Australia October 2015: New generation pushes Toyota Hilux to #1

Toyota Hilux Australia October 2015Bullseye: the new generation Toyota Hilux leads the Australian market for its 1st month on sale.

* See the Top 50 All-brands and Top 287 All-models by clicking on the title *

Record pace is adhered to in October in Australia with new car sales up 3% year-on-year to 94.321 registrations, the 2nd biggest October result in history below just 2012. This lifts the year-to-date total to an all-time high record-breaking 957.152 units after 10 months, up 4% on the same period in 2014 and on schedule to break the previous annual record of 1.136 million deliveries set in 2013. Toyota keeps the lead of the brands ranking despite sales down 2% to 16.964 units and 18% share but its’s Korean manufacturer Hyundai that shines again, up two spots on September to a stunning 2nd spot overall thanks to deliveries up 7% to 9.003 for a 9.5% market share. Note that exactly one year ago Hyundai climbed to #2 overall for the first time, it has since repeated this feat three times including this month. Mazda is knocked down to #3 even though it improves 24% on a year ago, making the Australian brands podium 100% Asian for the 8th time in the past 12 month.

Ford Ranger Australia October 2015Boosted by the new model, the Ford Ranger hits an all-time high #4 in Australia in October.

Homegrown Holden is down to #4 in spite of sales up 7%, Ford (-4%) and Nissan (+4%) eclipse Mitsubishi (+8%) and, somewhat tellingly given its recent woes, Volkswagen posts the largest drop in the Top 10 at -6% in 8th position. Honda (+24%), Kia (+36%), Audi (+26%) and Isuzu (+40%) all take off whereas for once Mercedes (-17%) tumbles down – admittedly on a particularly high base in October 2014 – as does Jeep, down a devastating 43% to #17. Further down, Volvo more than doubles its volume year-on-year, Porsche is up 78%, Jaguar up 52% and Chinese light commercial manufacturer LDV is up 44% thanks to the addition of the new G10 van. At the other end of the scale, Fiat and Citroen are down 43%, Dodge down 62%, Chery down 83%, Smart down 84% and Great Wall down 94% as the last units are being cleared off after a dispute between Great Wall in China and its Australian importer Ateco.

LDV G10 Ausrtralia September 2015. Picture courtesy steps: Chinese manufacturer LDV is up 44% this month in Australia with 105 sales.

Fresh from the launch of its new generation in late September, the Toyota Hilux brilliantly takes the lead of  the Australian models ranking with 3.339 sales and 3.5% share. Local website quotes Toyota’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb: “4×4 Hilux variants have achieved their best October sales with overall Hilux demand trending higher than the company had expected. Toyota dealers took more than 4.000 new Hilux orders during the month, our dealers are already writing orders for delivery into 2016.” It is the first time since last May that the Hilux tops the Australian sales charts and only the third time in the past 30 months. The Toyota Corolla (-14%) is a close second and increases the gap with the Mazda3 for the title of Australia’s best-selling nameplate in 2015 at 35.174 units vs. 32.095.

Mitsubishi Outlander Australia October 2015Mitsubishi Outlander

After leading the charts in July and September, the Hyundai i30 posts another strong month in third place overall with 2.669 deliveries. It would be #1 again if the 756 Elantra sedan sales were added. The Ford Ranger is unaffected by the new Hilux launch: it even gains one spot on September to reach a record 4th position with 2.597 units sold. The Mazda CX-5 cements its leadership of the SUV segment with sales up a whopping 28% to 2.037 at #8. VW Golf sales are stable despite Dieselgate at #9, the Nissan X-Trail is up 9 spots on September to #11, the Hyundai Accent is up 17 to #13, the Mazda CX-3 posts another very solid score at #15 and #4 SUV, the Mitsubishi Outlander is up a further four ranks on last month to #17 vs. #33 year-to-date thanks to its facelift and the Honda HR-V is back up 10 spots to #24.

Toyota Fortuner Australia October 2015The Toyota Fortuner lands in Australia with a splash.

The newly launched Hyundai Tucson is up 19 ranks on September to #33 but hardly dents the ix35’s performance (-7%), the Toyota Fortuner brilliantly lands directly at #77 for its very first appearance in the Australian sales charts, already outselling the Ford Everest up 16 ranks to #82.

Previous month: Australia September 2015: Hyundai i30 leads for 2nd time in 4 months

One year ago: Australia October 2014: Ford Ranger inside Top 5 for the first time

Full October 2015 Top 50 All-brands and Top 287 All-models below.

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Australia September 2015: Hyundai i30 leads for 2nd time in 4 months

Hyundai i30 Australia September 2015. Picture courtesy Hyundai i30 beats both market leaders – Corolla and Mazda3 – for the 2nd time this year.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 292 All-models and Top 50 All-brands – See title *

Now with a new Prime Minister, Australia sees its new car market fly off towards an all-time record year in 2015. September is up a robust 7% year-on-year to 101.392 registrations, lifting the year-to-date total up 4% or 30.000 sales to a record 862.832 units, eclipsing the previous 9 month-best of 849.449 deliveries established in 2013. The three biggest states population-wise are the engines of national growth: New South Wales/Sydney is up a flamboyant 12% to 33.983 sales, Victoria/Melbourne up 8% to 27.675 and Queensland/Brisbane up 8% also, to 20.387. Western Australia/Perth is down 9%, South Australia/Adelaide down 4% and Northern Territory/Darwin down 13%. Note the Australian Capital Territory/Canberra (+14%) and Tasmania (+20.5%) post strong growth but their volumes remain very low in a national context. The SUV segment continues to be responsible for essentially the entire market gain: up 23% to 36.698 registrations, while passenger cars are up just 2% to 46.084 and light commercials down 9% to 15.476.

Mercedes C Class Australia March 2015. Picture courtesy of Mercedes sales are up 31% year-on-year in September.

