* NOW UPDATED with the Top 50 All-brands and Top 280 All-models *
The Australian new vehicle market is down 2.4% year-on-year in September to 100.200 registrations, meaning the year-to-date total is now only 0.2% ahead of the volume over the same period a year ago at a record 889.168 units. SUVs confirms their domination with a 38.9% market share ahead of 38.1% for passenger cars but commercials improve the most at 23% share. Private sales continue to struggle at -6% to 45.322 while business sales are down a more restrained 2.6% to 40.453. The market limits its fall thanks to strong rentals (7.789) and government fleets (3.241). All States and territories are in decline this month, with New South Wales the best performing at -0.7% to 34.168, followed by Victoria at -2.3% to 28.096, Queensland down 2.7% to 19.175 and Western Australia down 3.1% to 8.401. 65.088 petrol-powered cars found a buyer in September vs. 35.112 diesel, of which 60% are commercial vehicles. As far as country of origin is concerned, the leading one is Japan with 27.920 (-1%), ahead of Thailand at 25.251 (-2%), South Korea at 14.903 (+2%), Germany at 8.217 (+5%), Australia at 5.512 (-28%), the U.S. at 3.879 (-11%), the UK at 2.899 (-4%), Spain at 1.263 (-20%) and Hungary at 1.218 (+14%).
Ending its local production after 54 years this week, Toyota remains by far the most popular carmaker in Australia, even outpacing the market with a 4% gain to 17.3% share vs. 18.3% year-to-date. Mazda (-14%) and Hyundai (-12.8%) round up the podium but struggle while Mitsubishi is up 5.4% to 7.1% in 4th place mainly thanks to fleet. Holden, whose Commodore is scheduled to end local production on October 20, falls a harsh 19.6% to just 37 units above archenemy Ford (-6%). Volkswagen (+11.9%), Subaru (+14.6%), Mercedes (+24.5%) and Kia (+26.4%) all post double-digit gains to complete the Top 10. Below, Honda (+16.1%), Skoda (+25%), LDV (+74.4%), Alfa Romeo (+82.7%), Citroen (+86.1%) and Peugeot (+159.2%) lodge the largest year-on-year gain in the remainder of the Top 30, the latter two thanks to a new Australian distributor.
But the event of the month is to be found in the models ranking. For the first time in history, the Ford Ranger is the best-selling nameplate in Australia, thanks to deliveries up a whopping 49% year-on-year to 4.318 units, setting a new market share record at 4.3%. It is the first time in over six years – since July 2011, the last time the Holden Commodore ranked 1st – that a non-Asian model is #1 in Australia. This month the Ranger accounts for an incredible (/unhealthy?) 63% of Australian Ford sales vs. 54% so far in 2017. For the first time since January 2016, the Ranger outsells its archenemy the Toyota Hilux, itself up a very solid 19% to 3.822 units. In the lucrative 4×4 pickup segment, the Ranger wins even more easily (3.769 vs. 2.907). The Ranger is therefore the second “ute” (Australian slang for pickup) to ever lead Australian sales after the Hilux. Indeed, if having two utes atop of the Australian sales charts now seems like the new normal, it’s only less than a year ago, in October 2016, that it happened for the first time ever. The Hilux however remains 2.609 units above the Ranger year-to-date.
Having a new #1 is a rare occurrence in Australia: the Ranger is only the 9th nameplate in the past 40 years to top the Australian monthly charts at least once, and the second Ford to do so. It follows the Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore (first time in December 1978 and last in July 2011), Toyota Camry (first time in January 1995), Hyundai Excel (in June 1998), Toyota Corolla (first time in September 2005), Toyota Hilux (first time in April 2008), Mazda3 (first time in January 2009) and Hyundai i30 (first time in June 2015). It is somewhat symbolic that as the Thailand-made Ranger takes control of Australian charts, the first three aforementioned nameplates are all ending their decades-long local production run roughly at the same time. See our complete Historical Data section for more details on past Australian sales charts.
The Toyota Corolla (-11%) is the #1 passenger car in the country above the Mazda3 (-20%) potentially suffering from cannibalisation by the CX-3, up to an excellent #12. The Holden Commodore, soon to be an imported nameplate (the new gen Opel Insignia), is revived up 8% to #5 and the Toyota Camry, which ended local production this week, is up 12% to #7. For the 2nd consecutive month and the third time in the past 4 months the Hyundai Tucson is the best-selling SUV in the country at #8, ahead of a very impressive Mitsubishi Outlander up 81% to enjoy its very first Australian Top 10 ranking at #9. The Mazda CX-5 (-28%) is now just 206 sales above the Tucson year-to-date for the title of #1 SUV it has held for the past four consecutive years. The Kia Cerato (+34%) and Honda Civic (+50%) also make themselves noticed in the Top 20.
Further down, the Subaru XV (+101%) takes advantage of its facelift to more than double its sales vs. September 2016, the Mercedes C-Class soars 43% to #26, the VW Amarok, now boosted by a new V6 variant, is up 44% to #34, its best ranking since last March, the new Holden Astra maintains itself inside the Top 30, the Toyota C-HR has disappointingly stabilised towards the tail end of the Top 50 (#48 this month) and the Peugeot 3008 is pushed into the Australian Top 100 by its new model, up 17-fold on September 2017 to #93. Chinese fares have retreated towards the end of the ranking, led by the Great Wall Steed (#178), Haval H6 (#186) and MG6 Plus (#197). Among other recent launches, the Range Rover Velar is up 82 spots on August to #106 and the Skoda Kodiaq is stable at #133. We welcome no less than three all-new nameplates in Australia this month: the promising Hyundai Kona at #154, the LDV T60 pickup at #210 and the VW Arteon at #211.
Full September 2017 Top 50 All-brands and Top 280 All-models below.