The new generation Mitsubishi Triton has landed in Australia.
The Australian new vehicle market is sinking deeper into recession as months go by, with January sales down another 7.4% year-on-year to 81.994 units, marking the 10th consecutive month of decline, a negative streak unseen this decade (the worst so far was 8 straight declines between January and August 2014). Rental sales, surging 109.1% to 3.465, and government deliveries up 12.6% to 2.939 avoid an even more ghastly fall for the month, just as private sales tumble down 12.2% to 39.965 and business sales crumble 9.1% to 33.430. Once again SUVs (-5.1%) improve their share to 43.8% vs. 42.8% in January 2018 even though they lose volume too, but it’s a much better hold than passenger cars (-12%) falling to 34.2% share vs. 36% a year ago just as light commercials (-5.8%) improve slightly to 19.3% vs. 18.9% in January 2018.
All states and territories are in negative bar the smallest – Northern Territory, up 3.7% to 679. The two largest states in the country fall faster than the national market: New South Wales (26.643) and Victoria (23.854) both drop 8.1%. Queensland is down 6.1% to 16.188, Western Australia down 5.8% to 6.971, South Australia down 5% to 5.049, Tasmania down 7.5% to 1.312 and the Australian Capital Territory down 16.8% to 1.298. When looking at the origin of cars sold in Australia, Japan comes first with 27.953 units (+4.1%), ahead of Thailand at 21.136 (-10%), South Korea at 11.491 (-16.3%), Germany at 5.880 (-18.2%), the US at 3.049 (-2.9%), the UK at 2.037 (-22.7%), South Africa at 1.212 (+48%), Czech Republic at 1.087 (+82.7%), Mexico at 1.070 (+48.6%), Spain at 905 (-16.5%) and China at 844 (+93.1%). Sales of locally-made cars are logically dying off as none is produced in Australia anymore: -99.3% to just 10 units.
Kia breaks into the monthly Australian Top 5 for the first time in history.
Market leader Toyota (+4.3%) ignores the surrounding gloom, posting its first gain since last September to hit a solid 19.5% share, while Mazda (-6.2%) is in line with the market, traditionally strong in private sale-heavy January, hitting 11.6% share which is its second highest in Australian history below the 11.9% it reached in January 2016 and 2017. Mitsubishi surges 26.7% – the largest gain in the Top 18 and the only double-digit one in the Top 16 – to climb back onto the podium for the third time in the past 11 months – and potentially ever – after last March and last September. Hyundai (-12.9%) is knocked down to #4 but Kia (+2.6%) breaks a couple of records this month: the Korean carmaker slides into the monthly Australian Top 5 for the first time at #5 and hits a new all-time high market share at 5.7%, eclipsing the 5.5% it hit last May. This means the Top 5 is 100% Asian for only the second time ever, after last September. The rest of the Top 18 bar BMW (-2.4%) and Suzuki (-5.2%) all fall faster than the market, with Holden (-27.1%), Ford (-21.7%), Mercedes (-25.4%), Nissan (-19.2%), Subaru (-19.1%) and Audi (-18.7%) hit the hardest. Further down, Ram (+922.2%), MG (+849.1%), Great Wall (+688.9%), Haval (+54.2%), Jaguar (+53.5%), Citroen (+28%), Skoda (+23.6%), Lexus (+15.8%) and Volvo (+12.8%) are the most dynamic in market.
Model-wise, the Toyota Hilux (+4.8%) enjoys a 15th consecutive monthly win and the only gain in the Top 4, widening the gap with the Mazda3 (-11.6%), Ford Ranger (-21.3%) and Toyota Corolla (-12.9%). This is the longest stretch of consecutive #1 finishes in almost 14 years: since the Holden Commodore ranked #1 for 22 consecutive months between October 2003 and July 2005. The Hilux also wins the battle of 4×4 utes (Australian slang for pickup truck) at 2.993 units (+3.9%) vs. 2.243 (-22.4%) for the Ranger. The Mazda CX-5 (+9.1%) cements its status as Australia’s favourite SUV at #5 overall, with the Mitsubishi ASX (+108.5%) catching up fast, up 9 spots on December to #7 and the Toyota RAV4 (+1.1%) at #8. The Mitsubishi Triton (+10.7%) and Holden Colorado (+11.1%) round up the Top 10 in very dynamic fashion. Further down, the Subaru Forester (+65.7%), Toyota Camry (+64.1%), Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (+54.8%), Mitsubishi Outlander (+38.2%), Holden Astra (+31.7%), Honda Jazz (+26.2%), Toyota C-HR (+21.1%), Toyota Yaris (+19.9%), Toyota Prado (+15.5%) and Mercedes C-Class (+15.2%) are the most dynamic nameplates in the Top 50. Newcomers aren’t very lucky this month: none manages to crack the Top 70, with the Holden Acadia (#72), Mazda CX-8 (#77), Volvo XC40 (#88) faring the best. Launched last month, the Ford Endura is already down 51 spots to #175 with a paltry 32 sales for the month.
Full January 2019 Top 46 All-brands and Top 275 All-models below.