 2007) and a 21.2 per cent segment share, ahead of Mazda3 (3286, 13.9%), Mitsubishi’s Lancer (2667, 11.3%), Honda’s Civic (2644, 11.2%) and Holden’s Astra (1469, 6.2%). Civic sales were up 122.9 per cent in June, while Lancer was up 24.5 per cent.

YTD, Corolla remains 7.3 per cent ahead with 24,415 sales and a 20.5 per cent segment share, followed by Mazda3 (17,458, 14.7%), Civic (10,897, 9.2% - including a best-ever monthly number of 164 Civic Hybrids), Ford’s Focus (8561, 7.2%) and Astra (7896, 6.6%).

It was a close-fought battle in the small cars over $40,000 segment, with the Mini Cooper (162 sales, 25.0%) besting Audi’s A3 (158, 24.4%) and BMW’s 1 Series (138, 21.4%) in June, but in YTD terms the A3 remains on top with 961 sales and a 23.0 per cent share, ahead of the Cooper (920, 22.0%) and 1 Series (884, 21.2%).

THE medium cars under $60,000 segment was led in June again by the Camry (2261 sales, 34.2%) despite being 14.5 per cent down on June 2007 numbers, ahead of Mazda6 (807, 12.2%), Subaru’s Liberty (788, 11.9%), Honda’s new Accord Euro (602, 9.1%) and Volkswagen’s Passat (545, 8.2%). Mazda6, Liberty and Accord Euro were down 25.9, 22.9 and 42.8 per cent respectively, while Passat was up 168.5 per cent.

YTD, Camry leads with 11,771 sales (down 10.1%) and a 33.3 per cent segment share, ahead of Mazda6 (5680, 16.1%), Liberty (3840, 10.9%), Accord Euro (2812, 7.9%) and Ford’s Mondeo (2518, 7.1%).

The premium mid-sized cars over $60,000 segment was won narrowly in June by the Mercedes-Benz C-class, which found 682 buyers (a ten-fold increase on June 2007) for a 32.5 per cent – just ahead of BMW’s 3 Series, which tallied 670 sales (up 16.5% due to a $199/week finance offer). The Lexus IS250 was third with 385 sales and an 18.3 per cent segment share, ahead of Audi’s A4, which managed 338 sales – up 62.5 per cent – and a 16.1 per cent share.

YTD, the new C-class remains a clear winner with 3809 sales (up 295.5%) and a 36.1 per cent share, ahead of 3 Series (2695, 25.2%), IS250 (2002, 19.0%) and A4, which has found 1932 buyers this year for an 18.3 per cent segment share.

AUSTRALIA’S favourite car for the past 12 years, Holden’s Commodore captured 4274 sales in June (down 23.5%) for a large car under $70,000 segment share of 36.8 per cent. Ford’s new Falcon pulled back some ground in its first full month on sale, with a combined total of 3483 (up 8.6%) and a 30.0 per cent share. Third was Toyota’s Aurion (2552, 21.9%), which was slightly down for the month, ahead of Honda’s new Accord, which found 868 homes to be up 25.4 per cent with a 7.5 per cent share.

In YTD terms, Commodore remains Australia’s dominant large car with 23,323 sales (down 22.5%) and a 40.7 per cent segment share, easily leading Falcon, which has attracted 3483 sales in 2008 (10.8% down) for a 30.0 per cent segment share. With 11,387 sales and a 19.9 per cent share, Aurion is static in third, while Accord (4262, 7.4%) is up 5.1 per cent.

Large car over $70,000 honours in June went to BMW’s 5 Series (171, 25.9%) ahead of the Mercedes-Benz E-class (154, 23.3%). Surprisingly, given luxury car tax-driven sales boom last month, both models’ sales were down, but while the BMW was off 3.9 per cent on June 2007 figures, it remains 3.6 per cent ahead YTD, with 746 sales and a 27.2 per cent share. The E-class was 17.2 per cent down in June, and remains 38.9 per cent down YTD with 687 sales and a 25 per cent share.

Behind the two-horse race up front, Audi’s A6 racked up 83 sales (and a 12.6% share) in June – one more than Jaguar’s new XF, which found 82 buyers for a 12.4 per cent share, well ahead of the Benz CLS (60, 9.1%) and Lexus GS (59, 8.9%). YTD, A6 has 331 sales and a 12.0 per cent share, ahead of the GS, with 285 sales and a 10.4 per cent share.

