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News - VFACTS - Sales 2009 - September

New-car market slips 3.5 per cent

On the up: Hyundai's i30 helped the Korean importer to a 76.2 per cent sales gain in September.

Hyundai up 76.2 per cent as Australian car market cuts its losses in September

6 Oct 2009

THE Australian new-car market declined 3.5 per cent in September, proving recovery will not happen overnight.

However, the September result of 78,131 cars is an improvement over the year-to-date run of the market which is down by 13.1 per cent after three quarters for a running total of 681,974.

VFACTS figures show the September market held up relatively well given that the government business tax incentive stimulus, which pulled sales forward to the peak month of June, has lost some of its steam.

FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said the September figure demonstrate signs of consolidation in the new vehicle market.

“Some areas of buyer confidence remain fragile and an interest rate rise is premature,” he said.

“Economic stimulus has resulted in positive business sales but private buyers need the confidence to return to showrooms in larger numbers.”

While most car-makers lost ground in September, Hyundai again defied gravity by growing a massive 76.2 per cent compared with September of 2008.

The price-conscious brand appears to be capitalising in a positive exchange rate with South Korea, combined with successful marketing, selling 5484 cars in September compared with 3113 in the same month of 2008.

While last month’s result was particularly strong, Hyundai has done consistently well in the first three quarters of the year with sales growing 36.4 per cent year to date.

Its i30 small car achieved 1818 sales in September – a 136 per cent increase over its 769 sales tally in September 2008.

106 center image Left: Holden Commodore, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Getz, and Hyundai Tucson.

Other September highlights for Hyundai included the Getz light car with 1650 sales – up 54 per cent – and the Tucson compact SUV, with 1168 (up 352 per cent).

It wasn’t quite enough for the up-and-coming brand to beat Mazda in September, which it did in August, but Hyundai cemented its place as the fifth best-selling brand in Australia and the second strongest full import line behind Mazda.

Hyundai has sold 47,625 cars for the first nine months of the year, representing a seven per cent market share, which is 7533 more than Mitsubishi (5.9 per cent) and 10,070 fewer than Mazda (8.5 per cent).

Toyota was again the best-selling brand in Australia in September with 16,007 sales for the month, representing an 11.3 per cent drop year-on-year. While its board of directors is hardly going to be popping the champagne, this is at least better than its year-to-date performance which is down 40,908 cars, or 22.3 per cent, on the same period in 2008.

The Holden Commodore was the best selling car in September with 3858 sales, ahead of the Toyota Corolla with 3553 units and the Mazda3 in third with 3307 sales.

The passenger vehicle market was down 3.2 per cent in September, the light commercial segment was down 4.3 per cent, heavy commercials tumbled 26.5 per cent, but SUVs lifted 1.7 per cent.

Almost 300 more people bought light cars in September, representing an increase of three per cent, but small cars sales slipped by 965 or 5.2 per cent.

The medium car segment continued to show little movement, with an increase of just 1.2 per cent, or 91 more cars for the month.

Surprisingly, sportscar sales increased 17.1 per cent or 247 cars compared with September 2008.

Other winners included compact SUVs – up 312 cars, or five per cent – and luxury SUVs (up 405 vehicles or 30.9 per cent).

Vans bucked the negative light commercial trend with an increase of 102 vehicles, or 4.9 per cent, while 4x4 pick-up and cab-chassis sales increased by 99 for a rise of 1.5 per cent.

The large-car segment shed another 1035 sales for the month, slipping 10.6 per cent, upper large was down 18.8 per cent (75 cars) and people movers dropped off by 12.2 per cent (133 cars).

Medium SUVs were down by seven per cent (394 cars), large SUVs dipped 8.6 per cent (87) and 4x4 pick up and cab-chassis sales were down 13.2 per cent (742 vehicles).

Sales to business customers increased 1.1 per cent in September but remain 9.6 per cent down for the nine months to the end of September.

Private sales also held up well in September, down just 0.5 per cent on the same month last year, but remain 11.9 per cent down so far this year.

Government sales fell 19.7 per cent in September, which is worse than the year-to-date average decline of 14.2 per cent.