Brand-wise, Toyota drops 7% but remains by far the most popular brand in Australia with 16.4% share, while Mazda stays 2nd with sales shooting up a beautiful 14% year-on-year to 10.7% share, the Japanese carmakers’s 2nd best this year below the 11% hit in January. Overtaken year-to-date by Hyundai last month, local brand Holden is back on the podium in September with a meagre 15-units advance on the Korean carmaker, meaning Hyundai is still #3 so far in 2015 at 77.426 sales vs. 76.828 for Holden. Mitsubishi is up a cool 14% in 5th place, Volkswagen up 15% (no dieselgate impact yet), Subaru up 13% and Honda up 32%. Outside the Top 10, German luxury brands are still on cloud nine: Mercedes (+31%), BMW (+14%) and Audi  (+26%) all grow at at least double the rate of the market. Notice also the fantastic performances of Skoda (+39%), Kia (+45%), Volvo (+48%), Isuzu (+52%) and Porsche (+131%). Reversely Jeep pays two years of unbridled growth by falling heavily at -27% this month.

Mazda CX-3 Australia April 2015. Picture courtesy CX-3 consistently keeps Mazda above 10% share this year in Australia.

In the models ranking, the big news this month is the pole position of the Hyundai i30, its second time ever after last June and only the third month in history a Hyundai tops the Australian sales charts after the Excel ranked first back in June 1998. The i30 sells 4.490 units, a mammoth 77% improvement on September 2014 partly due to an aggressive pricing campaign. With the 2015 facelift, the i30 now absolutely looks like an Elantra hatchback, and if we add Elantra sales its tally becomes 5.170, far above its two competitors the Mazda3 at 3.588 (-11%) and the Toyota Corolla at 3.530 (-9%), both benefiting from hatch and sedan variants, and in the case of the Corolla looking rather distinct.

Toyota Camry Australia July 2015. Picture courtesy Toyota Camry is the best-selling local model in September, above the Holden Commodore.

Another great performer in September is the Toyota Camry, bolstered by its recent facelift and up 16% year-on-year to jump to 4th place overall vs. #10 so far in 2015. This is the Camry’s best Australian ranking in almost two years (since December 2013 when it ranked #3), and most significantly it means the Camry is the best-selling locally-produced car in Australia – a species nearing extinction, granted – overpowering the Holden Commodore (#6 and 2.348 sales). In the pickup aisle, the Ford Ranger is solid in 5th place now that the new model is gearing up above the Mitsubishi Triton at #9 while the Toyota Hilux (-42%) is waiting for the new generation to kick in in October at a low #10. As usual, the Mazda CX-5 is the most popular SUV in the country, with the Toyota Prado shooting up 23 spots on August to #11 and #2 SUV, distancing the Toyota RAV4 (#12), Mazda CX-3 very impressive again (#16) and the Mitsubishi ASX up 37% (#18).

Ford Everest Australia September 2015First full month of sales for a very important model for Ford Australia: the Everest.

With the help of the all-new Alltrack “SUV” variant (127 sales for its first month), the VW Golf shoots up 62% year-on-year this mont to an excellent 8th position overall. In other Australian news, the Honda HR-V falls 13 ranks on August to #34 and slips below the Jazz (#33) reclaiming the Honda best-seller title, the Isuzu MU-X breaks into the Top 50 at #48, the all-new Hyundai Tucson is up 12 spots on August to #52 – a surprisingly slow gearing up compared to its explosive starts in other parts of the world, the Land Rover Discovery Sport jumps 46 spots on August to #67, the Suzuki Vitara lands directly at #74 and the Ford Everest cracks the Top 100 for its first full month of sales in Australia.

Previous month: Australia August 2015: Hyundai overtakes Holden year-to-date

One year ago: Australia September 2014: Jeep among Top 10 for first time ever

Full September 2015 Top 292 All-models and Top 50 All-brands below.

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Australia August 2015: Hyundai overtakes Holden year-to-date

Hyundai Tucson Australia August 2015. Picture courtesy Hyundai Tucson has just landed on Australian shores.

* EXCLUSIVE! Now updated with the Top 292 All-models and Top 50 All-brands *

Despite its local currency freefalling, the Australian new car market is still on track for a record year in 2015, with both August and year-to-date sales up 3% year-on-year to 90.705 and 761.440 units respectively. Below Toyota down a worrying 7% to 16% market share vs. 17.4% year-to-date, Hyundai is the hero of the month at #2 with sales up 11% to 9.505 units and 10.5% share, distancing Mazda at 10.1% (+22%) and Holden at 8.7% (-9%). This score enables the Korean manufacturer to overtake local behemoth Holden and snap the third spot year-to-date at 68.115 sales (+2%) vs. 67.502 (-9%). It is the first time since the launch of the Holden brand in 1948 that it does not appear on the Australian YTD podium, and the first time in Australian history that a year-to-date is 100% Asian (Toyota-Mazda-Hyundai). Momentous times indeed.

Porsche Macan Australia August 2015. Picture courtesy Porsche sales are up 63% in August.

Mitsubishi (+7%) passes Ford (-22%) for 5th place, while Volkswagen (+18%), Subaru and Honda (both at +16%) clearly outperform the market in the Top 10. German luxury brands are still gearing up significantly, with Mercedes up 25% year-on-year to #11, BMW up 10% to #13 and Audi up 21% to #14. Kia (+50%), Lexus (+59%) and Porsche (+63%) take off, with Land Rover (+24%), Isuzu (+35%) also lodging spectacular gains. At the other end of the scale, the honeymoon period linked to the “I bought a Jeep” advertising campaign is over for the American manufacturer, down a harsh 35% year-on-year to #15, Fiat is down 36%, Alfa Romeo down 49% and Great Wall down 95% just as the local launch of the Chinese carmaker’s SUV brand Haval got delayed, leaving LDV (95 sales) and Foton (84) to lead a meagre Chinese contingent.