IN the upper large under $100,000 segment it was Holden’s Statesman that led in June with 208 sales (down 7.6%) and a 40.1 per cent share, ahead of the same brand’s Caprice (156 – down 34.7% - 30.1%) and Chrysler’s 300C (143 – down 11.7% - 27.6%). YTD, Caprice is still on top with 995 sales and a 36.8 per cent share, despite being 21.0 per cent down this year, followed by Statesman (899, 33.2%) and 300C, which has 2008 sales of 726 (down 22.9%) and a share of 26.8 per cent.

The Mercedes-Benz S-class was a runaway winner in the upper large over $100,000 segment, with 51 sales (up 50.0%) and a share 40.5 per cent. The Lexus LS was a distant second with 23 sales (up 64.3%) and an 18.3 per cent share, followed closely by BMW’s aged 7 Series (19, 15.1%). Interestingly, six Rolls-Royces were sold in June to beat the LCT rate rise – triple the number sold in June 2007.

YTD, S-class holds sway with 197 sales and a 35.8 per cent share, ahead of the LS with 130 sales (up 54.8%) and a share of 23.6 per cent, with the 7 Series (82, 14.9%) third. So far in 2008 it is down 13.7 per cent – slightly more than the S-class.

THE people-mover under $55,000 segment was led as usual by Toyota’s Tarago, with 374 sales in June (30.6% down) and a 29.0 per cent share, ahead of Kia’s Carnival, which was 52.4 per cent with 261 sales and a 20.3 per cent share. Honda’s Odyssey was third with 200 sales, but it was also 47.6 per cent down with a 15.5 per cent share – ahead of Kia’s new Rondo (119, 9.2%). YTD, Carnival leads (1808, 28.1%), from Tarago (1557, 24.2%) and Odyssey (1002, 15.6%).

A small but tight contest in the people-mover over $55,000 class went to Chrysler’s Voyager with 34 sales (down 33.3%) and a 38.6 per cent share, ahead of the Volkswagen Multivan (31 sales, 35.2%), and then the Vito and Viano models from Benz (10 sales, 11.4% apiece). YTD it’s Voyager (151, 354%), then Multivan (154, 36.2%).

IN sports cars under $80,000 terms, BMW’s new 1 Series Coupe and Convertible (235, 24.3%) claimed top honours ahead of Volkswagen’s Eos (194, 20.0%) and the Holden Astra Convertible (104, 10.7%), which was 18.8 per cent down while the Eos was up almost 200 per cent. YTD, Eos is going gangbusters with 1158 sales (173.1% up) and a 24.1 per cent, ahead of the Astra (498, 10.4%), the 1 Series (417, 8.7%) and Mazda’s MX-5 (397, 8.3%). Like the Holden, the Mazda’s sales are down about a third YTD.

BMW’s 3 Series coupe and convertible models notched up a big 347 sales (up 44%) in the $80-$200,000 sports cars segment to claim a 46 per cent share, ahead of Audi’s new A5 (85, 11.3% in June), the Mercedes-Benz SLK (80, 10.6%) and CLK (75, 9.9%) and Audi’s TT (73,9.7%).

Finally, it was Maserati’s turn at the top of the premier passenger car segment, sports cars over $200,000, with a surprise 24 sales (up 84.6%) and 15.1 per cent share of the blue-ribbon segment, ahead of the new Mercedes SL (21 – up 162%, 13.2%) and Porsche’s 911 (20 – down 48.7%, 12.6%). Right behind was BMW’s 6 Series (19 – 18.8% up), Ferrari (18 – 80% up) and Aston Martin (17, 10.7%).

YTD it’s all 911 though, with 248 sales (down 17.9%) and a 27.0 per cent share, followed by Maserati with 133 (up 92.8%) and Ferrari with 93 sales – up 16.3 per cent.

SUBARU’s Forester was the big winner in the small SUV stakes last month, tallying 1668 sales (45.9% up) and a 16.8 per cent share to beat Toyota’s relatively static RAV4 (1435, 14.4%), Honda’s CR-V (1261, 12.7% - up 24.7%), Hyundai’s Tucson (1138, 11.5% - up 107.7%), Mitsubishi’s Outlander (901, 9.1% - its best month ever) and Nissan’s fading new X-Trail (800, 8.1%), which was down 26.4 per cent.

