Thanks to Paul I can share with you more Historical Data for Australia, and today we discover a fascinating fact: whereas a Holden topped the Australian sales charts right from the launch of the brand in 1948, we had to wait a full 30 years to see a Ford become the best-seller in the country: the Falcon achieved this momentous performance in 1977 when it edged out the Holden Kingswood for pole position. The Kingswood reclaimed its crown in 1978, before the new Holden Commodore set everyone straight in 1979, but that’s another story…
* See the Top 15 best-selling models and Top 46 All-brands by clicking on the title! *
The Australian new car market seems to be stuck this year – at record levels, mind you – with registrations down 0.4% to 89,867 units in July, bringing the year-to-date total to 649,818 sales, down 2% on 2013. Thanks to a 5th consecutive month atop the models sales charts (3,800 sales and 4.2% share), the Toyota Corolla edges past the Mazda3 in the year-to-date ranking, reclaiming the pole position it held over the Full Year 2013. It’s going to be another extremely tight race for the top spot this year, with only 21 units (25,966 vs. 25,945) separating the Corolla from the Mazda3, helped by an astounding start of the year. The Toyota Hilux (+6%), Holden Commodore (-13%), Hyundai i30 (+6%) and Ford Ranger (+14%) follow, exactly like year-to-date.
The Mazda CX-5 confirms its status of most popular SUV in Australia by reaching a best-ever 7th place thanks to 1,895 sales and 2.1% share (+16%), a ranking it also hit last January. The Holden Cruze (#9) and Colorado (#10) make it 3 Holdens inside the Top 10 for the first time in years, while the Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers its 2nd best-ever monthly ranking in the country at #11 and 1,409 sales (+18%) below the #10 spot it reached last May. Finally, notice the all-new Nissan Qashqai already making itself noticed with 604 sales.
Brand-wise, Toyota (-5%) and Holden (-11%) lead but drop while Hyundai (+4%) maintains itself in third position above Mazda (-6%) and Volkswagen gains 8% year-on-year in 8th place. Outside the Top 10, there are some very impressive gains indeed: Mercedes is up 29% to #11, Jeep up 35% to #13, Audi up 16% to #15, Isuzu up 59% to #16, Renault up 37% to #19, Fiat up 26% to #20 and Porsche up 68% to #26.
Full July 2014 Top 15 models and Top 46 All-brands Ranking Tables below.
Thanks to Paul I have just added more detailed Historical Data for two countries: Australia and the USA. For Australia, you now have access to a Top 10 ranking for 1978, 1988 and 1989 and for the US there is a Top 10 ranking for February 1978 which adds a different perspective to the figures already published on BSCN. These were very different times with a Top 10 composed of 10 American cars in the US (not a single Japanese model in sight) while in Australia Holden and Ford dominated with the Kingswood, Commodore and Falcon but there were already 5 Japanese cars inside the Top 10 in 1978, led by the Datsun 200B…
You can check out all Australian and American Historical Data updates here:
* See the Top 10 best-selling models and brands by clicking on the title *
In June, new car sales in Australia are down just 0.4% year-on-year on what was an all-time record month for the industry in June 2013, making June 2014 the second biggest month ever in the history of automobile in Australia at 118,309 registrations. June is traditionally the year’s strongest month in Australia as the end of the financial year pushes manufacturers to offer cut-throat prices to boost their sales results. Toyota is down 6% but remains leader at 20,808 sales and 17.6%.
Holden is up a spectacular 18% year-on-year to 12,332 units and 10.4% share, its highest total since June 2011 and the brand’s 10th consecutive month outperforming the market. Hyundai sells more than 10,000 vehicle in a single month in Australia for the first time ever at 10,008 units and 8.5%. Volkswagen is up 20% in 8th place and Kia is back inside the Top 10 at #10 with 3,305 sales and 2.8%.
Model-wise, the Toyota Corolla is the most popular model in the country for the 4th time in a row thanks to 4,648 sales and 3.9% share, the nameplate’s highest monthly results since December 2010 and its best June in 6 years. It is also the strongest monthly score for any model in Australia since the Mazda3 delivered 4,649 units in December 2012. Beating its archenemy the Mazda3 by 589 sales this month, the Corolla now trails the 3 by only 358 units in the year-to-date ranking at 22,166 sales vs. 22,459, both nameplates securing a 4% share of the Australian market.