Ford Ranger Australia August 2015. Picture courtesy new Ford Ranger is now available in Australia.

The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling model in Australia for the 5th time so far this year at 3.050 sales (-6%), cementing its year-to-date leadership over the Mazda3 at 2.673 units (-14%) in August. Thanks to aggressive deals, the Holden Commodore is back up 5 spots on July to round up the podium, yet its sales are still down 9% on a year ago. Going against the grain of the brand’s stellar achievement this month, the Hyundai i30 drops 21% to #4, while the Ford Ranger is up 4 ranks to #5 with the help of its new generation but closes a Top 5 all in decline year-on-year. The Toyota Camry is boosted 24% by the new model above the Mitsubishi Triton (+11%), Mazda CX-5 (+20%) and Hyundai ix35 in runout model (+36%). Awaiting the new generation due in dealerships in October, the Toyota Hilux falls to a paltry – but temporary – 10th place and only 3rd best-selling ute.

Mazda CX-3 Ausrtralia August 2015. Picture courtesy Mazda CX-3 ranks at a world-best #12 this month in Australia.

Outside the Top 10, the Mazda CX-3 confirms its blockbuster status by gaining 5 spots on July to reach #12 thanks to 1.595 sales and 1.9% share, the Hyundai Accent shoots up 21 spots to #18, the Honda HR-V is up one to #21, the Hyundai Veloster is up 68 to a brilliant 42nd position, the Hyundai Tucson is up 89 to #64, the Audi A1 up 76 to #74, Ford Mondeo up 33 to #85 and the Jaguar XE lands at #176 with 60 units sold for its first month in the Australian market.

Previous month: Australia July 2015: Mazda boosted above 10% share by CX-3 and CX-5

One year ago: Australia August 2014: Toyota Corolla takes tiny steps towards 2014 top spot

Full August 2015 Top 292 All-models and Top 50 All-brands below.

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Australia July 2015: Mazda boosted above 10% share by CX-3 & CX-5

Mazda CX-5 Australia July 2015. Picture courtesy is currently enduring its harshest winter in thirty years.

* EXCLUSIVE! Updated with the Top 50 All-brands and Top 290 All-models *

Australian customers continue on their car buying frenzy: after an all-time high 1st Half at 578.427 registrations, we now have the biggest July on record at 92.308 deliveries, up 3% year-on-year and beating the previous July best of 90.235 established in 2013. The year-to-date tally now stands at a record 670.735 units, up 3% on 2014. This is the fourth record month in 2015 after February (90.424)March (105.054) and June (125.850 – highest monthly score ever). Looking at the different states and territories, Tasmania-Hobart (+11%), New South Wales-Sydney (+6%), Queensland-Brisbane (+5%), Victoria-Melbourne (+5%) and ACT-Canberra (+2%) are in positive whereas South Australia-Adelaide (-5%), Northern Territory-Darwin (-8%) and Western Australia-Perth (-13%) lose ground.

Toyota Corolla Australia July 2015The Toyota Corolla takes a serious option towards a third consecutive annual win.

The love story of Australia with SUVs keeps blossoming month after month with sales of the segment up a whopping 13.5% year-on-year to account for over 35% of total sales, while light commercials are up 5% and passenger cars down 5%. Note passenger cars now only account for 45% of overall sales vs. over 60% ten years ago. The trend towards SUVs is even stronger with private buyers who purchased 22% more of them in July 2015 than in July 2014. As usual Toyota is the favourite brand in the country by a country mile with 18.2% share while Mazda is boosted up 16% to 9.356 deliveries and 10.1% share by the success of its SUV range: the CX-5 climbs to a best-ever 6th place (also reached last February) with 2.223 sales and a record 2.4% share and the CX-3 is up to #17 at 1.284 units and 1.4%.

Lexus NX Australia July 2015. Picture courtesy NX already represents 39% of Lexus Australian sales in July.

Hyundai (9.2%) makes the Australian podium 100% Asian with local fare Holden kicked down two spots on June to #4 at -12%, followed by Ford equally in trouble at -7%. Volkswagen shines at +23%, Mercedes (+21%) edges past Honda and Kia (both at +13%) to land inside the Top 10 while Audi (+15%) sells exactly the same amount as Jeep, down a disturbing 26% after enjoying spectacular gains in the past couple of years. Renault (+32%) and Lexus (+76%) also impress, the latter thanks to the NX accounting for 39% of its July sales.

Toyota Camry Australia July 2015. Picture courtesy new model lifts Toyota Camry sales up 18% to 7th place.

The Toyota Corolla, helped by the facelifted hatchback, takes a serious option at a third consecutive Australian annual win with 3.573 sales and 3.9% vs. 2.825 and 3.1% for its archenemy the Mazda3. Year-to-date, the Corolla adds up to 25.323 (-2%) vs. 23.252 (-10%). In third after an astounding win in June is the Hyundai i30, still very solid at 2.750 units (+13%) while Toyota Hilux sales (-18%) are now yearning for the new model due in October, the Mitsubishi Triton is boosted up 64% to 2.238 units and overtakes the Holden Commodore year-to-date to #6, the Toyota Camry is up 18% to #7, VW Golf up 21% to #10 and the Toyota Yaris up 34% to #12.

Renault Captur Australia July 2015. Picture courtesy Renault Captur is now among Australia’s 100 best-sellers.

