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Australia March 2017: Hilux leads, SUV beat passenger cars again

ford-ranger-toyota-hilux-australia-november-2016-picture-courtesy-autocar-co-nzThe Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger lead the Australian models ranking in March.

* See the Top 25 brands and Top 286 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Australian new vehicle market edges up 0.9% year-on-year this month to snatch a record March volume at 105.410 units. Yet due to declines both in January and February, sales are down 2.1% over the First Quarter to 279.345. For the second consecutive time – and ever – SUVs outsell passenger cars this month at 39.4% share vs. 37% while light commercial vehicles grab 20.9%. This means SUV also lead passenger cars year-to-date as well, a historical shift of the Australian market. Medium-sized SUVs make themselves noticed with a 18.3% year-on-year gain this month.

The market is up year-on-year this month solely thanks to business sales up 6.5% to 44.511 while private sales are down 3.4% to 49.054. Looking into every state, Victoria is up 5.5% to 29.252, South Australia is up 5% to 6.387, Tasmania up 2% to 1.536 and ACT even at 1.683 but all other states are down: New South Wales down 0.8% to 35.677, Queensland down 1% to 21.217, Western Australia down 4% to 8.712 and Northern Territory down 7.5% to 946. 30.736 vehicles sold in Australia this month came from Japan, followed by Thailand at 26.470, South Korea at 14.731, Germany at 7.925 and Australia at 5.390.

Brand-wise, Toyota shines with a 10% year-on-year gain to 18.5% share, distancing Mazda (+2%) and Hyundai (-10%) while Mitsubishi remains at an outstanding 4th place thanks to sales up 16%. Holden is down 14% in 5th place above Ford solid at +6%, Nissan (-3%) and Volkswagen (-4%). Subaru (+4%) beats the market to #9 overall but the most impressive marque in the Top 10 is Kia gaining 39% to #10 – the largest gain in the Top 25. Further down, notice Renault up 5%, Mercedes up 7.5%, Jaguar up 10% and Lexus up 27%.

Two “utes” (Australian slang for pickup truck) dominate the Australian sales charts for the third time ever after last October and November: the Toyota Hilux is up 9% on March 2016, snapping the pole position above the Ford Ranger (+30%) while the Toyota Corolla (-1%) Mazda3 (-3%), Mitsubishi Triton (-3%) and Hyundai i30 (-43%) all struggle year-on-year. In the case of the Mitsubishi Triton, despite the decline a fifth place is a great performance to be compared with #7 year-to-date and #9 in 2016. It also makes three utes in the Top 5. The Toyota Camry post a very solid 20% improvement to rank 7th while the Hyundai Tucson (+70%) takes the SUV crown off the Mazda CX-5 (-6%) but remains below over the First Quarter. The Holden Commodore skids down 19% to round up the Top 10.

Below, a slew of nameplates post very impressive gains. They include the Holden Colorado (+39%), Toyota RAV4 (+27%), Nissan Navara (+51%), Kia Cerato (+123%), Mitsubishi Outlander (+65%), Nissan Qashqai (+47%), Kia Sportage (+47%), Toyota Land Cruiser (+51%) and Subaru Impreza (+80%). Thanks to the new generations, the VW Tiguan is up 164% to #32 and the Mazda CX-9 up 755% to #33.

Previous month: Australia February 2017: SUVs above passenger cars, market dips 7.7%

One year ago: Australia March 2016: Third win in 10 months for the Hyundai i30

Full March 2017 Top 25 brands and Top 286 All-models below.

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