The Australian new-vehicle market is continuing to flirt with record figures.
Dealers saw the second-best October on record as deliveries rose 3.4% to 94,321 units, a figure topped only by the result for the month in 2012.
With two months of the year to go, the Australian market is up 3.6% at 957,153 units and giving all the signs it could top the record 1,136,227 set in 2013.
Releasing the latest data, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries says this year’s strong sales have been led largely by the growth of the SUV market, which is up 15.9% year-to-date at 336,962 units. The pace continued to accelerate in October with SUV deliveries jumping 20.5% to 34,744 units.
Small SUV sales soared 37% to 9,723 units for October, while medium SUV deliveries were up 20.1% at 12,843 and large SUV sales increased 11.8% to 11,190.
The new-car market, still the largest segment, fell 5.3% in October to 40,856 units for a 10-month total down 3.1% at 429,785.
Light-commercial deliveries eased 1.9% for the month at 16,028 units and were down 60 units year-to-date at 164,145.
Year-to-date, the car segment holds a 44.9% market share, SUVs 35.2% and CVs 17.1%. Heavy CVs accounted for 2.7%.
The FCAI says government purchases fell across every segment in October, with total sales down 12.2% from a year ago. Business buying rose 11.2% and private purchases eased 2%.
The newly released Toyota Hilux was the best-selling vehicle in October with 3,339 units, just ahead of its stablemate, the Corolla with 3,271. They were followed by the Hyundai i30 (2,669) Ford Ranger (2,597) and Mazda3 (2,582).
Toyota topped the market in October with 16,964 deliveries for an 18.0% share. Hyundai delivered 9,003 units for 9.5%; Mazda, 8,532 for 9.0%; GM Holden, 8,088 for 8.6%; and Ford, 6,098 for 6.5%.
After 10 months, Toyota was at 166,617 units, down 1.1% from a year ago, but more than 72,000 units ahead of its nearest rival, Mazda, with 94,509. Hyundai (86,429), Holden (84,916), Mitsubishi (58,074) and Ford (57,832) followed.
Toyota Sales and Marketing Executive Director Tony Cramb says HiLux demand is trending even higher than the company had expected. “Toyota dealers took more than 4,000 new HiLux orders during the month,” he says in a statement. “Our dealers are already writing orders for delivery into 2016.”
Cloud Over Volkswagen
Beleaguered Volkswagen sold 4,480 units in October, down 6% from 4,764 in like-2014. Year-to-date, VW has delivered 51,326 units, up 11.9% from 45,859 prior-year.
VW’s emissions-compliance crisis has forced the Australian Automobile Assn. to postpone its 2015 Australia's Best Cars completion launch date.
CEO Michael Bradley says the AAA board believes the program cannot accurately or fairly assess VW Group vehicles against each criterion and as a result, no VW, Audi or Skoda vehicles will be considered in this year’s program.
“This decision requires additional scoring and vehicle assessment work be undertaken, and this has obliged the AAA to postpone the program’s November launch until the New Year,” Bradley says in a statement.
The program is the largest independent automobile assessment and awards program in Australia, evaluated by judges who spend more than 7,000 hours on the road every year testing more than 200 new cars.