Further down, the HR-V remains Honda’s best-seller in Australia at #22, the VW Polo is up to #24 with 1.007 sales, the Land Rover Discovery Sport (#82) and Renault Captur (#84) both break into the Australian Top 100 for the first time, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer shows its bonnet at #109 and the LDV G10 breaks into the Top 200 at #197. As far as newcomers in the sales charts are concerned, the all-new Hyundai Tucson lands at #153 with 99 units sold, the Mercedes V-Class at #172 (58 sales) and the Mercedes GLE at #245 (9 deliveries)

Previous post: Australia 1st Half 2015: Mazda graduates to #2 in record market

Q2 2015 update: Australia 2nd Quarter 2015: Toyota Hilux #1, Mazda CX-3 shoots up

Previous month: Australia June 2015: Hyundai i30 surprise leader in record market

One year ago: Australia July 2014: Corolla edges past Mazda3 year-to-date

Full July 2015 Top 50 All-brands and Top 290 All-models & Full 2015 YTD figures below.

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Australia 1st Half 2015: Mazda graduates to #2 in record market

Mitsubishi Triton Australia June 2015. Picture courtesy new Triton helps lift Mitsubishi up to 5th place overall in the brands charts.

* See the Top 50 All-brands and Top 303 All-models by clicking on the title *

Australia is the first of a special series on BSCB covering the Top 20 worldwide market in detail for the 1st Half of 2015. New car sales in Australia are up 3% year-on-year so far in 2015 to an all-time high of 578.427 deliveries, beating the previous best of 573.711 sales hit in 2013. 2015 is therefore on track to be the best year in history in Australia, with the 2013 record of 1.136.227 registrations in the balance. We are witnessing momentous shifts in the Australian brands ranking that are the result of the announcement over a year ago that all local manufacturers (Toyota, Holden and Ford) will cease operations by end-2016. If Toyota keeps the pole position by far it sees its market share thaw from 18% a year ago to 17.5% so far in 2015 with sales up just 1% to 101.084.

Mazda2 Australia June 2015. Picture courtesy is up 9% to just under 10% market share in Australia.

Reversely, full importer Mazda jumps 9% to finish the period just below 10% market share at 56.591 deliveries, historically and frankly outpacing Holden down 9% to 51,737 units and 8.9% share. Mazda is running from success to success in Australia – one of its strongest markets in the world – choosing it as the first overseas country for the CX-3 (it is already #43 over H1) and continuing strong sales of the Mazda3 (#2) and Mazda2 (#17 and leader in its segment). Hyundai lurks just behind Holden at 8.7% (+1%) and, if long-term trends are to be followed, should overtake Holden by the time 2015 comes to an end. The Korean manufacturer is going through an image change with the Genesis gathering pace (#182) and a historical win for the i30 in June when it was the outright best-seller in the country.

Foton Tunland Australia June 2015. Picture courtesy stops 9 units short off a Top 30 ranking in H1 2015.

Helped by the new generation Triton (#7) and a revived ASX (#26), Mitsubishi leaps 10% year-on-year to 5th overall in the brands charts, overtaking Ford (-17%), while Volkswagen (+14%) is now threatening Nissan (-1%) for #7 overall. Honda delivers the largest year-on-year improvement in the Top 10 at +33% mainly thanks to the HR-V, already the brand’s best-seller over the period at #32. Further down, Mercedes (+25%), BMW (+16%), Audi (+17%), Isuzu (+30%), Suzuki (+14%), Renault (+34%) and Lexus (+25%) shine in the Top 20. Skoda (+30%), Porsche (+59%) and Mini (+61%) impress below. Just as Great Wall (-93%) and Chery (-55%) disintegrate and before Haval launches, we welcome two new Chinese manufacturers: Foton at #31 and LDV at #36.

Nissan X-Trail Australia June 2015. Picture courtesy Nissan X-Trail is up to #13 so far in Australia.

In the models ranking, the Toyota Corolla keeps the lead above the Mazda3, Toyota Hilux and Hyundai i30 like in 2014, the Ford Ranger outpaces the Holden Commodore for the first time, the Mitsubishi Triton makes it 3 utes (Australian for pickup truck) in the Top 7 – along with the Holden Colorado (#11), Mazda BT-50 (#19) and Isuzu D-Max (#20) there are 6 in the Top 20 vs. just 4 one year ago. The Mazda CX-5 once again leads the booming SUV segment, improving its ranking to #8 and followed by the Hyundai ix35 (#12), Nissan X-Trail (#13), Toyota RAV4 (#14), Prado (#16) and Kluger (#21). The Subaru Outback at #30 vs. #103 in FY2014 and Liberty at #72 vs. #151 sign two of the most impressive improvements in the Top 100 thanks to much sharper pricing.

Previous post: Australia 2nd Quarter 2015: Toyota Hilux #1, Mazda CX-3 shoots up

June post: Australia June 2015: Hyundai i30 surprise leader in record market

Q1 2015 post: Australia 1st Quarter 2015: Mazda2 soars to segment lead

FY 2014 post: Australia Full Year 2014: Toyota Corolla holds onto top spot

One year ago: Australia June 2014: Toyota Corolla #1, Mitsubishi Triton breaks records

Full H1 2015 Top 50 All-brands and Top 303 All-models below.

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Australia 2nd Quarter 2015: Toyota Hilux #1, Mazda CX-3 shoots up

Mazda CX-3 Australia June 2015. Picture courtesy a common sight on Australian roads: the Mazda CX-3.

* See the Top 292 All-models ranking by clicking on the title *

After focusing on Australian June sales we can now go through the all-models ranking for the 2nd Quarter of 2015. Lots of movement in a traditionally very stable ranking and a surprise on top: regularity at high levels is rewarded for the Toyota Hilux, finishing #1 over the period at 10.243 units, just above the leader year-to-date, the Toyota Corolla at 10.073 sales. Fresh from its historical overall June win, the Hyundai i30 climbs onto the podium during the 2nd Quarter with 9.485 deliveries – 58% sold in June. All this activity knocks the Mazda3 down to #4 ahead of the Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton, both improving on their Q1 respective rankings (#6 and #8). The VW Golf at #8 and Holden Colorado at #10 are the other significant gainers in the Top 10.