Boosted by sharp rebates, the Mitsubishi Triton breaks all its records this month: after breaking into the monthly Top 5 for the first time last year and doing so 4 times (in February, May, June and December 2013), it now jumps onto the Australian podium for the very first time at a brilliant third place with 4,124 sales and 3.5% share. Its previous bests were #4 in May 2013, 3,956 sales in June 2013 and 3.1% in December 2013. The Triton even beat the mighty Hilux in the 4×4 pick-up sales charts this month and for the first time ever. In the Top 10, notice also the Ford Ranger up 65% to #6, the Holden Commodore up 47% at #7 and the Nissan Navara up 6 spots on May to #9.
Previous month: Australia May 2014: Jeep Grand Cherokee breaks into Top 10
Full June 2014 Top 10 models and brands Ranking Table below.
* See the Top 20 best-selling models and Top 10 brands by clicking on the title! *
New car sales in Australia are disappointingly down 3% year-on-year in May to 94,562 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 441,642 units, also down 3% on 2013. The SUV segment is the only one to gain ground on May 2013 at +2% while passenger cars (-4%) and light commercial vehicles (-8%) sink. Illustrating this trend, after the Toyota Prado (#7) and RAV4 (#8) both reached their all-time high monthly ranking last month, another SUV reaches record levels in May: the Jeep Grand Cherokee breaks into the Australian Top 10 for the very first time, smashing its previous high of #14 hit last January thanks to 1,694 sales and 1.8%, also its volume and share records.
This is the first time in the history of automobile in Australia that a Jeep manages to find its way among the 10 most popular vehicles in the country. It makes the Grand Cherokee more popular here than it is at home in the US where it currently ranks #23 so far in 2014 and last appeared inside the monthly Top 10 in… December 2005! Other great performers this month in Australia include the Holden Commodore up 61% year-on-year and faithful to the 4th place it also holds year-to-date, the Ford Ranger up 36% to #6, VW Golf up a fantastic 46% to #7 thanks to the new model and the Nissan X-Trail in 14th position with 1,448 sales vs. #22 year-to-date.
Atop the ranking, helped by the new sedan, the Toyota Corolla manages to finish first for the third consecutive month and the 7th time in the last 12 months thanks to 3,871 sales and 4.1% share (+6%) above the Toyota Hilux at 3,313 units and 3.5% (-10%) and the Mazda3 with 3,291 sales (+8%). However this is still not enough to compensate for the stunning figures the Mazda3 delivered in January and February and the Corolla still trails year-to-date at 17,518 sales vs. 18,465.
Brand-wise, Toyota still reigns supreme at 18.2% share despite sales down 9%, ahead of Holden at 9.5% (+9%), Hyundai at 8.9% (+5%) Mazda at 8.2% (-5%) and Ford at 7.3% (-4%). Nissan (+6%) is back above Mitsubishi (-18%) while Volkswagen (-11%) and Subaru (-9%) struggle. But the big event is the 10th place of Mercedes, jumping into the Australian Top 10 for the very first time thanks to sales up 10% year-on-year to 2,611 units. Thanks A and GLA Class!
Previous Australia post: Photo Snapshot: Bondi Beach, Sydney – Australia
Full May 2014 Top 20 models and Top 10 brands Ranking Tables below.
Latest Australian car sales figures show that:
1. Jeep is one of the fastest growing mass manufacturers in the country at +26% over the First Quarter 2014: only Renault does better in the Top 20 at +29%. The Grand Cherokee is up 45% over the period to #15, making it the first Jeep to enter Australia’s Top 15 favourite vehicles.
2. Volkswagen is slowly but surely making its mark in the very competitive Ute market (Australian for Pick-up truck) with the Amarok, up 63% year-on-year over Q1 2014 to #38 with 2,013 sales, by far its highest ever quarterly ranking.
