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Australia September 2018: Top Five brands are 100% Asian for first time

The Nissan Navara (+46%) hits its highest Australian ranking in almost 3 years.

* Now updated with the Top 35 best-selling brands and Top 275 All-models *

The Australian new vehicle market endures a 6th consecutive month of year-on-year decline in September at -5.5% to 94.711 units. It is the longest negative streak in over four years, a time that saw 8 consecutive negative months between January and August 2014. This shy performance pulls the YTD volume down 0.9% to 881.005 which is now not the 2nd anymore but 3rd largest 9-month result in history below 2017 (889.168) and 2016 (887.076). State-wise, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria are all up whereas New South Wales (-4.4%), South Australia and Northern Territory are down. Following on a years-long trend, SUV sales go against the grain once again with a 6.2% uplift to 41.420 sales and 43.7% share vs. 38.9% a year ago whereas passenger cars continue to implode at -20.1% to 30.487 and just 32.2% share vs. 38.1% in September 2017 just as light commercials edge down 2.3% to 14.354 and 15.1% vs. 14.7%. Without solid business sales (+0.5% to 40.678) and rentals (+18.1% to 9.199) the market drop would have been a lot steeper as private sales tumble down 15.8% to 38.172 and government sales lose 2.6% to 3.156. The most popular fuel type is petrol (59.354) ahead of diesel (29.557) and hybrid/electric (1.161) not including Tesla. Looking at production origin, Japan leads again with 29.010 (+4%) ahead of Thailand at 24.152 (-4%), South Korea at 14.446 (-3%), Germany at 7.244 (-12%) and the USA at 3.181 (-18%).

The ageing Mitsubishi ASX is the best-selling SUV in Australia for the first time.

Brand leader Toyota (+0.1%) resists the gloom and scores a 18.4% market share, more than double any other carmaker present in Australia. Mazda (-31.5%) freefalls after a strong August score, enabling Hyundai (-0.2%) to step up to #2 for the first time in almost a year (since October 2017) and sending Mitsubishi (+7.9%) onto the podium for the 2nd time the past 6 months (after last March) but also only the 2nd time this millennial and potentially in history. Nissan (+29.1%) posts the largest gain in the Top 15 to break into the monthly Top 5 for the first time since January 2016. This means the Top 5 brands in Australia are 100% Asian for the first time in history. If Kia (+7.3%) and Subaru (+2.5%) defy the depressed climate, Volkswagen (-4.2%) roughly matches the market but Ford (-25.7%) and most strikingly Holden (-32.4%) literally implode, the latter equalling its worst ranking “record” of #10 first hit last March. Boosted by the new XC40 and XC60, Volvo soars 116.5% to #19, by far the most impressive year-on-year gain in the Top 20, with Suzuki (+13.8%) and Skoda (+9.5%) also solid. Further down, MG (+857.5%), LDV (+156.9%) hitting a record #21 also reached last March, Ram (+154.1%), Jaguar (+65.3%) and Great Wall (+55.6%) impress.

First Australian Top 15 finish for the Hyundai Kona. Pictures caradvice.com.au

The evergreen Toyota Hilux (+14%) scores an 11th consecutive monthly win, cementing its YTD domination over the Ford Ranger (-25%) now amounting to 7.000 sales. The Hilux also wins in the lucrative 4×4 ute segment at 3.338 vs. 2.870 for the Ranger, which should be helped by a facelift now in dealerships and the much-awaited (and overhyped?) Raptor variant. The Toyota Corolla (-5%) and Hyundai i30 (+9%) are the top passenger cars, while we have a new entrant inside the Top 5: the Mitsubishi ASX (+40%) smashing its previous ranking of #8 it hit 4 times prior (December 2015 and from last March to last May), also becoming the country’s vest-selling SUV for the first time. The Nissan X-Trail (+43%) follows at #6, also breaking its ranking record (pb #7 last March). There are four pickups in the Top 9 with the Mitsubishi Triton at #7 (+7%) and Nissan Navara at #9 (+46%) scoring its first Top 10 since May 2016 (#10) and best ranking since November 2015 (#8). The Toyota RAV4 (+11%), Prado (+42%) and Hyundai Kona celebrating one year in market with a record #13 (pb #22 last January) all outsell the Mazda CX-5 (-21%), traditional SUV leader, while the Subaru Forester (+41%) breaks into the Top 15 for the first time since March 2016. We welcome the Jaguar i-Pace (#226) and Lamborghini Urus (#266) in the charts.

Previous month: Australia August 2018: Mazda shines, Holden burns in 5th market decline

One year ago: Australia September 2017: Ford Ranger best-seller for the first time

Full September 2018 Top 35 brands and Top 275 All-models below.

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