Toyota Kluger Australia June 2015. Picture courtesy new generation lifts the Toyota Kluger up to #17 in Q2.

Outside the Top 10, SUVs make for the majority of improvers: the Toyota Prado is up to #14 vs. #21 in Q1, the Isuzu D-Max is up 12 spots on Q1 to #16, the Toyota Kluger takes advantage of its new generation to leap up 10 spots vs. Q1 to #17, the Mazda CX-3 lands at #21 with 3.386 sales for its first full quarter in the Australian market – an astounding performance that leaves its direct competitor, the Honda HR-V although impressive at #26 with 3.069 units, in the dust. Other great performers in the Australia Top 50 over the 2nd Quarter include the Kia Cerato up to #24 (#32 in Q1), the Subaru Outback at #30, the VW Polo at #34 (#45 in Q1), the VW Amarok at #35 (#42), and just outside, the Holden Captiva 5 at #51 (vs. #69) and the Isuzu MU-X at #52 (vs. #58).

LDV G10 Ausrtralia June 2015. Picture courtesy in Australia: Chinese LDV’s new G10 van.

Among nameplates launched or re-launched this year, the Suzuki Celerio is up 34 spots on its Q1 ranking to #128, the Hyundai Sonata is up two to #138, the Renault Captur up 6 to #142 and the BMW i8 up 19 to #253. There are six “new” models reaching Australian shores over the period, led by the Land Rover Discovery Sport at #147. 3 Holdens – that are in fact Opel rebadges now that the brand was terminated here – arrive: the Astra Sport at #179, the Cascada at #182 and the Insignia at #227. Add to these the Chinese-made LDV G10 at #264 and the Mercedes AMG GT at #274 for a complete listing of the Australian newcomers in Q2.

Previous post: Australia June 2015: Hyundai i30 surprise leader in record market

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Australia June 2015: Hyundai i30 surprise leader in record market

Hyundai i30 Australia June 2015. Picture courtesy Hyundai i30 is the best-selling vehicle in Australia for the first time in history.

* See the Top 48 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

Despite hiccups in the overall economy and mining in Western Australia slowing down drastically, never before had Australians purchased that many new vehicle in a single month: the 125.850 registrations of June are the highest-ever monthly score in the history of automobile in the country, up a full 6% year-on-year and on the previous June 2013 record of 118.758 units. Halfway through the year, new car sales add up to an all-time high of 578.427 deliveries, up 3% on 2014 and 0.8% ahead of the previous best of 573.711 sales established in 2013. At this rate, 2015 will be the best year in history in Australia, beating the 2013 record of 1.136.227 registrations. SUVs keep pushing the market up with sales up 15% year-on-year to 42.256 units and a 33.6% market share. Australian website quotes FCAI chief executive Tony Weber: “According to CommSec, car affordability in Australia is the best it has ever been. 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.”

Hyundai Excel Australia 1998. Picture courtesy motoburg.comThe last (and only) time a Hyundai topped the Australian sales charts was in June 1998.

Before we go into the detail of the brands and models ranking, let’s get straight to one of the biggest surprises in recent years: the Hyundai i30 taking the lead of the Australian models ranking for the first time with an astounding 5.521 sales and 4.4% share, up 70% on June 2014. This result, coming on the back of a $19,990 drive-away with free auto promotion, is exceptional both in absolute terms as a pure sales performance and relative terms for Hyundai. The i30 achieves the highest monthly volume of any nameplate in Australia in 8 years, since June 2007 when the Toyota Corolla clocked up 5.89o deliveries… It is the first time since December 2008 (Holden Commodore – 5.413 units) than a car manages to sell over 5.000 units in a single month in Australia. It is only the 2nd month in Australian history that Hyundai places one of its models atop the sales charts, the only previous one being June 1998 when the Excel popped up at #1.

Mazda CX-3 Honda HR-V Australia June 2015. Picture courtesy CX-3 helps Mazda sales up 23% and the HR-V boosts Honda deliveries up 70%.

Toyota maintains its stranglehold over the brands ranking with sales up 3% to 21.501 and 17.1% share, ahead of Holden back up two spots on May to #2 and 9.5% despite a 3% year-on-year decline, Mazda up an impressive 23% to 9.2%, Hyundai up 10% to 8.7% and Mitsubishi up 9% to 7.2%. Ford freefalls 17% to #6 and also slips below Mitsubishi to #6 year-to-date, Volkswagen is up 8% and Honda leaps 70% thanks to the success of the HR-V. Notice also Subaru up 17% (#10), Mercedes up 20% (#12), BMW up 28% (#13), Isuzu up 26% (#14), Audi up 22% (#16), Renault up 36% and Lexus up 60%. Reversely Nissan drops 17% and Jeep slips 15%.

Subaru Outback Australia June 2015. Picture courtesy Outback

In the models ranking, below the stunning performance of the Hyundai i30, the Toyota Hilux drops just one spot to #2 with sales stable year-on-year to 4.281 and the runout mode approaching in the wake of the launch of the new generation in October. The Toyota Corolla manages to edges back past its archenemy the Mazda3 at 4.152 deliveries (-11%) vs. 4.127 (+2%) and maintains its year-to-date overall leadership with 21.750 sales (-2%) vs. 20.417 (-9%) for the Mazda3. The Mitsubishi Triton (#5) and Ford Ranger (#6) both drop one spot but remain solid, as opposed to the Holden Commodore down 12% to #7 and dropping from #4 to #6 in the year-to-date ranking. The VW Golf (+19%), Mazda CX-5 (+14%) and Nissan X-Trail (#11) all shine, as do the Honda Jazz (1.439 sales), HR-V (1.300), Subaru Outback (1.257) and Mazda CX-3 (955)

Previous month: Australia May 2015: Discounted Toyota Hilux takes the lead

One year ago: Australia June 2014: Corolla #1, Mitsubishi Triton breaks records

Full June 2015 Top 48 All-brands and Top 25 models below.

