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Australia August 2019: 17th consecutive market fall leads to worst August since 2010, Chinese and premium brands strong

Now under Chinese ownership, MG sales are up 116.9% in Australia in August.

06/09/2019 update: Now with the Top 310 All-models.

There’s no light at the end of the tunnel just yet for the Australian new vehicle market, enduring a scathing 17th consecutive month of year-on-year declines in August at a painful -10.1% to just 85.633 units, the lowest August result since 2010. The year-to-date tally is now down -7.9% to 723.823 registrations, the weakest YTD volume at this stage of the year since 2011. Private sales drop slightly faster than the market at -11.5% to 37.476 and 43.8% share vs. 44.5% a year ago, while business sales fall -8.7% to 35.179 and 41.1% vs. 40.4% and rental deliveries contain their decline to -6.8% to 6.782 and 7.9% vs. 7.6%. Government sales remain marginal at -9.7% to 2.899. The engine of growth for the past half-decade, SUV sales are down in Australia this month at -5.4% to 39.040 but see their share improve from 43.3% to 45.6%, while passenger cars implode -16.7% to 25.783 and 30.1% share vs. 32.5% a year ago and light commercials skid -8.4% to 17.513 and 20.5% vs. 20.1% in August 2018. The State losing the most volume year-on-year in August is Victoria (-3.244) followed by New South Wales (-2.824), Queensland (-1.773), South Australia (-725) and Western Australia (-713). Only Tasmania is timidly up (+35) in August and YTD (+412). One ray of light: hybrid sales soar 55% year-on-year to 2.847 units (1.788 passenger cars and 1.049 SUVs) thanks notably to the Toyota RAV4. Sales of vehicles made in China surge 62% to 1.571 in August and 78.8% to 11.208 YTD. Australians now buy more cars made in China than those made in France, Sweden and Italy combined.

The Hyundai i30 posts the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 15.

The Top 5 brands are all in reverse mode, led by Toyota (-11.3%), Hyundai (-8.6%) and Mazda (-30.4%) hit particularly high ahead of Mitsubishi (-11.7%) and Ford (-17.5%). At #6 and #7 respectively, Kia (+0.9%) and Nissan (+2.2%) post timid upticks, the only ones in the Top 13. If Subaru (-7.6%) resists ok, all other Top 13 brands fall faster than the market: Holden (-18.1%), Honda (-12%), Isuzu (-11.7%), Volkswagen (-11.6%) and Mercedes (-11.2%). Below, you need to be premium or Chinese to post a significant gain in Australia this month: Ram (+283.5%), Haval (+211.1%), MG (+116.9%), Ferrari (+84.2%), Great Wall (+66.2%), Bentley (+45.5%), Mini (+38.4%), Porsche (+37.6%), Lexus (+32%), Audi (+27.9%), LDV (+9.9%) and BMW (+5.7%) all impress, Peugeot (+32.4%) being the only exception.

The Toyota RAV4 is the #1 SUV in Oz for the 3rd time in the past 4 months.

Model-wise, the Toyota Hilux (-14.1%) celebrates 22 consecutive months at #1, matching the previous 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). The Hilux outsells the entire Holden lineup for the 6th time in the past 7 months. However the Hilux also marks a 4th consecutive decline, something that hadn’t happened yet for this generation, 2nd straight double-digit drop and largest fall since since its last generation changeover in September 2015… The Ford Ranger (-9.5%) is also hit but returns to the 2nd place it holds YTD, again outselling the Hilux in the lucrative 4×4 ute segment at 2.884 vs. 2.871 in August and 24.992 vs. 24.904 YTD. Although back in negative, the Toyota Corolla (-5.6%) confirms its #1 passenger car spot, distancing the Hyundai i30 (+21.1%) in excellent shape while the new generation Mazda3 (-32.7%) has failed to impress Australian buyers: it drops to #3 PC YTD below the i30.

The Holden Acadia leads a weak army of new launches.

The Toyota RAV4 (+19.1%) continues to surf on the success of the new generation, snapping the #1 SUV title for the third time in the past 4 months while the segment’s traditional leader, the Mazda CX-5 (-30.9%), is in great difficultly but still #1 SUV YTD with a 2.000 sales margin over the RAV4. The Subaru Forester (+275.3%), Mercedes C-Class (+107.7%), VW Tiguan (+29.3%), Nissan Qashqai (+20.2%), Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (+14.1%), Kia Cerato (+13.1%), Mitsubishi ASX (+12%) and Toyota C-HR (+10.8%) are the only other double-digit gainers in the remainder of the Top 50, proving only SUVs really do still get a sales boost these days in Australia, the Mercedes C-Class being the exception. New launches remain very discreet, led by the Holden Acadia (#84) and Ford Endura (#91) which actually are commercial failures, while the Ssangyong Musso (#118) gains 28 spots on its 2nd month in market and the Hyundai Venue lands at #200 and the Ssangyong Korando at #267.

Previous month: Australia July 2019: 16th drop in a row sends market to lowest in 7 years, Toyota Corolla (+25.1%), RAV4 (+30.1%) survive

One year ago: Australia August 2018: Mazda shines, Holden burns in 5th straight market decline

Full August 2019 Top 48 All-brands and Top 310 All-models below.

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