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Australia May 2018: Kia breaks records, Holden down to #8

Kia posts new ranking and share records in Australia in May.

* See the Top 49 All-brands and Top 280 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Australian new vehicle market uncharacteristically registers a second consecutive year-on-year drop and only third decline in the past ten months in May at -2.1% to 100.754 units. However the year-to-date volume remains at all-time record heights, up 2.1% on the previous record established a year ago to reach 475.222. As it has been the case for a few years now, SUV sales continue to power ahead at +8.4% in May to 42.973 or 42.7% share vs. 38.5% a year ago and up 11.1% YTD to 202.346 or 42.6% share vs. 39.1% over the same period in 2017. Reversely, passenger cars drop a stiff 15.6% to just 32.786 or 32.5% share vs. 37.7% a year ago and a slightly more palatable 9.4% YTD to 162.789 and 34.3% share vs. 38.6% in 2017. Meanwhile light commercials edge down 0.5% to 21.082 and 20.9% share in May but gain 4.2% to 94.549 and 19.9% YTD. Once again the largest state in the country, New South Wales, is down at -5.9% to 32.523 registrations but this time so is 2nd largest Victoria at -3.3% to 28.104. Queensland is up 2.3% to 21.143, Western Australia up 4% to 8.484, Tasmania up 7.6% to 1.657, Australian Capital Territory up 4.4% to 1.568 but South Australia is down 0.8% to 6.087 and Northern Territory down 6.9% to 1.188.

Holden skids down 25.8% to #8 brand.

Private sales are responsible for the market decline this month: they drop a steep 7.8% to 45.197 whereas business sales are up 2.7% to 41.625 and rental sales up a solid 8% to 6.370. Government sales implode at -12.7% to 3.649. The year-to-date picture is similar, except this time the private sales decline at -2.8% to 220.243 is offset by the business sales growth at +5.8% to 198.248, seconded by exceptionally strong rental sales at +16.2% to 25.455 while government sales remain sluggish at -4.6% to 15.738. Looking at sales by country of origin, Japan dominates at 30.616 (+2.4%) ahead of Thailand at 25.506 (-0.9%), South Korea at 15.766 (+6%), Germany at 9.305 (+16.8%), the US at 3.868 (-20%), the UK at 2.724 (+12.3%) and Spain at 1.385 (-13.1%). Australian-made cars amount to just 252 (-94.9%) and will hit zero in the coming months as local manufacturing has now ceased in Australia.

Chinese carmaker LDV gains 190.8% thanks to the new T60 pickup.

As expected Toyota (-1.5%) comfortably remains the #1 carmaker at 19.4% share, leading to a YTD volume up 5% to its highest in a decade. Mazda (-5%), Hyundai (+6%) and Mitsubishi (+6.1%) camp on their April and YTD rankings as does Ford tumbling down 24.7% to 5.7% share. Kia posts the largest gain in the Top 15 for the 2nd month running at +9.9% to #6 with 5.500 sales and 5.5% share, new ranking and share records for the Korean brand (previous bests: #7 first hit in April 2017 and 5.4% last month) as well as its second highest ever volume (record: 6.737 in June 2017). Honda (+8.4%) and Volkswagen (+6.9%) also outpace the market in the Top 10, but local brand – yet pure importer now – Holden is in the naughty corner once again, skidding down 25.8% to fall to #8, not its lowest ever but close (#10 last March). Chinese MG (+242.6%) and LDV (+190.8%) once again snap the largest gains in market ahead of Great Wall (+81.8%), Lamborghini (+60%), Peugeot (+46.5%), Skoda (+34.1%), Chrysler (+29.4%), Aston Martin (+23.1%) and Land Rover (+20.7%). The hardest hit are Ssangyong (-94.1%), Ram (-46.9%), McLaren (-42.9%), Porsche (-39.5%) and Haval (-35.6%).

The Toyota Hilux is the best-seller for the 7th month running.

Over in the models aisle, the Toyota Hilux (+6%) lodges a very impressive 7th monthly win in a row (and 8th in the past 10 months), widening the gap over its main rival the Ford Ranger (-10%). The Hilux also edges past the Ranger in the lucrative 4×4 category at 3.185 (+1.6%) vs. 3.176 (-6.1%) for the month and 15.205 (+15.2%) vs. 14.980 (+6.1%) YTD. The Toyota Corolla (-1%) tops all passenger cars, resisting pretty well with a new generation just around the corner (August landing). It distances the Hyundai i30 (+4%) outselling the Mazda3 (-0.3%) for the first time since last October. The Mazda CX-5 (+4%) reclaims the title of #1 SUV it has held for the past 5 years, this time ahead of the Toyota RAV4 (+4%) up four spots to #7, the second time it holds this ranking this year after January. The Mitsubishi ASX (+16%) brilliantly holds onto a record 8th place for the third consecutive month and the 4th time ever after December 2015. The Mitsubishi Triton (+16%) and VW Golf (+28%) also shine in the Top 10.

The Mitsubishi ASX is stuck at a record 8th place.

Spectacular gainers further down the ranking include the Subaru XV (+743%), Audi Q5 (+515%), Honda CR-V (+162%), Kia Picanto (+106%), Mercedes GLA (+103%), Suzuki Swift (+80%), BMW X3 (+75%), Toyota C-HR (+66%) and Nissan Pathfinder (+49%). The Hyundai Kona spends an 8th consecutive month as the best-selling recent launch in Australia (<12 months), posting a third Top 30 incursion at #27. The Holden Equinox follows but disappoints again, down 10 spots to #61 ahead of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at #63 (-13), the LDV T60 at #86 (-4), Kia Stinger at #93 (-4), Mercedes X-Class at #103 (-34), Skoda Kodiaq at #120 (+3), Volvo XC40 at #121 (-16), Range Rover Velar at #126 (-7), MG ZS at #128 (-10), BMW X2 at #129 (+15) and Jaguar E-Pace at #132 (-6). That’s 12 new launches in the Top 132, a testimony to the dynamism of the Australian market.

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

One year ago: Australia May 2017: Hilux vs. Ranger new iconic rivalry in record market

Full May 2018 Top 49 All-brands and Top 280 All-models below.

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