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Australia May 2015: Discounted Toyota Hilux takes the lead

Toyota Hilux Australia May 2015. Picture courtesy Hilux is the best-selling vehicle in Australia in May.

* Now updated with the Top 50 All-brands and Top 15 models *

The Australian new car market ends three consecutive months of growth in May at -1% to 93.327 registrations, however the year-to-date total remains in positive territory at +2.5% and 452.577 units. A testimony to the scheduled death of local manufacturing in Australia, out of all new vehicles sold in the country, 26.807 were manufactured in Japan, 20.090 in Thailand, 10.523 in Korea, 7.560 in Germany and only 7.139 at home in Australia. May sales confirm the rise and rise of SUVs at +6% and 32.530 deliveries, adding to 157.415 so far in 2015 (+13%) while passenger cars keep on falling at -7% and 40.592 units this month and 204.366 year-to-date (-5%).

Mitsubishi Triton Australia May 2015. Picture courtesy month of Australian sales for the new gen Mitsubishi Triton.

Even though they were up just 1% year-on-year, light commercial vehicles – namely pickup trucks or “utes” as they are called here – are the heroes of the month in Australia. According to FCAI, LCVs were popular with government (+6%) and business buyers (+3%) while sales to private buyers declined 3%. Private purchases of light commercials are still up 11% year-to-date. Business purchases traditionally tend to surge with the arrival of the end of financial year on June 30. The Toyota Hilux takes the overall lead of the model sales charts for the first time since June 2013 despite sales down 4% year-on-year to 3.173, just as the next generation model was unveiled simultaneously in Bangkok and Sydney on May 21. The Hilux dominates the Mazda3 (-13%) and Toyota Corolla (-31%) which however remains #1 year-to-date.

Nissan Navara Australia May 2015. Picture courtesy new Nissan Navara just launched in Australia.

There are two more utes in the Top 5: the Mitsubishi Triton is up 19% to reach a fantastic 4th place with 2.683 sales. Just as the new generation hit Australian dealerships on May 1, the outgoing Triton is still on Mitsubishi’s catalogue, starting at a bargain basement $20.990 and will continue to be available alongside the new model (priced at $24.490-47.490) for at least the rest of this year, potentially beyond. The Ford Ranger, also entering the vivifying run-out mode waters before the new gen comes out in September, is up 4% to #5, passing the Hyundai i30 year-to-date and now threatening the Holden Commodore for the #4 spot in 2015 at 10.772 deliveries vs. 10.997. The new Nissan Navara has just launched and the new generation Hilux will be available in Australian showrooms in October, so a lot of activity planned for the Australian ute market for the remainder of the year.

Ford Ranger Australia May 2015. Picture courtesy Ford Ranger now ranks at a best-ever #5 so far in 2015 in Australia.

The arrival of the small crossovers such as the Mazda CX-3 (1.035 sales this month) and Honda HR-V (910 deliveries) is substantially impacting the small car segment in Australia: sales of small cars under $40.000 are in freefall at -17% year-on-year in May. Most best-sellers fell sharply this month: in order of popularity the Mazda3 (-13%), Toyota Corolla (-31%), VW Golf (-9%), Hyundai i30 (-35%), Holden Cruze (-25%), Nissan Pulsar (-20%), Ford Focus (-51%) and Honda Civic (-48%) display unusually high decline rates. Only the Kia Cerato (+94%), Mitsubishi Lancer (+44%) and Subaru Impreza (+14%) keep their heads out of the water but for each of them this is because of large price-cuts or very strong driveaway deals.

Hyundai i20 Australia May 2015The Hyundai i20 ranks #9 in May.

In the brands ranking, Toyota remains sovereign, however its sales are down a slightly worrying 11% year-on-year to 16.4% share vs. 17.6% year-to-date. Reversely, Mazda is pushed up 12% by the CX-3 and CX-5 and Hyundai, #3 again, is threatening to kick Holden out of the 2015 podium at 39.092 sales so far this year (-1%) vs. 39.809 (-10%). Mitsubishi gains 3 spots on April to #5, distancing Ford (-14%), Volkswagen (+13%) and Nissan (-29%). Subaru is up an excellent 14% at #9, Honda is lifted by the HR-V (910 deliveries) and up 22%, Kia up 15%, BMW up 29%, Audi up 23% and Renault up 20%.

Previous post: Review of the Australian Tesla Model S

Previous month: Australia April 2015: Mazda CX-3 only 10 units off Top 10

One year ago: Australia May 2014: Jeep Grand Cherokee breaks into Top 10

Full May 2015 Top 50 All-brands and Top 15 models below.

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Tesla Model S: Believe the hype? Yessir.

Tesla Model S Sydney 2015Which one looks more expensive?

The Tesla Model S is without a doubt one of the most impressive success stories of the past 24 months. It ranked #1 in Norway not once, but 3 times: in September 2013, December 2013 and March 2014, totalling 22.000 worldwide sales in 2013, up to 33.000 in 2014 and on track for 40.000 this year. Tesla’s market valuation has been the subject of much talk, being more akin to a high tech company than a car manufacturer: at $26 billion, it is higher than that of Fiat Chrysler ($20 billion) and just under half that of Ford or General Motors, whereas Tesla produces in one year what GM or Ford produce in one day. All this while posting a $US154 million loss in the first quarter of 2015, a three-fold increase over the same period in 2014 and not expecting to make a profit until 2017…

Tesla Sydney dealershipThe Tesla Sydney dealership, one of only 3 in Australia – the two others are in Melbourne.