Rental sales are staging a recovery, and even though they were down 16.3 per cent in September, this is significantly better than the 41.6 per cent fall year to date.

The Hyundai Getz was a clear winner in the light-car class, selling 1650 cars, in front of Honda's Jazz with 1439, Toyota's Yaris with (1280), the Mazda2 (1270) and Suzuki's Swift with 1028.

Year to date, Getz leads with 15,191 sales, ahead of the Yaris (14,377 sales) and the Mazda2 (9974).

Above $25,000 in the light class, the Alfa Romeo MiTo was the best seller with 41 sales, in front of the Peugeot 207 (39) and Fiat 500 (19).

In the small-car class, Toyota’s Corolla, with 3353 sales and a share of 19.6 per cent, pipped the Mazda3 with 3307 sales and a share of 19.3 per cent. The Mitsubishi Lancer came third with 2033 sales and a share of 11.9 per cent.

Kia’s new Cerato notched up 1818 sales, while Holden’s Cruze small car lost momentum after a blazing start, with 1318 sales for the month.

With one quarter of the year left, the Corolla leads the class with 28,476 sales to the Mazda3 (27,186), Hyundai i30 (15,872) and Lancer (15,005).

In small cars above $40,000, the Mini Cooper topped the charts with 178 sales, from the BMW 1-Series (162) and the Audi A3 (145).

Toyota’s Camry continued to dominate the medium-car class with 2360 sales and a huge share of 41.7 per cent as buyers responded to the recent update. This represents an 11.6 per cent increase for the month and runs contrary to the 15.2 per cent decrease year to date.

The Mazda6 came a distant second with 879 sales and a share of 15.5 per cent, in front of the Subaru Liberty (556 sales/9.8 per cent share) and the Honda Accord Euro (467/8.2 per cent).

So far this year, Camry sales stand at 14,712, in front of the Mazda6 (6662) and the Subaru Liberty (3467).

Above $60,000, the Mercedes Benz C-class took the medium-class honours with 646 sales and a share of 34.7 per cent. The BMW 3 Series came second with 504 sales and a share of 27.1 per cent, with the Audi A4 a distant third on 344 units and 18.4 per cent share.

So far this year, the C-class has 4402 sales, in front of the 1 Series with 2892 and the A4 with 2870 sales.

The Holden Commodore continues to hold down the number-one spot in the large car class.

Its result of 3858 sales and a share of 45.9 per cent gave it a clear lead over the Ford Falcon’s 2794 sales and 33.2 per cent share. Commodore sales were down 13.5 per cent for the month, while Falcon sales were down 10.5 per cent.

Toyota’s Aurion continued to struggle, recording just 1037 sales for the month and a share of 12.3 per cent, which represents 16.4 per cent decrease on September 2008.

So far this year, Holden has sold 32,630 Commodores, Ford 22,570 Falcons and Toyota 15,091 Aurions.

In the large-car niche above $70,000, Mercedes-Benz recorded another win, this time with the new E-class which recorded 105 sales, in front of the BMW 5 Series (68 sales) and Audi A6 (55). So far this year, Mercedes has sold 1077 E-classes, BMW 621 5 Series cars and Audi 430 A6s.

Holden’s Caprice dominated the upper-large segment with 112 sales in September, in front of its stablemate, the Holden Statesman, with 61 units, and the Chrysler 300C, with 59 sales.

The exclusive upper-large segment above $100,000 also went to Mercedes-Benz whose S-class edged out the BMW 7 Series, 33 sales to 32, with the new Porsche Panamera registering 10 sales.

People-mover sales were dominated by the Kia Rondo with 303 units and a share of 33.1 per cent, in front of the Toyota Tarago (213, 23.3 per cent) and Honda’s Odyssey (88 sales, 9.6 per cent).

Above $55,000, only one people-mover made double figures in September – the Chrysler Voyager, which hit 30 sales and an 81.1 per cent share.

The BMW 1 Series coupe and convertible took out the honours in the sportscar class below $80,000, with 176 sales and share of 17. 4 per cent for the month.

Second was the Volkswagen Eos (158, 15.6 per cent) and Mercedes C-class Sports Coupe ( 84, 8.3 per cent).

