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Australia September 2019: Mitsubishi (+17.9%), Mazda (+15.5%) impress, Holden outside Top 10 for the first time in 18th straight market loss

The Mitsubishi Triton 4×4 outsells the Hilux 4×4 for the first time in 4 years.

12/10 update: Now with Top 48 All-brands and Top 310 All-models.

New vehicle sales in Australia continue on their dreadful run, enduring an 18th consecutive year-on-year drop in September at -6.9% to 88.181 units, the weakest September result since 2011 leading to a year-to-date tally down -7.9% to 811.464, also the lowest at this stage of the year since 2011. As it has been the case for the most part of the past few years, only SUVs (+1.1%) survive in this depleted context to 41.861 sales and 47.5% share vs. 43.7% a year ago while light commercials edge down -5.4% to 18.257 and 20.7% vs. 15.1% a year ago and passenger cars implode -18.3% to 24.893 and  28.2% share vs. 32.2% in September 2018. Encouragingly, private sales (-1%) resist best at 37.797 units and 42.9% share vs. 40.3% a year ago, which could indicate the market is about to bottom out. Business sales drop -9.9% to 36.629 and 41.5% share vs. 42.9%, rental fleets sink -16.7% to 7.658 and government sales skid -7.2% to 2.927. New South Wales (-10.6%) remains the #1 State at 27.682 units followed by Victoria (-7.6%) at 24.686, Queensland (-4.1%) at 17.535, Western Australia (-6.5%) at 7.767, South Australia (+16.2%) at 6.645, Tasmania (-21.6%) at 1.927, the ACT (-10%) at 1.3376 and Northern Territory (-21.6%) at 602. Petrol sales add up to 55.346 (-6.7%), diesel 27.314 (-7.6%), hybrid/EV 2.412 (+107.8%) excluding Tesla who doesn’t report Australian sales.

Toyota (-12.8%) cops a second consecutive double-digit year-on-year decline in September but easily remains the #1 brand in Australia with 17.2% share. It is followed this time by Mitsubishi climbing to the #2 spot overall for only the 2nd time in Australian history after last March, and at 10.2% share (10.195% exactly), signs its highest mark since September 2002 (10.4%) at a time when the Japanese carmaker was still a local manufacturer out of its Adelaide factory in South Australia. Mazda (+15.5%) posts the second double-digit gain in the Top 12 but remains at #3, one spot below its YTD ranking. Hyundai (-10.7%) suffers but Kia (+2.5%) scores only the 3rd year-on-year gain in the Top 12 and breaks into the Australian Top 5 for only the 4th time in history, all this year: after January, May and June 2019. This means the Top 5 brands in Australia are all Asian for only the 4th time in history – all in the past 13 months – after September 2018, January and June 2019.

Holden isn’t among Australia’s 10 best-selling brands for the first time ever.

The rest of the Top 10 is entirely in negative, with Subaru (-26.4%), Honda (-24.8%), Volkswagen (-18.7%) and Nissan (-10%) hit the hardest while Ford (-5.9%) manages to lose less ground than the market this month. But none suffer as much as former market leader and homegrown carmaker Holden (-38.4%), dropping out of its home Top 10 for the first time since the brand was introduced in Australia in 1948 and securing its lowest ever monthly volume at 2.863, a “record” the carmaker has already broken 4 times so far in 2019: in February (3.825), April (3.483) and July (3.266). Below, MG (+118%) steps up to a best-ever 17th place, LDV (+23.4%) misses out on a third ever Top 20 finish by just 22 units, and premium fares Lexus (+21.3%) and BMW (+19.4%) both take advantage of an enlarged SUV lineup. Note estimated Tesla Model 3 deliveries (1.600) would place the brand at #15 this month above Audi and the nameplate at #13 and #4 passenger car were Tesla to communicate sales officially for Australia.

In the models ranking, the Toyota Hilux (-22.5%) endures a 5th consecutive year-on-year drop and 3rd straight double-digit loss, something that hadn’t happened for this generation launched in 2015. The Hilux however celebrates 23 consecutive months at #1, the longest such streak for any nameplate in Australia in 16 years, since the estimated 50+ consecutive wins of the Holden Commodore up to August 2003. The Ford Ranger (-3.5%) resists a lot better in 2nd place overall and snaps the 4×4 ute crown for the 6th month in a row and 24th time since August 2015 at 2.822 vs. 2.604 and 27.814 vs. 27.509 YTD. But a third pickup truck is pointing its bonnet on the podium this month: the Mitsubishi Triton (+61.6%) surges to #3 for only the 5th time ever after June 2014, June 2018, February 2019 and March 2019, meaning the Australian podium is 100% “ute” (Aussie slang pickup truck) for the 4th time in history after June 2018 , February 2019 and March 2019. The Triton 4×4 also outsells the Hilux 4×4 for the first time since September 2015 at 2.755 (+64.6%) vs. 2.604 and adds up to 16.576 YTD. Note that all 3 best-selling models outsell the entire Holden range, the most in history.

The Mitsubishi ASX is the #1 SUV in Australia for the 2nd time in history.

Below the Hyundai i30 (-2.4%), #1 passenger car for the 2nd time in teh past 4 months, the discounted Mitsubishi ASX (+13.1%) is the best-selling SUV in the country at #5 for the 2nd time ever after September 2018, breaking its volume (2.419) and share (2.7%) records (pb: 2.337 in March 2018 and 2.4% in February 2019). The Mazda CX-5 (+56.4%) and Toyota Corolla (-23.9%) follow just as the Kia Cerato (+28.5%) is back inside the Top 10 for the 6th time in the past 7 months at #8, as is the Mitsubishi Outlander (+23.3%) at #10. The new generation Mazda3 (-7.9%) is perplexing Australian buyers, sending the nameplate outside the monthly Top 10 (#12) for the first time since July 2016. Finally, notice the Ford Mustang (437) outselling the Holden Commodore (419) for the 5th time ever after August 2018 and last December, January and March.

The Hyundai Venue is up 128 spots on its inaugural month in August to take the lead of all new launches in the country (<12 months) at #72 overall, edging past the Holden Acadia up 10 ranks to #74 while the Toyota Supra lands directly at an outstanding 85th spot with 232 sales, distancing the Lexus UX (#117), BMW X7 (#135), Ssangyong Musso (#136), Ford Endura (#137), Nissan Leaf (#151), Audi Q8 (#154) and Ssangyong Tivoli (#173). We also welcome the Renault Kadjar in the Australian charts at #220.

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

One year ago: Australia September 2018: Top 5 brands are 100% Asian for the first time

Full September 2019 Top 20 brands and Top 310 All-models below.

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