Should we all believe the hype? There’s only one way to find out. As the Model S rolled out in Australia in early 2015, it’s time for me to test drive this baby and make up my mind once and for all. Despite repeated requests, Tesla won’t communicate official sales figures for Australia (you may have noticed the carmaker does not appear in the local sales charts), citing global quarterly reports instead. Reading between the lines while speaking with the Tesla Sydney team, I learnt that Tesla sales in Australia are not as limited as I expected, with over a hundred shipped in only a couple of months instead of the few dozen I had anticipated. A figure in line with the 178 Infiniti and 177 Maserati sold in the country over the first 4 months of 2015.

Telsa Model S Blue. Picture courtesy exists in blue…

I drove the Tesla Model S P85+ fitted with the $7990 optional high-performance, which lifts its price to AUD$ 135.880 (US$ 105.330). Seems like a lot, but it’s not, because in terms of refinement and performance, it’s roughly equivalent to a BMW M6 Gran Coupe worth $300k here. I wanted to test the Tesla Australia experience as a whole so signed up for a rather anonymous test drive enquiry to test their website’s claim that “We’ll do our best to reach you within one day.” Promises, promises. Fact is, a Tesla rep was on the phone with me only a few hours after my enquiry. Once they realised I was media, my enquiry was fast-tracked and I picked up my burgundy Tesla for the day less than a week after that. So far so good Tesla. I did slap myself on the wrist though when Tesla politely refused to lend me the car for two days. Right. It’s not like I can refuel in the middle of nowhere Australia and come back the next day.

Tesla Charging stationsTesla charging stations: still way too few of them in Australia.

Australian charging stations are still far and few between. In fact, apart from the Sydney store there is only one additional Tesla charging location in town, near the city centre so no use to me on the day. Let’s get the range anxiety out of the way first: no I did not fall flat and embarrassed in the middle of nowhere, but it was a close call. I opted for a 130km return trip to Royal National Park south of Sydney, which should have been well within the bounds of my ride’s claimed 500km range. However with a couple of hours of city driving, a few hardcore accelerations and a peak of 160km/h on the highway, the battery indicator had turned to a very uninviting dark brown by day end: the car’s own way to let you know that you are in deep sh.. I mean trouble. To its credit, it kept me constantly updated km after km and for each trip you input it gives you the return trip consumption. Very handy and making it almost impossible to run out of power. The claimed 500km range is indicated by a nice red line on the central console, but unless you spend the entire day braking (and therefore recharging the batteries) it is almost impossible to stick to that level, supposedly reached at a constant 105 km/h. It didn’t work quite that way for me, even on the highway.

Tesla Model S. Picture courtesy it just me or the Tesla’s rear could be mistaken for a Jaguar?

Stepping inside the Tesla, you instantly forget this is a 4-door sedan as it does feel like a sports car all through and through. The seating position, the instruments and most of all, the acceleration. The range topping P85D, in Australia next month, is said to be the fastest-accelerating production sedan ever, hitting 100 km/h in only 3.4 sec. The P85+ I drove does this in 4.4 sec. And I can confirm that this mind-blowing figure that shatters all pre-conceived ideas I had about electric cars, is legit. My eye sockets still bear the imprints of my astonished eyeballs retracting inside as I reached the next block in less time than it took to write these last 3 words.

Happy Tesla driverImpressed Tesla driver.

Why so surprised? I hear you ask. The one single reason, apart from the fact that you don’t expect that kind of behaviour from a two tonne sedan, is the total absence of noise. Hitting 0 to 100 km/h in just over 4 sec without hearing a hint of exalted roaring from an engine finally unleashing the torque it’s been gagging for is somewhat of an alien experience. In fact I have never experienced such a thing before. It catches you almost every time because absolutely nothing from the car tells you it’s working hard. Effortless yet earth-shatteringly fast. It’s a different sensation altogether, and I now understand why a lot of punters are saying Tesla is manufacturing the car of the future, today. I was worried silence would kill the excitement of driving a fast car, but you have to drive it to realise this is as it should be, and as it should always have been.

Tesla Model S interior. Picture courtesy’s giant central LCD console is as impressive in real life as it is here.

The dashboard’s oversized touchscreen was perhaps the main feature I wanted to see to believe, and if it feels a little distracting for the first ten minutes, it is surprisingly user-friendly and becomes a second nature after half an hour on the road. It controls pretty much everything you want to control in the car, from the suspension mode to the rooftop opening, navigation, voice recognition, music… You name it, it does it. It’ll be hard to get back to anything less. Exterior design has never been Tesla’s forte in my opinion, but that’s just my opinion because as soon as I launched the car, people started pointing and showing their friends. I was the attraction in town, even during a quick drive to one of the wealthiest suburbs in Sydney, Mosman. Although I think it just kinda looks like a Jaguar, a surprisingly high amount of people are clearly trained to it and notice it very quickly. If you want to show off in a car, in 2015 Australia you’d be better off buying a Tesla than a Porsche, so common these days.

No engineNo engine under the bonnet…

It’s always fun to open the bonnet and find storage space, in addition to an already cavernous boot. There are no spare tyres: “One call and a Tesla rep will come and change the tyre for you”. But what if I’m miraculously in Alice Springs all of a sudden? Like the constant broadband wifi connection that goes with the car for the first two years, it’s also little things that show Tesla is taking a different route to reach luxury nirvana and I have to say I’m liking almost everything I’m seeing. Almost, because of the near absence of storage inside the cockpit (yes it’s a sports car but I need somewhere to put my latte so it doesn’t spill pretty please), and the handles supposedly coming out of the doors when sensing your approach having a few hiccups, which actually prevents you from opening the door: until they retract, there are no handles to handle. But fear not: like a computer, the Tesla Model S gets software updates around the clock so it’s easy to fix teething issues. I told you, the future. Can I keep it?

