* Now updated with the Top 284 All-models and Top 20 brands – click on title to see *
Despite a slight 0.5% drop in March to 104.512 registrations, the Australian new car market is still on record-beating pace so far in 2016 with sales up 3% over the first Quarter to 285.328 units. State-wise, New South Wales (Sydney) continues on its impressive run with sales up 6.5% and, with ACT (Canberra) up 4%, is the only State to gain ground year-on-year, with Western Australia (Perth) dropping a worrying 8% in the wake of the mining slowdown affecting the region. SUV sales continue to pull the market up at +8% to 38.437 sales and 38% share in March vs. -9% to 43.652 and 41.5% for passenger cars, while light commercials (including pickups) are up 7% to 19.741. Even though it is evolving at record heights, the Australian is artificially pulled by fleet sales in March (+9%), with rental sales up 1% but government sales down 5% and, most tellingly, private sales down 6% to 51.976 or 49.7% share.
Slowly but surely skidding towards an all-importing market once Ford, Holden and Toyota end local manufacturing by 2017, imports from Japan (28.690), Thailand (25.405), Korea (14.683) and Germany (7.386) all accounted for more than Australian-made cars (7.360). Brand-wise, Toyota struggles again at -6% but still leads by far a 17.1%, Mazda is up by a tiny 0.1% to 9.8% share while Hyundai shoots up 11% to 9.3%, a comfortable 1.3 pp above Holden at 8% (-3%). Inside the Top 10, Mitsubishi (+3%), Ford (+4%), Mercedes (+7%) but most impressively Subaru (+21%) all see their volume rise.
Below, Kia (+15%), BMW (+15%), Isuzu Ute (+50%), Volvo (+58%), Jaguar (+233%) and Chinese LDV (+281%) post significant gains. Among SUV specialists, Land Rover (+52%) overtakes Jeep (down a scathing 61%) for the first time in at least 5 years, whereas just one year ago, the American brand outsold Land Rover almost 3-to-1 (2.920 vs. 1.020). The passenger vehicle brands ranking tells a vastly different story, with Hyundai (7.245) trailing Toyota (7.253) for the overall lead by only 8 units. Mazda (4.871), Holden (4.460), Volkswagen (3.297), Kia (2.191), Mercedes (2.117), Ford (1.677) and Honda (1.673) follow. In the SUV aisle, Toyota leads as well (5.303) ahead of Mazda (4.121), Nissan (3.775), Subaru (3.526), Mitsubishi (3.086) and Holden (2.082).
The models ranking sees another momentous event. After June and September 2015, the Hyundai i30 manages a very impressing third win overall in ten months thanks to sales doubling year-on-year to 4.198, clearly ahead of its direct competitors the Toyota Corolla at 3.612 (-15%) and Mazda3 at 3.145 (-12%). Even though this win comes on the back of factory drive-away deals, the i30’s frequency at the top over the past year means its success isn’t a freak event anymore and it now has to be taken into account for the race to the overall title of best-seller in Australia, at a time when passenger cars are in great difficulty. Hyundai also manages to place the Accent at a record 9th place in March, but the Tucson drops out of the Top 15 after ranking at a very impressive 5th place in January.
Pickup trucks are now purchased as SUVs, and with new generations recently launched, the Toyota Hilux at #2 overall (+16%) and the Ford Ranger at #5 (+22%) are on a roll, with the Mitsubishi Triton at #6 and the Isuzu D-Max hitting an all-time high 12th place overall thanks to 1.792 sales. The Mazda CX-5 at #8 (-4%) remains the most popular SUV in the country and is only marginally affected by the arrival of the smaller CX-3 (#14), while the Nissan X-Trail cracks the Top 10 and the Subaru Forester is up 35% and 11 spots on February to #15.
One year ago: Australia March 2015: SUV sales push market up 8%
Full March 2016 Top 284 All-models and Top 20 brands below.