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News - VFACTS - Sales 2013

VFACTS: Proposed FBT changes yet to bite

Winner: The Jeep Grand Cherokee was a sales star in July, topping its segment.

Record July sales bely FBT doom and gloom, but August expected to tell the true tale

5 Aug 2013

AUSTRALIA’S new vehicle industry will have to wait until next month to see if the government’s controversial proposed changes to fringe benefits taxes will have as big an impact as key players suggest.

VFACTS industry figures for July, released today, show a record 90,235 new vehicles were sold last month, up 4.1 per cent on the same month last year. This upward trajectory was only 0.5 per cent lower than industry growth for the year-to-date figure.

Car-makers and industry bodies alike have repeatedly warned that the government’ s proposed FBT changes, tabled on July 16, would have an enormous impact on sales by removing strong incentives for workers to access cars using novated leases or salary sacrificing.

Last week the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries – the group responsible for VFACTS – said new car sales could drop 10 per cent if the policy became law, while nine out of 10 Victorian members of the Australian Automotive Dealer Association have said they had already lost orders.

But with the proposed FBT changes not tabled until mid-month, and many sales working on a forward-order basis, it’s expected the August figures will tell the true tale of the level of impact.

The usual suspects again topped the sales charts in July, with the year’s top-seller, Toyota’s Corolla, again beating all-comers – and stretching its annual sales lead – with 3945 units.

106 center imageFrom top: Toyota HiLux, Mazda3, Holden Commodore, Mitsubishi Mirage and Ford Falcon.

Last year’s champion, the Mazda3, came second with 3464 sales for the month on the back of an aggressive run-out campaign, while the Toyota HiLux took the final place on the podium with 2971 sales overall.

In news to warm the cockles of the local industry, Holden’s Commodore had its strongest month in some time with 2827 units. Transport delays hurt sales of the much-publicised new VF-generation Holden last month, but the car had a clearer run at it in July and delivered accordingly.

It was a mixed bag for the rest of the locals, with the Toyota Camry again dominating the medium-car segment with 2061 sales (up 16.1 per cent) and Holden Cruze 2467 sales (up 31.6 per cent) performing well in the small-car segment.

Ford’s Falcon, however, sunk to a new low of just 594 sales (down 36.9 per cent) on the back of the Blue Oval’s decision to pull out of local manufacturing by the end of 2016. The Falcon-based Territory SUV managed 966 sales (down 10.9 per cent), and was beaten by Jeep’s Grand Cherokee for the month.

In terms of market segmentation, the light-car market was down a notable 10.5 per cent, while the total light commercial market was also down to the tune of 7.2 per cent. The big winners were small cars (up 24.6 per cent), people-movers (up 20 per cent) and medium SUVs (up 11.7 per cent).

Opel, which announced on Friday the immediate discontinuation of its 12-month old Australian subsidiary, recorded 111 sales for month (81 of which were the Astra). Volkswagen Golf sales were up 57.9 per cent (1225 delivered), belying reliability concerns surrounding its DSG transmission.

The sales winners in each segment were as follows: Hyundai i20 with 1262 sales (light cars), Toyota Corolla with 3945 sales (small cars), Toyota Camry with 2061 sales (medium cars), Holden Commodore with 2827 sales (large cars), Toyota 86 with 589 sales (sports cars), Hyundai ix35 with 1401 sales (small SUVs), Mazda CX-5 with 1638 sales (medium SUVs), Jeep Grand Cherokee with 1196 sales (large SUVs) and Toyota HiLux with 2971 sales (light commercials).

In the luxury passenger car and SUV race, BMW (1713 sales) edged out fellow Germans Mercedes-Benz (1506 sales not including commercials) and Audi (1325 sales).

The top-selling brand overall for the month was, as usual, Toyota, with 17,433 sales. This figure is down 2.0 per cent on last July though, and reflects the company’s overall drop of 0.2 per cent year-to-date.

Local hero Holden had a strong month with 10,137 sales, while top full-importer Mazda had its best-ever July with 8525 sales (the Mazda3, CX-5, BT-50 and Mazda6 all had big months).

Korean powerhouse Hyundai recorded 8009 sales (up 5.3 per cent) to finish fourth, ahead of Ford (6733 sales, down 2.5 per cent), Mitsubishi (5655 sales, up a massive 65 per cent for the month and 24.3 per cent for the year) and Nissan (5074 sales, down 17.6 per cent against last July).

Volkswagen recorded 3705 sales in July, down 6.5 per cent, while Subaru (3102 sales, up 2.6 per cent) and Honda (2746 sales, down 4.3 per cent) rounded out the top ten.

Other big movers for the month included – alphabetically – Alfa Romeo (320 sales, up 290.2 sales), Chery (92 sales, up 48.2 per cent), Chrysler (172 sales, up 73.7 per cent), Fiat (468 sales, up a whopping 420 per cent thanks to price cuts), Isuzu Ute (855 sales, up 27.8 per cent), Jaguar (89 sales, up 41.3 per cent), Range Rover (780 sales, up 41.8 per cent), Porsche (166 sales, up 23.9 per cent also thanks to price cuts), and Renault (607 sales, up 72 per cent).

Top 10 brands July 2013:
Brand Sales Change %
Toyota 17,433 -2.0
Holden 10,137 13.4
Mazda 8525 7.2
Hyundai 8009 5.3
Ford 6733 -2.5
Mitsubishi 5655 65.0
Nissan 5074 -17.6
Volkswagen 3705 -6.5
Subaru 3102 2.6
Honda 2746 -4.3

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