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Australia April 2018: Tucson and Prado shine, Holden back up to #6

The Toyota Prado posts its first Australian Top 10 finish in four years.

* Now updated with the Top 50 All-brands and Top 280 All-models – click on title to see *

According to data released by VFACTS, new vehicle sales in Australia edge down 0.2% year-on-year to 82.930 units, the first decline since last September. After four months, the YTD volume remains however at record levels, up 3.3% over last year’s all-time high mark to 374.468. SUVs sell 36.159 units (+15.3%) for 43.6% of the market, now frankly distancing passenger cars at 27.533 (-14.4%) and 33.2% and light commercials at 16.067 (-5.9%) and 19.4%. Year-to-date, SUVs are up 11.9% to 159.363, passenger cars down 7.7% to 130.003 and light commercials up 5.6% to 73.467. One culprit for this year-on-year drop: New South Wales, the most populous state, down 5.5% to 26.986 registrations, whereas other high volume states Victoria (+2.1% to 23.770) and Queensland (+1.9% to 16.621) are both up. Western Australia (+7.3% to 7.119), South Australia (+3.5% to 5.126) also advance but Australian Capital Territory (-1.8% to 1.234), Tasmania (-2.1% to 1.189) and Northern Territory (-2.7% to 885) all recede.

The Hyundai Tucson is the best-selling SUV in Australia for the first time in 2018.

Private sales hold 44.8% of the market ahead of business sales at 44.7%, rental sales at 6.6% and government sales at 3.8%. Sales by fuel type and segment go as follows: Passenger cars 25.360 petrol, 1.156 diesel, 977 hybrid, SUVs 25.567 petrol, diesel 10.412, hybrid 142 and commercials 1.012 petrol, 18.225 diesel. Finally, as for country of origin of cars sold in Australia this month, Japan comes first with 26.363 sales (+9.4%) ahead of Thailand (19.964 down 5.2%), South Korea (12.925 up 8.6%), Germany (6.973 up 3.8%), the USA (3.247 down 3.6%), the UK (2.055 up 4.3%) and Spain (1.341 down 1.7%). 218 Australian-made vehicles were sold in April, down 94.8% year-on-year, a figure that is set to come to zero in the coming months as local car manufacturing in Australia ended in 2017.

Thanks to the new ZS, China-made MG sales are up 227.3% year-on-year in Australia.

Over in the brands ranking, Toyota continues to dominate the charts head-and-shoulders, going against the grain with a 3.5% uplift to 20.1% share, more than double the amount of the #2 brand, Mazda, down a steep 10.5% to 9.3%. Hyundai (+4.1%) overtakes Mitsubishi (+0.7%) to snap the third step of the podium with Ford down a harsh 16.9% rounding out the Top 5. Down to a lowest-in-history #10 and 4.8% share last month, Holden rallies back up to #6 in April but continues its descent to hell at -21.2% to 5.5% share, with the new imported Commodore only convincing 473 buyers and the all-new Equinox crossover at a shy 506. Kia (+9.3%) is up 4 spots on March to #7, posting the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 15, with Subaru (+4.2% and Volkswagen (+1.3%) also in positive and Mercedes cracking the Top 10 for the first time since November 2016 despite a 1.7% drop. Further down, Chinese MG (+227.3%) and LDV (+177.6%) lodge the largest gains in the Top 30 ahead of Volvo (+93.9%), Land Rover (+32.8%), Alfa Romeo (+30.2%) and Lexus (+20.5%).

LDV, also from China, posts the second-largest year-on-year gain in Australia this month at +177.6%.

Model-wise, the Toyota Hilux snaps its 6th consecutive monthly win and 10th win in the past 12 months thanks to deliveries up 5% and is now up 18% YTD. The Toyota Corolla soars 17% on discounted pricing on the outgoing generation, hitting #2 for the first time since last July, knocking the Ford Ranger (-10%) down to #3 for the first time this year. Note the Hilux also outsells the Ranger in the lucrative 4×4 pickup segment at 2.659 vs. 2.347. The Hyundai Tucson soars 19% to snap the #1 SUV title for the first time this year, distancing traditional leader the Mazda CX-5 down a steep 20% in April. The Mitsubishi ASX (+18%) remains at a record #8, also hit last month and in December 2015. Boosted by its facelift, the Toyota Prado surges 31% to #9 overall, its highest ranking and first Top 10 finish since April 2014 (#7).

The Mercedes X-Class has landed in Australia.

As far as recent launches are concerned, the Hyundai Kona keeps the lead, gaining 12 spots on March to #27, its second-ever incursion into the Australian Top 30 after January (#22), the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (#50) is back inside the Top 50 for the 2nd time in the past three months while the Holden Equinox is up 25 ranks to #51, its highest so far in 2018 but below the #48 it hit last December. The Mercedes X-Class lands directly at #69 and #10 pickup truck in the country. The LDV T60 is up 10 spots to #82, the Kia Stinger up 8 to #97, the Volvo XC40 up 125 to #105 and the MG ZS up 20 to #118. We also welcome the Skoda Karoq at #226.

Previous month: Australia March 2018: Mitsubishi snaps first podium this millennium, Holden at lowest-ever #10

One year ago: Australia April 2017: Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger cement leadership

Full April 2018 Top 50 All-brands and Top 280 All-models below.

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