YTD the RAV still leads (7684, 16.4%), from Forester (6910, 14.7 – up 13.2%), Honda’s CR-V (6159, 13.1%), X-Trail (4989, 10.6% - down 20.2%) and Mitsubishi’s Outlander (4552, 9.7% - up 18.7%). The Forester’s performance helped Subaru set al all-time monthly sales record of 4116 vehicles.

TOYOTA’S Prado topped the medium SUV brigade with 1749 sales (up 30.6%) for a 23.1 per cent share in June, ahead of Toyota’s Kluger (1286, 17.0% - up 223.9%), Ford’s Territory (1231, 16.3% - down 40.1%), Holden’s Captiva (938, 12.4% - down 12%) and Mitsubishi’s Pajero (656, 8.7% - down 30.9%).

YTD, both Prado (7854, 18.4%) and Kluger (7513, 17.6%) now lead the once-dominant Territory (7266, 17%), sales of which are 19.1 per cent down while Prado is up by 278.7 per cent.

TOYOTA’S new 200 Series LandCruiser wagon lifted 78.3 per cent to find no fewer than 1132 homes in June and a 70.6 per cent slice of the large SUV segment, followed by Nissan’s Patrol (432, 27.2% - down 17.7%), while Jeep sold 35 Commanders. YTD, with 6407 sales, the LandCruiser is 48.0 per cent up on 2007 levels, ahead of Patrol (2726) and Commander with 173 sales – 29.1 per cent down.

BMW’S X5 found a staggering 497 new homes last month (65.7% up) to collect a dominant 21.7 per cent share of the richest SUV segment, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz M-class (315, 13.8% - up 30.7%), Lexus RX (226, 9.9% - down 11.0%), Range Rover Sport (188, 8.2% - up 66.4%) and Volvo’s XC90 (182, 8.0% - up 54.2%). The RX still leads YTD with 1575 sales, ahead of M-class (1246) and X5 with 1204 and 12.6%.

Rocketing X5 sales joined boom 1 and 3 Series sales to help BMW to a new all-time monthly sales record of 2258 vehicles – a massive 705 sales (45 per cent) more than its previous record of 1553 vehicles, set the previous month.

TOYOTA’S HiAce has the light bus market to itself, with the exception of seven Ford Transits, and lifted sales by 65.2 per cent to 347 in June. YTD it has a total of 1216 for a 91.4 per cent share – 46.3 per cent up, while Transit is 49.6 per cent down on 115 sales.

TOYOTA also leads the van segment with the HiAce, which found 924 sales in June for a 35.6 per cent share and a 65.6 per cent month-on-month rise. Second was Mitsubishi’s Express with 450 sales, but HiAce still leads Express 5429 to 2049 YTD.

TOYOTA’S HiLux was an easy winner in the rear-drive ute class with 1812 sales and a 23%, ahead of Mitsubishi’s Triton (1393, 17.7%), which was up a big 53.9 per cent, Ford’s new Falcon Ute (1262, 16.0%) and Holden’s Ute (1218, 15.5%). YTD, HiLux leads with 9437 sales and a 24.3 per cent share, ahead of Holden’s Ute (7331, 18.9% - up 33.4%) and Falcon Ute (6216, 16.0% - down 10.5%).

HILUX also dominated the 4x4 ute class with 2718 sales (up 11.1%) and a 29.9 per cent segment share, ahead of Nissan’s Navara 4x4 (1677, 18.5% - down 15.9%), Triton 4x4 (1290, 14.2% – down 12.9%) and a static Holden Rodeo 4x4 (1135, 12.5%).

YTD the HiLux, with 12,695 sales (up 8.9%) and a 28.6 per cent share, has extended its lead over Navara (8932, 20.1 – down 22.3%), Rodeo (5484, 12.4% - up 21.4%), Triton (5277, 11.9% - up 7.2%). Triton helped Mitsubishi lift it overall YTD figure to 35,167 – a 4.5 per cent increase over the same period in 2007.

Top 10 brands in June:
Rank Make Sales % Share
1 Toyota 25,624 24.1%
2 Holden 11,968 11.2%
3 Ford 10,286 9.7%
4 Mazda 7524 7.1%
5 Mitsubishi 8336 7.8%
6 Nissan 5352 5.0%
7 Honda 6217 5.8%
8 Hyundai 5447 5.1%
9 Subaru 4116 3.9%
10 Volkswagen 3305 3.1%

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