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Australia November 2019: Market down for 20th straight month to lowest November in 11 years

The Ford Ranger 4×4 outsells the Toyota Hilux 4×4 for the 8th straight month. Picture

12/12 update: Now with Top 48 All-brands and Top 285 All-models.

6/12 update: Now with the Top 80 models.

No improvement in sight for new vehicle sales in Australia, if anything the crisis is worsening with November marking a 20th consecutive month in negative at -9.8% to 84.708 registrations, the lowest November result since 2008, leading to a year-to-date tally down a scathing -8.2% to 978.628 units, the weakest level at this stage of the year in almost a decade: since 2011. Even then, artificial sales have prevented a harsher fall: fleet registrations are down just -4.5% to 37.532 and a whopping 44.3% share vs. 41.9% a year ago in November 2018 and 40.8% in 2017. Rental sales also contain their drop somewhat at -6.9% to 6.236 and government sales drop -9.2% to 3.232. In contrast, private sales freefall -14.7% to 34.628 and 40.9% share vs. 43.2% a year ago and 45.1% two years ago. Each State and Territory is down, with Queensland (-10.7%), Victoria (-10.6%) and New South Wales (-9.2%) the three largest States all recording steep falls. SUVs remain extremely strong, only edging down -1.1% to 39.559 and 46.7% share vs. 42.6% in November 2018 and 40.2% two years ago, but passenger cars continue to implode at -21.2% to 23.041 and 27.2% share vs. 31.2% a year ago and 36.4% in 2017. Light commercials roughly match the market at -9.2% to 19.059 units and 22.5% share vs. 22.3% in 2018 and 19.8% in 2017. Hybrid sales shoot up 137% to 3.897 and EV/PHEVs are up 3-fold to 331 excluding Tesla which refuses to disclose data.

Mercedes soars 39.2% thanks partly to the C-Class (+244.6%). Picture

Toyota (-7.2%) unsurprisingly leads the brands ranking, resisting better than the market at a round 20% share. Mitsubishi (-1.3%) leaps 4 spots on October to rank #2 for the third time this year – and ever – after March and September, however this time its share is actually in line with its YTD level at 8.1% vs. 7.8% so far in 2019. Hyundai (-13.3%) ends the month only 40 sales below while Mazda (-30.7%) is in total perdition due to the failure of the new generation Mazda3 to leverage its polarising design and off-putting premium pricing (see further down). Kia (+10.7%) is down one spot on October to #5 but is the only Top 8 carmaker in positive, hitting a record 6.1% share for the third time in the past 6 months. 6 of the next 7 best-sellers lose share year-on-year, enduring searing double-digit declines. The exception is Mercedes (+39.2%) up spectacularly to rank #9 for the month. Ford (-10%), Honda (-12%), Volkswagen (-16.8%), Nissan (-19.8%) and Subaru (-19.9%) all struggle, but none as much as Holden (-47.9%) whose CEO has just quit, hitting its lowest volume (2.668), ranking (#12) and share (3.1%) in the brand’s 71 year history. Further down, a handful of brands – but none holding more than 1.2% share of the Australian market – blissfully ignore the depressed context to lodge extravagant gains, such as Haval (+138.4%), MG (+126.1%), Ram (+99.4%), Renault (+45.7%), Skoda (+30.4%), Lexus (+27.4%), Land Rover (+16.7%) and Volvo (+16.6%).

The Mitsubishi Triton surges 29.9% year-on-year in November.

Model-wise, the Toyota Hilux (-21.1%) is in dire straights, even though it is assured to sign a 4th consecutive annual win by the time 2019 comes to an end, posting a 25th straight monthly pole position which is the longest streak at #1 for any nameplate in Australia in over 16 years, since the estimated 50+ consecutive wins of the Holden Commodore up to August 2003. However it endures a 5th consecutive double-digit fall, something this generation hadn’t yet seen. The Ford Ranger (+0.6%) on the other hand is up, and more significantly snaps an 8th 4×4 ute crown in a row – its longest ever streak – and 26th time since August 2015 at 3.218 units (+6.5%) vs. 2.875 (-21.6%) for the Hilux. Year-to-date, the Ranger 4×4 is stable at 33.905 sales whereas the Hilux dives -7% to 33.062. The Mitsubishi Triton (+29.9%) enjoys stellar sales for the new generation and rallies back up 13 spots on last month to complete a podium 100% ute (Aussie slang for pickup truck) for the 4th time in Australian history after June 2018 , February, March and September 2019. It is the 6th time the Triton ranks at its record #3 after June 2014, June 2018, February, March and September 2019.

After South Korea and India, the Kia Seltos is shaping up to be a blockbuster in Australia also. Picture

The Hyundai i30 (-1.6%) resists extremely well to remain the best-selling passenger car in the country for the third month in a row, outselling the Toyota Corolla (-16.2%) suffering from a price hike and more than ever in need of the new generation sedan just released into the market. The Toyota RAV4 (+19.6%) soars to stay the most popular SUV in Australia for the 5th time in the past 7 months (a well deserved crown as we detail in our 9.000 km Australian Test Drive). The Mazda CX-5 (-13.2%) remains out of reach for the annual SUV crown however. The Toyota Camry (+54.5%) starts to see its fleet sales inflate as the year comes to an end, with the Kia Cerato (+21.3%) again very strong, keeping the Mitsubishi Outlander (+52.5%) out of the Top 10 with teh Hyundai Kona (+30.2%) also in outstanding shape in the remainder of the Top 20. There’s still no air in the Mazda3 sales (-38.7%) which at #14 remains locked out of the Top 10 for the 3rd straight month and only the 4th time since July 2016. The culprit: a very expensive new generation. After two very long years, we finally have a winning new launch in Australia: the Kia Seltos up 66 spots on October to break into the Top 30 at #28 for its first full month of sales, just as its twin the Hyundai Venue takes off 25% of its October volume and drops 14 ranks to #70.

Previous month: Australia October 2019: Kia up to record #4, Holden outside Top 10 again, RAV4 #1 SUV in 19th market fall in a row

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

Full November 2019 Top 48 All-brands and Top 80 models below.

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