3. The new generation Mercedes A Class completely turned around the nameplate’s sales in Australia, up 151% so far in 2014 at #60.
All 3 above trends were confirmed with a quick trip yesterday to Sydney’s most iconic beach: Bondi, with half a dozen of each model mentioned above spotted in a couple of hours. It’s always good to see numbers verified on the streets…
Previous Australian post: Australia April 2014: Toyota Prado, RAV4 hit all-time high rankings
Previous Australian Photo Report: The Australian Outback in a Skoda Octavia
Previous year-to-date post: Australia First Quarter 2014: Now with Top 300 All-models ranking
* See the Top 15 best-selling models and Top 45 All-brands by clicking on the title! *
New car sales in Australia hit their lowest month in two years, down 5% year-on-year to 80,710 new vehicles in April, the poorest result since April 2012 (79,097). The Toyota Corolla leads the models ranking ahead of the Mazda3, Toyota Hilux and Holden Commodore. In the Top 10, two Toyotas hit their all-time high monthly ranking: the RAV4 is up one spot to a best-ever 8th place with 1,548 sales and 1.9% while the Prado is up 3 ranks on last month and 27% on April 2013 to 1,725 units and 2.2%, earning it its best Australian monthly ranking at #7, also reached in April 2012 and May 2003.
Previous Australia post: Photo Report: The Australian Outback in a Skoda Octavia (2/2)
Previous data post: Australia First Quarter 2014: Now with Top 300 All-models ranking
Previous month: Australia March 2014: New sedan pushes Toyota Corolla up to #1
Full April 2014 Top 15 models and Top 10 brands Ranking Tables below.
This Part 2 of my Photo Report on the Australian Outback, you can check Part 1 here.
Now that we’ve described how utes are extremely well represented in Outback Australia, let’s weigh the pros and cons of the AU$34,690 1.8l TSI Skoda Octavia Elegance I drove. Firstly I need to shed my European angle over the Skoda brand as it hasn’t had the same history in Australia. A good way was to listen to what my Australian friend and Lexus RX driver David had to say. He expected a small compact car to turn up and was surprised at how big the Octavia was. Definitely not a embarrassing car to be seen in, he compared it to arriving at the Sheraton with a new Mini as he pointed out his interior designer had a Skoda. In Australia the Skoda name has an interesting quirk, as with most things European indeed.
It’s true that a car represents who you are, and it appears that here one would rather be represented by Skoda than Kia, Hyundai or even Toyota. It just seems cooler. Given Skoda’s role in the Volkswagen Group in Australia is to compete with Japanese and Korean brands, they are on the right track here. Value for money is what Skoda has been renown for in Europe and it rings true in Australia too. It is very spacious for the price, the boot is cavernous and the cockpit feels more comfortable than my dad’s 5 year-old Audi A3. It’s tight on the road with the turbocharged engine delivering a sporty drive. The controls are intuitive, the sat nav zoom is satisfyingly granular and the altimeter very precise.
A few pleasing details for a car of this price range: the cruise control automatically slows you down to keep at safe braking distance from the car in front without cancelling itself and resumes to the set speed again when the road ahead is clear, the bluetooth connectivity once set up actually works and recognises your phone without fail every time, to the point that it makes you feel the phone will stay connected in the car long after we’ve given it back! All in all, there are a lot of well thought-out things in the Skoda Octavia.
If the fuel economy is neither here or there (by European standards) at 7.5l/km on our 1600km road trip, there are a few elements that remind you this is a car manufactured on a budget. The audio system lacks richness of sound no matter how you adjust it and even though it has got a subwoofer it lacks mid-range. The glovebox is flimsy, as are the electric window buttons and the boot cover, plus there is no sunglasses holder. Finally one of the frustrations of driving in the Australian Outback is swarms of insects throwing themselves onto the windscreen, and for this the Octavia’s lightweight wipers didn’t rise to the challenge. Now that you know what I think of the Octavia, let’s get back to the Australian Outback car landscape.