After three quarters of 2009, the BMW 1 Series has a clear lead with 1631 sales to the C-class Sports Coupe (975) and Eos (880).

At the top end of sports car, above $80,000, the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible sold a combined 154 units for a 25.4 per cent share. Second was the Audi A5 which notched 127 sales and a share of 21 per cent, while the Mercedes Benz E-class Coupe had 93 sales and a share of 15.3 per cent.

So far this year, the 3 Series has sold 1308 units, in front of A5 with 757 sales and the Mercedes CLK (which has been replaced by the C-class Coupe) with 661 sales.

Above $200,000, Jaguar and Porsche tied for the honours, with the XK and 911 both netting 13 sales for the month. Maserati sold 10 cars, one more than Ferrari, while Mercedes sold nine SLs.

The Hyundai Tucson was the top-selling compact SUV with 1168 sales and a share of 17.7 per cent in September, ahead of the Subaru Forester (1131 and 17.1 per cent share). Toyota’s RAV4 slipped to third place with 1004 sales and 15.2 per cent share.

Year to date, the Forester still leads the class, with 10,779 sales, just holding out the RAV4 with 9246, while the hard-charging Tucson is third (8438).

Toyota’s Kluger continues to run at the front of the medium SUV segment, recording 958 sales and a share of 18.4 per cent in September, in front of fellow Toyota entrant Prado (904, 17.8 per cent), the Ford Territory (890, 17.1 per cent) and Holden Captiva (880, 16.9 per cent).

After the first three quarters of the year, the Prado holds a narrow lead with 9422 sales over Kluger with 9162, with Captiva third (7878) and Territory fourth (7746).

Toyota’s LandCruiser dominated the large SUV class in September with 692 sales and 74.6 per cent share. The Nissan Patrol wagon recorded 209 sales and a share of 22.5 per cent and the Jeep Commander managed 27 sales and share of 2.9 per cent.

BMW was a clear winner in the luxury SUV class, shifting 465 X5s in September for a share of 27.1 per cent, while the new Lexus RX hit 202 and a share of 11.8 per cent and the Mercedes ML managed 103 and a share of six per cent.

The X5 is a clear winner year to date, with a tally of 2349 in front of the RX (1910) and ML (1361).

Toyota’s HiAce topped the van class with 754 sales in September, representing a 34.3 per cent share. Hyundai’s iLoad scored 396 sales and 18 per cent share, in front of the Ford Transit (297 sales, 13.5 per cent).

The Toyota is a clear winner so far this year with 6172 sales from the Mitsubishi Express (2742), Transit (1723) and iLoad (1547).

Ford had a rare win by taking out the 4x2 ute with its Falcon Ute which snared 932 sales and a share of 19.1 per cent, just edging out Toyota’s Hilux with 931 sales and a share of 19.1 per cent. Holden’s Commodore-based Ute did 743 sales for a share of 15.2 per cent, in front of the Mazda BT-50 with 571 sales and an 11.7 per cent share, while the Ford Ranger hit 499 sales and a segment share of 10.2 per cent.

So far this year the Hilux retains the upper hand with 13,211 sales, while the Falcon Ute has 9995 sales, with the Holden Ute a close third (9946).

The 4x4 Hilux topped the charts in the 4x4 utes class with 1455 sales and a share of 21.8 per cent, edging out the Nissan Navara (1319, 19.7 per cent) and Holden Colorado (1065, 15.9 per cent).

The Hilux has a clear lead year to date, having shifted 15,742 to the Navara with 12,473 and the Mitsubishi Triton with 7173 sales.

Top 10 makes, September 2009:
Rank Make Sales % Share
1 Toyota 16,007 20.5%
2 Holden 9744 12.5%
3 Ford 8427 10.8%
4 Mazda 7205 9.2%
5 Hyundai 5484 7.0%
6 Mitsubishi 4312 5.5%
7 Nissan 4079 5.2%
8 Honda 3939 5.0%
9 Subaru 2807 3.6%
10 Volkswagen 2307 3.0%
Source: VFACTS, October 2009

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