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Australia July 2019: 16th drop in a row sends market to lowest in 7 years, Toyota Corolla (+25.1%), RAV4 (+30.5%) survive

The Toyota Corolla misses out on its first monthly win in 2.5 years for just 115 sales.

The Australian new vehicle market is stuck in a negative rut with July marking a 16th consecutive month of year-on-year decline at -2.8% to 83.184 units, the lowest July result since 2012. This brings the year-to-date tally down -7.7% to 637.650 which is also the lowest volume at this stage of the year since 2012. Encouragingly, private sales (-1%) resist well this month at 37.066 and 44.6% share vs. 43.8% a year ago and -7.8% to 295.656 and 46.6% so far this year. Rental sales (+1.1%) actually improve to 6.505 and are now up 0.2% to 40.401 YTD, with government sales down just -1.9% to 2.873 and -3.7% to 21.383 YTD. Fleet sales (-5.2%) weigh the market down this month at 33.546 and 40.3% share vs. 41.4% in July 2018, down -9.4% YTD to 258.127 and 40.5% share. SUV registrations (+3.5%) defy the surrounding gloom to improve their share of the Australian market to 45.6% vs. 42.8% a year ago whereas they are still down YTD (-3.6%) to 284.422 or 44.6% vs. 42.7% in 2018. Passenger cars continue to implode at -11.1% to 25.386 and 30.2% share vs. 33.4% in July 2018, albeit an improvement on the -15.8% YTD fall to 196.156 and 30.8% share vs. 33.7% over the same period in 2018. Light Commercials (mainly pickups) resist better than the market at -1.9% in July to 16.710 and -3.5% YTD to 134.989.

The Toyota RAV4 is the best-selling SUV in Australia for the 2nd time in the past 3 months.

All States bar two are down this month: Tasmania (+15%) is up to 1.676 and Western Australia (+5%) is up to 7.313 but Northern Territory (-8%) at 683, the ACT (-6.8%) at 1.213, New South Wales (-4.7%) at 26.379 and Queensland (-4.5%) at 16.683 all fall faster than the market, Victoria (-2.8%) at 24.230 matches the national rate and South Australia (-0.3%) at 5.007 is almost immobile. Year-to-date, Northern Territory (-14.5%), the ACT (-9.9%), New South Wales (-9%), Victoria (-8.5%) and Queensland (-7.3%) and hit the hardest, South Australia (-3.1%) resists somewhat and Tasmania (+3.5%) is the only one improving. Vehicles made in Japan are the most popular at 28.093 (+2.6%) in July and 201.896 (-4.7%) YTD, followed by Thailand at 19.981 (-6.6%) and 165.897 (-8.2%), South Korea at 11.652 (-1.8%) and 89.923 (-12.9%), Germany at 6.279 (-9.9%) and 51.516 (-10.5%), the US at 3.113 (-7.4%) and 23.286 (-11.5%), the UK at 1.915 (-25.3%) and 16.954 (-17.4%) and China at 1.552 (+72.4%) and 9.637 (-81.9%).

Ssangyong returns to the Australian market.

Toyota (+5.7%) ignores the surrounding gloom with a solid year-on-year uptick sending it to its strongest market share in over 6 years at 21.5%, way more than the #2 Mazda (-7.8%) and #3 Hyundai (-1.1%) combined. Subaru (+4.4%) and Kia (+2.3%) join Toyota as the only Top 10 brands in positive whereas the rest all fall heavily: Holden (-16.8%) holding onto its Top 10 spot for just 14 units and slumping to its lowest volume ever (3.266), Mitsubishi (-11.2%), Nissan (-10.7%), Ford (-10.6%) and Volkswagen all struggle mightily. Just outside, Mercedes (+21.8%) impresses and just misses out on overtaking Holden, while further down Lexus stuns (+16.7%) thanks to the new UX, MG (+149.8%) repeats at a record #18 thanks to the new gen 3 hatch and both Skoda (+13.8%) and LDV (+15.5%) reclaim their spot in the Top 20. Ram (+605.4%), Haval (+164.2%), Great Wall (+118.2%), Aston Martin (+114.3%), Ferrari (+85.7%) and Porsche (+47.5%) shine among brands commanding less than 0.5% share. Finally, we welcome Ssangyong back into the Australian charts at #32.

Ram sales in Australia are up 7-fold on July 2018.

Model-wise, the Toyota Hilux (-10.4%) enjoys a 21st straight month at #1, now only one month off matching the longest such streak for any nameplate in Australia in the past two decades (22 consecutive wins of the Holden Commodore between October 2003 and July 2005). However this month’s victory was the tightest of them all, with just 115 units above a Toyota Corolla (+25.1%) finally taking full advantage of its new generation, hitting the #2 spot for the first time since April 2018 and reclaiming the #1 passenger car YTD title off the Mazda3 (-22.5%). Even more worrying for the Hilux: July marks a third consecitve month of year-on-year declines, something that hadn’t happened yet for this generation, and its first double-digit decline since its generation changeover in September 2015. Last nail in the coffin: its archenemy the Ford Ranger sanctions a 4th consecutive win in the in the lucrative 4×4 ute segment (2.850 vs. 2.517 for the Hilux) by taking the lead YTD at 22.108 (+1.3%) vs. 22.033 (+0.6%). Consolation prize: the Hilux outsells the entire Holden lineup for the 5th time in the past 6 months.

The Toyota Hilux endures its first double-digit drop in 4 years.

Also boosted by a new generation, the Toyota RAV4 (+30.5%) is back in the #1 SUV spot for the 2nd time in the past 3 months, toppling the perennial segment leader, the Mazda CX-5 (-3.3%) for its part becoming the brand’s best-seller for the first time. The Hyundai i30 (+3.4%) defies the passenger car slump at #5 overall and the Top 10 in concluded in spectacular fashion by the Kia Cerato (+20.7%), Toyota Prado (+13%) and Camry (+21.3%) all sporting fantastic double-digit gains, with the Mitsubishi ASX (+37.7%) lurking just outside. The Subaru Forester (+147.2%), Hyundai Kona (+115.4%), Mercedes C-Class (+50.7%), VW Tiguan (+29.7%), Ford Everest (+29.8%) and Mercedes GLC (+22.6%) also make waves in the Top 50. Australians remains very cold towards new launches with the most popular of them being the Holden Acadia (#69) which can’t pass as a success just yet. It is followed by the Ford Endura (#83), Lexus UX (#92), Nissan Leaf (#122), Ram 1500 Express (#124) and Ssangyong Musso (#146).

Previous month: Australia June 2019: Kia (+1.9%) the only island of growth in 15th straight market loss (-9.6%)

One year ago: Australia July 2018: Holden hits lowest ever volume, market down -7.8%

Full July 2019 Top 50 All-brands and Top 300 All-models below.

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