As far as SUVs are concerned, I was surprised to spot more than a few latest Toyota Prado and Ford Kuga in Bourke, while the Hyundai ix35 was a repeat occurrence on the 200km straight stretch of road between Dubbo and Bourke where only a dozen vehicles passed us by – half of them massive long distance trucks, called Road Trains here. I only spotted a couple of Mazda CX-5 over the two days spent in the Outback and whereas I have started seeing 3 or 4 new generation Mazda3 per day in Sydney, there were none in the area, seemingly indicating Mazda buyers tend to be city slickers.
An Australian specialty that is now an endangered species is the sedan-derived ute, and I saw a few new generation entry model Holden Commodore utes, something you’d be hard-pressed to spot in Australian cities. In Bourke I had the opportunity to interview Commodore ute driver Scott Kelly. Tellingly, his Commodore is a company car that gets changed over every 18 months after 90,000 km, so he tended to distance himself a little from it (A large part of Commodores sold in Australia nowadays are bought as fleet). Scott didn’t seem too fussed whether the car he drove was a Toyota, a Holden or a Ford, but while “Other cars can be flimsy, the Commodore gets you good protection from roos” in the form of a powerful V6 engine block and strong brakes – no roo bars on Scott’s car.
Another striking element when studying the car landscape in Bourke is the very high prevalence of Great Wall vehicles. Our hotel manager Del Borthistle is one happy owner: “About a year ago the fifth gear of my Toyota Hilux went for the second time on my way back from Goondiwindi (QLD) – 570km away – plus I had already had the engine done on it, so I thought it was time to get myself a reliable car. I do the trip a few times a month, and sometimes I can only decide to leave at the last minute so I really can’t afford to worry about whether my car is capable or not. My daughter already drives a Great Wall SUV and she suggested I do too. I went to the Dubbo (NSW) dealer – 370 km away – traded my Hilux in, and within a week I was driving the Great Wall back to Bourke – they even fixed the roo bars in the meantime. I only paid $25,000 and have had absolutely no issues with it.”
When asked what is her angle on the ‘made in China’ tag, she waves it off: “you know some of my clothes I buy from Australian brands fall apart after no time whereas clothes made in China last longer, so I don’t mind at all.” Del’s Hilux was 12 years and 250,000km old, and she admits “my brother drove all brands of utes and he always goes back to his Hilux, so I must have got the bad one of the batch but I just had enough.” If Great Wall has managed to convince buyers like Del in Outback Australia where reliability is crucial as the next town can be up to 500km away with no petrol station in between, it seems fair to say the Chinese carmaker has a bright future ahead of it, even though it is struggling a bit so far in 2014.
This concludes the first Australian Outback Photo Report of its kind, I hope you enjoyed!
I have been mentioning the new generation Skoda Octavia on BestSellingCarsBlog a lot in the past 6 months as it progressively climbed the European rankings to reach an all-time high 5th place in October and November 2013, ranking inside the Top 10 for 5 consecutive months between October 2013 and February 2014, whereas this had happened only twice before in the nameplate’s 16 year career. So far, 3.7 million Octavias have found a buyer since 1996.
Is this dramatic step-change in sales justified? What does it feel like to drive the car? I was lucky enough to be lent an Octavia by Skoda for a few days and thought it would be a good opportunity to evaluate how it withstands the harsh Australian terrain and how it is perceived in this country. I took it for a 1,600 km road trip from Sydney to the small town of Bourke in the Australian Outback, this way also reporting to you on the car landscape in a very unique region in Australia with the help of my photographer mate David.
Skoda has a relatively short current history in Australia: it relaunched here in 2007 after being present from the 50s to the 70s. Skoda sales were up 3% in 2013 to 3,555 units at #25 – below Fiat and Peugeot and above Chrysler and Mini – and are down 11% so far in 2014 to 726 sales. Back in October 2012 at the Sydney Motor Show I had a long chat with Skoda Director at the time Matthew Wiesner who told me “Skoda’s role in the Volkswagen Group in Australia is to create a very strong presence amongst the Japanese and Korean brands. We aim to be somewhere between 1 and 2% of the market by 2019.” In 2013 Skoda’s best-seller in Australia was, wait for it, the Octavia at #132 overall and 37% of Skoda sales here.