Australia 1946-2014: More detailed Historical Data now available

1958-1968 Wheels magazine covers featuring Japanese models (click on image to enlarge)

1960 Holden and Ford Falcon

* The direct links to 48 Australian Historical Data articles are below *

Australia has now become one of the most complete Historical Data countries on BSCB, covering the past 70 years in detail with official data going back as far as 1946. There is now official annual models rankings for the past 30 years without interruption: from 1986 onwards, a Top 50 from 1991 onwards, and every single monthly Top 20 from July 2002 onwards, that’s over 150 consecutive rankings.

Hyundai Excel Australia 1986The very first Hyundai advertisement in Australia, in April 1986.

Make sure you explore the four Vintage Photo Reports featuring dozens of original pictures: 1949-1959, 1960-1968, 1959-1968 special Japan and 1969-1976… Witness the launch of the Holden, ‘Australia’s own’, in 1949, the arrival of the Ford Falcon in 1960 to challenge the Holden domination, the landing of Japanese brands in the late fifties (Australia was Toyota’s very first export market), the arrival of Hyundai in 1986 (“posing very little threat to existing cars” according to the local press), the crowing of Toyota for the first time monthly in October 1990 and annually in 1991, and the arrival of Chinese manufacturers in 2009…  See how the Holden Torana and Kingswood perform and watch the Datsuns that managed to climb on the models ranking podium in the seventies…

Ford Falcon Australia 1983. Picture courtesy fotostation.ru1983 Ford Falcon

1988 Holden Commodore

From 1978 to 2008, witness one of the longest and most intense model battles in the world between the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon… If the Commodore took the advantage at the start, the Falcon led the way during most of the eighties, while in the nineties the fight got intense: only 191 units separated the two in 1992, with the Falcon the lucky winner that year. All in all, the Falcon peaked at 15.3% market share in 1987 while the Commodore hit a personal best of 12.8% in 1996 and sold 94,642 units in 1998, a record for any nameplate ever sold in Australia.

2011 Mazda3

From 1996 onwards it was the Commodore who took the reigns of the market, and did so for 15 consecutive years up until 2011 when the Mazda3 became the first imported model to rank #1 in Australia since World War 2… It got worse in 2012 with no local model on the podium. Look into the context in which the Hyundai Excel delivered one of the biggest surprises in the Australian automotive industry when it led the monthly ranking in June 1998The Toyota Corolla ranked #1 for the first time in September 2005 and dislodged the Ford Falcon from the 2nd place in 2006 to finally top the annual ranking in 2013 and do it again in 2014, marking 4 consecutive years with an import in first position.

Australia Historical Data:

Australia 1946-1947: Ford V8 tops post-war sales charts

Australia 1948-1949: Austin A40 dominates sales

Australia 1949-1959: Holden ‘Australia’s own’ launches

Australia 1960-1968: Ford unveils Falcon to challenge Holden

Australia 1958-1968: Toyota and Japan’s first export market

Australia 1969-1976: Ford catches up on Holden, a Datsun on the podium

Australia 1977: Ford Falcon dislodges long-term leader Holden Kingswood

Australia 1978: Holden Kingswood reclaims lead, Commodore #1 in December

Australia 1979-1981: Holden Commodore an instant hit

Australia 1982: Ford Falcon beats Holden Commodore

Australia 1983: Ford Falcon reigns

Australia 1984: Ford Falcon holds onto pole position, Ford Laser on podium

Australia 1985: Ford Falcon increases gap with Holden Commodore

Australia 1986: Hyundai lands, “posing very little threat”

Australia 1987: Ford Falcon hits all-time high 15.3 market share

Australia 1988: Ford Falcon at 13.3% share, holds off new Holden Commodore

Australia 1989: Holden Commodore on top, start of the ‘Falcadore’ era

Australia 1990: Holden Commodore #1, Toyota first Japanese carmaker #1 in October

Australia 1991: Toyota becomes #1 carmaker for the first time

Australia 1992: Ford Falcon passes Commodore for 191 units!

Australia 1993: Ford Falcon leads at 11.7%, Mitsubishi Magna #3 at 6.8%

Australia 1994: Holden Commodore reclaims top spot

Australia 1995: Last year of reign for Ford Falcon – hits 12.7%

Australia 1996: Commodore at record 12.8%, Hyundai Excel #3

Australia 1997: Commodore and Falcon down, Kia lands

Australia 1998: Commodore hits highest ever volume, Hyundai Excel #1 in June!

Australia 1999: Commodore leads but down 10%

Australia 2000: Commodore enjoys 5th year in a row at #1

Australia 2001: Commodore, Falcon and Toyota Corolla on podium

Australia 2002: Commodore in command, breaks monthly record

Australia 2003: Ford Falcon teases Holden Commodore

Australia 2004: Commodore undisputed leader

Australia 2005: Commodore and Falcon still dominate but slow down, Corolla #1 in September

Australia 2006: Commodore limits fall thanks to new gen, Falcon down to #3!

Australia 2007: Commodore resists new Corolla assault in millionaire market, Falcon down to #5

Australia 2008: Corolla #1 until July, Commodore saved by Sportwagon, Toyota Hilux #1 twice

Australia 2009: Commodore hits lowest volume ever, Mazda3 #1 in January, the Chinese arrive

Australia 2010: Commodore #1 for 15th year in a row

Australia 2011: Mazda3 breaks Holden Commodore domination and The best-sellers Sate by State

Australia 2011: The Chinese have well and truly landed

Australia 2012: Mazda3 #1, no local model on podiumAll-models ranking, and State by State

Australia 2013: Toyota Corolla finally tops record market, and The best-sellers State by State

Australia 2014: Toyota Corolla holds onto top spot, and The best-sellers State by State

Australia: 1984-2014 Nameplates records now available