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VFACTS: June marks record selling month

Solid start: Mitsubishi enjoyed a strong month for its Triton range, landing in fifth spot overall, just ahead of the Ford Ranger.

High profile sales, tax breaks push Australian market to record month

3 Jul 2015

MORE records tumbled last month in Australia's new-car market, with the overall haul of 125,850 units, representing not only the biggest June to date, but the highest-selling individual month on record, according to official VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

June is traditionally a strong sales month, with many manufacturers launching end-of-financial-year sales, but last month was also boosted by the federal government's introduction of new tax incentives for small businesses making purchases of less than $20,000, including on-road and other costs.

According to the FCAI's historical VFACTS data, last month topped the previous best-selling month – June 2013 – by 7092 units. In fact, June sales dominate the top-ten top sales months on record, representing all but one – March this year when 105,054 vehicles were sold.

Year to date, the market is up 3.3 per cent over the first six months of 2014, with 578,427 vehicles sold.

The record haul was helped by continued growth in the SUV segment which was up 14.7 per cent over June 2014, and a moderate 4.7 per cent boost in traditional passenger vehicles, but light commercials dropped 3.1 per cent despite some of the entry level offerings falling under the $20,000 driveaway threshhold.

As reported yesterday, Hyundai's i30 small-car range leapt to the top of the sales charts with 5521 units, a massive 70.2 per cent boost on the back of the tax incentives and a keen $19,990 driveaway price.

A number of light cars slip under the $20,000 mark for tax breaks and this appears to have impacted sales, with a 9.1 per cent boost over last June in the segment. The Honda Jazz continues its return to form with a massive 899.3 per cent jump to 1439, while other major players in the light car sector saw growth including The Volkswagen Polo (+60.6 per cent), Hyundai Accent (+57.4), Mazda2 (+62.1), Holden Barina (+11.6) and the Toyota Yaris (+9.2).

The small-car segment bounced back last month by 4.7 per cent after a 16.6 per cent drop in May, with a number of models being offered at $19,990 driveaway and also fitting into the tax breaks – Kia's resurgent Cerato grew 78.3 per cent and Mitsubishi's eight-year-old Lancer was up by 58.6 per cent.

Australia's most popular car for the first six months of the year is the Toyota Corolla, despite a 10.7 per cent drop off compared with June 2014, while its rival the Mazda3 grew by just 1.7 per cent last month and is sitting 1323 units behind the Corolla for the year.

The i30's huge month pushed the Toyota and Mazda to third and fourth respectively on the monthly sales chart, but Toyota maintained its position as the top-selling brand overall with a 3.3 per cent lift to 21,501.

Hyundai's bumper June lifted their sales by 10 per cent over last June to 11,007, but it wasn't enough to keep them in the top three with Mazda's 23 per cent overall increase for 11,526, and Holden's haul of 11,928 – a 3.3 per cent drop – holding the Korean car-maker at bay.

Holden's SUV range saw a bump last month with its ageing Captiva 5 growing by 19.4 per cent with 869 sales, while the utility-based Colorado 7 was up 150.4 per cent to 353 units. The locally built Commodore was the company’s best seller in seventh spot overall, and its reborn Astra attracted 62 sales.

Mitsubishi rounded out the top five with 9011 sales representing an 8.8 per cent jump on the back of a huge increase in its perennially popular ASX crossover, which was up 66 per cent to 1358 units, while the new-generation Triton maintained its lead over the Ford Ranger with 3526 sales.

Ford slumped again in June down 16.8 per cent with big drops for Focus (-66.8 per cent), Fiesta (-38.2) and Territory (-25.6), with its light-commercial range offering more positive news thanks to growth for its runout Ranger up by 9.8 per cent fro 4x2 and 3.6 per cent for 4x4, while the Transit Custom van grew by 76.4 per cent.

Volkswagen maintained its lead over Nissan with 7103 sales, a 7.7 per cent boost thanks to renewed interest in Jetta, Amarok, Polo and Touareg, while its top-seller the Golf grew by 18.6 per cent to 2682 to be the eighth best-selling model overall.

Nissan dropped by 17 per cent, with its new Navara ute going backwards last month, while the Qashqai, X-Trail and Pathfinder SUVs continued to be the bright spots in its line-up.

Subaru had a 16.9 per cent increase with 4502 sales, with its new-gen Outback and Liberty twins providing strong support.

Honda's dramatic turnaround keeps pushing the Japanese brand to new heights with a 70 per cent growth last month keeping it in the top 10, mainly thanks to the Jazz and HR-V which was the third best-selling small SUV behind the ASX and Hyundai ix35.

In year-to-date sales, Toyota is unsurprisingly well ahead and has cracked the 100k mark with 101,714, a tiny 0.6 per cent increase, followed by Mazda (up 9.0 per cent to 56,591), then Holden (down 8.9 per cent to 51,737), Hyundai (up 1.0 per cent to 50,099) and Mitsubishi on 35,866.

Mazda says its June result was an all-time record for the brand, and it experienced its best first half, while a number of other manufacturers are also claiming record months, including Renault and Subaru while Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the country is heading for a bumper end to the year.

“Annualised, it is now possible for the 2015 sales year to be the best ever - some 20,000 vehicles ahead of the 2013 record,” he said.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said there were a number of factors impacting the strong result last month.

“According to CommSec, car affordability in Australia is the best it has ever been,” he said. “Coupled with offers such as capped price servicing and low interest rate finance, now is a great time for Australians to buy a new car.”

Business purchases increased last month across the board with SUVs up 20.8 per cent to 12,656 and continuing to creep up on passenger cars, which were also up by 9.1 with 16,394, while light commercials in the business sector grew by 3.4 per cent.

Factoring in private and business sales, 4x2 utes had a great month, with a 9.9 per cent lift, but their 4x4 equivalents dropped by 8.8 per cent last month.

Year to date 4x4 is steady and 4x2 is down 6.1 per cent.

Mercedes-Benz was kept out of the top 10 by Honda this month, but it still recorded 20.4 per cent growth with 3661, keeping it ahead of BMW which was up 27.7 per cent with 2814 registrations, while Audi remained in third on 2215.

Of the three German luxury brands year-to-date, Benz is still ahead even after subtracting commercial vehicle sales on 15,294, followed by BMW with 12,602 and Audi on 11,343.

Top 10 selling brands June 2015
BrandSales% Variation
Top 10 selling models June 2015
Hyundai i305,521
Toyota HiLux4,281
Toyota Corolla4,152
Mitsubishi Triton3,526
Ford Ranger3,372
Holden Commodore2,772
Volkswagen Golf2,682
Toyota Camry2,602
Mazda CX-52,512

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