So it’s with Skoda’s best-seller worldwide and in Australia that we will explore the car landscape in Outback Australia, and it changes drastically as soon as you leave the outskirts of Sydney to cross the Blue Mountains and land in sheep shearing and cotton country in Bathurst, Dubbo and finally Bourke. Sturdier vehicles are required and the constant danger of having your car wrecked by kangaroos crossing the road at night means most 4WD are equipped with huge roo bars – the Australian equivalent to bull bars – I even spotted a Toyota Camry with one!
The agricultural activity in the region pushes the market share of utes (Australian slang for pick-up trucks) way up. The Toyota Corolla and Mazda3, national and New South Wales leaders, are very scarce. Instead, the preferred passenger car options remain large cars like the all-new Holden Commodore, Toyota Camry and Kia Optima (a surprise to me as it only ranked #116 nationally in 2013), indicating that this region of Australia has kept the purchase pattern that characterised Australian sales 6 to 8 years ago.
In fact, the car landscape is closer to what Queensland or Northern Territory 2013 sales charts would indicate, which makes sense as the area I drove to is culturally closer to these two States. The Toyota Hilux should be the best-seller in the area by far, but the Mitsubishi Triton strikingly outperforms its national level here as well, as does the Toyota Land Cruiser 70 ute which has become iconic in the region as well as in mining Western Australia. I will venture an estimated Top 5 best-sellers in Outback New South Wales: 1. Toyota Hilux 2. Holden Commodore 3. Toyota Land Cruiser pick-up 4. Mitsubishi Triton 5. Toyota RAV4.
All utes are over-represented, especially the VW Amarok which has now infiltrated even the most remote stations both in its highest double cab 4WD spec and its lower plastic bumper 2WD spec, and the Great Wall V-Series (aka Steed), equally frequent throughout the trip. I also spotted two Mahindra Scorpio and one Tata Xenon. When I told you Australian farmers loved their utes, any utes, that’s what I meant.
Next we review what’s good and what’s not with the Skoda Octavia, and interview two Outback Australians about their latest car purchase: a Holden Commodore ute and a Great Wall SUV… Stay tune for Part 2 of this Photo Report!
Financial hurdles beset many people, and reputable lenders know this. Lenders understand that people recover from bad credit, and they are prepared to lend money to those in this position. Unfortunately, though, many such applicants make key errors in their applications, which results in those applications being rejected. Here are five ways to boost your chances of approval.
1. Full and Complete Disclosure
Be completely honest in your application. Many applicants attempt to improve the perception of their true financial position by making untrue claims in their application, or by leaving out key items that they believe make them look bad. Kyle Rhys from www.badcreditcarloan.com.auexplains why this is a bad strategy: “Lenders need to trust you,” he says. “Trust is absolutely vital to approving any loan application. So, no matter how bad you think your true position is, or how poor your history might look, tell the absolute truth. However poor you believe your history to be, the lender has seen worse.” Mt Rhys says getting an independent professional’s assistance can make all the difference to presenting an application that a reputable financier will understand and approve.
2. Fix your Credit file
It’s essential to review and repair your credit file. Mistakes are often made in individuals’ credit files, and these can reflect poorly on applications. If yours has errors in it, you can easily contact the organizations that have made the entries in your file, and discuss the matters direct with them. For more information on accessing your credit file, search on Google for a free credit reporting website.
3. Demonstrate solid employment
Lenders invariably look for a stable employment history – because stable employment demonstrates stable income, which is necessary to service any debt. Kyle Rhys says lenders prefer to see longer periods with fewer employers. “If you can demonstrate you can hold down your job for significant periods, rather than jump often from job to job, with gaps of unemployment between, that will go a long way to getting your application approved.”
Additional debt, in the form of a car loan, will require spare income capacity to service. If your bank records show that you can save regularly – even if it’s only a small amount each week, this will be evidence that you have that income capacity required to service the new debt.
5. Manage Debt responsibly
Pay attention to your existing debt and loan obligations. Ensure repayments are made on time, and in the case of credit cards, make sure the amounts repaid are greater than the minimum monthly payment required.