STEPHEN OTTLEY August 03, 2012
Utes and SUVs remain popular as large cars continue downward spiral.
New vehicle sales remained strong in July thanks, in part, to the mining industry.
Sales for July are up 7 per cent over the same month last year and the industry remains on track for another year of more than one million new vehicles sales.
The July figures underline the continuing success of utes and SUVs, with both segments up more than 20 per cent over the same period in 2011.
The Toyota HiLux ute continues to be Australia's most popular vehicle, for the fourth month in succession, and is joined in the top 10 by both the Nissan Navara and Ford Ranger workhorses.
Strong sales of utes can be linked to the mining boom, with Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory all reporting strong sales. Sales in the Northern Territory are up by more than 16 per cent, WA by more than 15 per cent and Queensland by more than 11 per cent.
Thanks to improved supply following the Thai floods in 2011 HiLux has been steadily closing the gap on the Mazda3 to take the year-to-date sales lead. The pair is separated by less than 1600 sales; the gap has closed by more than 1000 units since May.
The Mazda3 remains the most popular passenger car ahead of the Toyota Corolla. Small cars took four of the top 10 positions in July.
But the news remains bleak for locally-made large cars. The large car market was down by more than 35 per cent and locally-made cars dropped more than 25 per cent in July.
Sales of the Holden Commodore are down more than 25 per cent compared to the same period in 2011. The only bright spot for the Commodore was the fact it out-sold the Holden Cruze small car for the first time since March.
There wasn't any good news for the Ford Falcon. In a month that saw Ford announced 440 local manufacturing job cuts and suppliers began publically speaking about a future without the Falcon, the company sold only 941 Falcons; down almost 30 per cent on 2011.
The car, which up until a couple of years ago was the number two selling car in Australia, was only the fifth-best selling car in the Ford range last month, behind the Ranger, Territory SUV and Focus and Fiesta small cars.
Top 10 models – July 2012
1. Toyota HiLux 4163
2. Mazda3 3355
3. Toyota Corolla 2985
4. Holden Commodore 2399
5. Nissan Navara 2164
6. Hyundai i30 2045
7. Holden Cruze 1875
8. Toyota Camry 1775
9. Ford Ranger 1688
10. Toyota Yaris 1518
Top 10 brands – July year-to-date
1. Toyota 123,815
2. Holden 65,119
3. Mazda 60,084
4. Hyundai 52,913
5. Ford 50,333
6. Nissan 46,034
7. Mitsubishi 34,567
8. Volkswagen 30,930
9. Subaru 24,364
10. Honda 19,022