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Australia November 2018: Toyota Hilux up 14% to cruise to 13th straight #1, market down for 8th consecutive month

The Toyota Hilux is comfortably winning the “ute” battle in Australia.

At -7.4% in November to 93.860 registrations, the Australian new vehicle market has now been in decline for 8 consecutive months, a negative streak unseen in 4 years: 8 straight declines were also observed between January and August 2014. As a result the year-to-date volume is now down 1.9% to 1.065.583 units, still the third highest 11-month result in Australian history below 1.086.296 in 2017  and 1.079.370 in 2016. Hampered by the bust of the real estate bubble in Sydney, New South Wales registrations (-11.6%) once again pull the market down at 29.568 while Melbourne and Victoria (-7%) are also hit hard at 27.290. In fact, like last month only tiny Tasmania (+2%) at 2.061 manages an uptick, with Western Australia (-9%), the Australian Capital Territory (-7.8%), Northern Territory (-6.2%), Queensland (-2.6%) and South Australia (-2.4%) all diving. Year-to-date, New South Wales (-5.4%) also leads decline wth Northern Territory (-4.2%), South Australia (-2%) and the Australian Capital Territory (-1.2%) also down, Queensland (+0.1%), Western Australia (0.0%) and Victoria (-0.1%) stable and Tasmania (+6.3%) the only state significantly up.

No better: the Commodore is down 62%, pulling Holden down 35.6%.

Illustrating the current depressed consumer outlook, private sales (-11.3%) once again fall heavily to 40.575 and 43.2% share vs. 45.1% a year ago, leading to a 7% year-to-date drop to 478.977 and 44.9% share vs. 47.4% over the same period a year ago. Business sales (-4.9%) outpace the market at 39.302 units for the month and 41.9% vs. 40.8% in November 2017 but manage to remain in positive YTD at +0.9% to 441.364 and 41.4% share vs. 40.2% in 2017. Government sales (+3.7%) are the only channel gaining ground in November to a modest 3.559 units and rental sales (-7.4%) match the market at 6.697 but post a stunning 11.3% gain YTD to 71.846 and 6.7% share vs. 5.9% a year ago. Indicating the Australian market is now truly hitting a rough patch, even SUV deliveries decline this month at -1.9% to 39.983 yet see their share improve from 40.2% to 42.6%, with YTD figures still up comfortably at +7.6% to 42.9% share vs. 39.1%.

Chinese LDV breaks into the Top 20 brands for the first time.

Passenger cars (-20.8%) accelerate their freefall to 29.250 units and 31.2% share vs. 36.4% (-15% YTD from 38% to 33%) while light commercials do manage a full positive output at +4.2% to 20.900 and 22.3% vs. 19.8% a year ago (+1.9% YTD from 19.7% to 20,5%). Looking at the country of origin of vehicles sold in Australia this month, Japan is still ahead at 28.489 (-3.7%), followed by Thailand at 24.954 (0.0%), South Korea at 13.825 (-12.2%), Germany at 6.688 (-16.7%), the U.S. at 3.861 (+6.8%), the UK at 2.592 (-13.5%), Czech Republic at 1.282 (+32.2%) and China at 1.240, up a smashing 163.8%. Logically, there were only 24 Australian-made cars sold in November (-99.9%), 22 Holdens and 2 Toyotas, as all manufacturers ended local assembly back in 2017.

The new 1500 lifts Ram sales up 366.7% in Australia.

Over in the brands ranking, Toyota (-2.8%) and Mazda (-4.6%) manage to hold their falls to smaller figures than the market, resulting in improving shares year-on-year but it’s not the case for Hyundai (-10.4%) in third place. Reproducing a situation that is valid in the YTD order, Kia (+7.9%), Nissan (+5%) and Mitsubishi (+4.1%) are the only Top 10 carmakers in positive whereas Holden (-35.6%), Volkswagen (-12.1%), Ford (-12%) and Subaru (-8.1%) all fall faster than the market. Holden in particular remains in dire straits with its once-best-seller the Commodore down 62% and selling less than the niche Ford Mustang. A lot of hopes rest on the Holden Acadia, the brand’s first-ever 7-seater SUV, but it is already down 44% on its inaugural month to a paltry #110. Further down the ranking, an interesting event is the first ever Top 20 finish for Chinese carmaker LDV (+105.2%) directly landing at #17, outmanoeuvring Renault, Lexus, Volvo and Land Rover. LDV was launched in Australia in October 2014 and is currently by far the most popular Chinese marque in Australia, years after Great Wall (+321.1%) was hit by an asbestos scandal that resulted in the brand departing the market (it is now back, but at a much lower level). Other great gainers include MG (+790.7%), Ram (+366.7%), Jaguar (+69.9%), Volvo (+44.8%), Aston Martin (+36.4%) and Lexus (+17.4%).

The Lexus UX has landed in Australia.

Model-wise, the Toyota Hilux (+14%) easily cruises towards a 13th consecutive monthly win at 5% share, frankly outstripping its rival the Ford Ranger (-3%) at 3.7%, clearly not feeling any benefits from the Raptor launch just yet. The Hilux wins on both fronts: 4×2 (1.002 vs. 446) and 4×4 (3.669 vs. 3.023). Under a steep decline by the country’s favourite passenger car, the Toyota Corolla (-10%), hides in fact a solid performance as prices have been significantly raised for the new generation. The Mitsubishi Triton (+37%) is now in full runout mode as the new model lands in early 2019 and gains 5 spots on October to #4, distancing the Hyundai i30 (+7%) and Mazda3 (-5%). The remainder of the Top 10 is all SUVs, with perennial best-seller the Mazda CX-5 (-15%) leading the charge despite a hefty loss above the Nissan X-Trail (+10%), Toyota RAV4 (-1%) and Hyundai Tucson (-23%). The Subaru Outback (+138%), Holden Barina (+69%), Subaru Forester (+65%), Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (+58%), Kia Carnival (+29%), VW Amarok (+28%), Kia Sportage (+21%) and Hyundai Kona (+19%) post the largest gains in the remainder of the Top 50, that’s 5 SUVs out of 8 nameplates… The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (#44) is now the most popular recent launch (<12 months), eclipsing the Mazda CX-8 (#81) and Volvo XC40 (#87), while we welcome the Lexus UX at #156.

Previous month: Australia October 2018: Toyota Hilux most dominant nameplate in 13 years

One year ago: Australia November 2017: All-time high November = annual record likely

Full November 2018 Top 50 All-brands and Top 275 All-models below.

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