Merc charges into the top 10

Mercedes-Benz hits Top 10 for sales

MERCEDES-Benz has flagged that it may run out of its best-selling model as the German luxury brand nudged into Australia’s monthly top 10 bestsellers’ list for the first time.

Sales of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class range, currently in run-out ahead of the all-new version’s introduction in a few months’ time, helped push the German luxury marque onto Australia’s most popular cars’ leaderboard and into the history books.

The German luxury car marque snared the bottom spot from regular top 10 goalsneak Honda, helped by strong sales of the compact A-Class hatchback.

According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ latest VFACTS data for May, released today, Mercedes-Benz grew its monthly market share by 0.3 per cent compared with April, to take 2.8 per cent of the Australian market – enough to push it over the line and onto the bestseller list.

The car maker is now almost a small-car specialist, with 633 C-Class sedans, wagons and coupes, and 475 A-Class hatchbacks making up the bulk of its 2611 sales during May.

Mercedes-Benz Australia public relations and product communications manager Jerry Stamoulis said May had been a “cracking month” for the brand.

“C-Class did extremely well to lead its segment and it’s looking like we’ll run out of existing C-Class before the new car is launched in August,” he said.

The new C-Class will launch in August as a sedan, with a wagon version joining the line-up later in the year to help round out the mainstream four-door range.

Stamoulis said the year-old A-Class had also had a big month as the A250 Sport continued to prove popular with luxury-car buyers, with more potentially in store.

“We’re not surprised by how well it’s going; it’s doing what we expected it to do,” he said.

“Stock is starting to come in – it’s been just over 12 months since the launch so stock is now where we want it to be.”

Also boosting the count is the new-generation S-Class limousine, launched in November last year. So far this year, 126 of the technology-laden limos have rolled out of Benz showrooms, with the V8 accounting for most sales.

Toyota once again topped the best-selling brand list with 17,248 sales, while its Corolla small hatch and sedan range topped the model top 10, with 3871 sales. The Toyota HiLux trade ute (3313 sales) ran in a close second.

Mazda’s still-fresh 3 hatchback and sedan took the number-three spot with 3291 sales, jumping almost eight per cent for the month, while a second Mazda model, the CX-5 small soft-roader, filled ninth spot with 1715 sales.

Holden’s locally made Commodore continues its rise in popularity, snaring 2648 sales for the month – more than 60 percent up on the previous month, and enough to place fourth. It almost doubled the sales of Holden’s other locally made model, the Cruze hatch and sedan, which continues to soften.

Falcon sales, meanwhile, appear to have bottomed out, with just 703 leaving showrooms during May as the countdown starts for a heavily refreshed version of the car due in November. Ford’s other locally built product, the Territory mid-size SUV, had a softer month with 887 sales.

A surprise top 10 entrant for the month is Jeep’s US-made Grand Cherokee, which claimed the title as the 10th best-selling model, with 1694 sales, squeezing out a top 10 stalwart, Toyota’s RAV4 small SUV, which still enjoyed a pretty good month despite its slide down the ranks.

At the bottom end of the market, Chinese marque Chery added a whopping 20 percent to its year-to-date tally by selling 56 cars during May alone.

Fiat’s decision to introduce cheaper price-leading models late last year is still paying dividends for the brand, with the city-smart 500 hatchback (236 sales) leading the charge. Its sales have quadrupled last year’s year-to-date tally, although off a very low benchmark.

While Mercedes-Benz has a clear year-to-date sales lead with 2611 units moved, Audi (1576) is starting to creep up on BMW (1834) in the fight for the number-two luxury brand spot.

Lexus has been resting on its strong-selling IS range, but this month adds a new compact SUV it hopes will seriously bolster its sales (603 in May). Infiniti, meanwhile, is still yet to find its feet (41 sales).

Nissan bounced back with a strong month after a very ordinary start to the year. Its fresh-faced third-generation X-Trail (1448) was the Japanese brand’s second strongest seller for the month, behind the Navara trade ute range (1541).

Porsche’s decision last year to introduce wholesale price cuts to everything not wearing a Panamera badge is paying dividends, with 264 Stuttgart rockets heading out the showroom doors in May, a whopping 82 percent jump over May last year.

However, sales have thinned for the Cayenne as buyers show a preference for jacked-up SUVs rather than low-slung sports cars. The Macan small SUV was launched locally last month but is yet to add significant sales to the tally.

TOP 10 MARQUES FOR MAY

1

Toyota

17,246

2

Holden

9012

3

Hyundai

8403

4

Mazda

7751

5

Ford

6950

6

Nissan

6281

7

Mitsubishi

5780

8

Volkswagen

4918

9

Subaru

3302

10

Mercedes-Benz

2611

TOP 10 CARS FOR MAY 

1

Toyota Corolla

3871

2

Toyota HiLux

3313

3

Mazda 3

3291

4

Holden Commodore

2648

5

Hyundai i30

2553

6

Ford Ranger

2317

7

Volkswagen Golf

2301

8

Mitsubishi Triton

2254

9

Mazda CX-5

1715

10

Jeep Grand Cherokee

1694

SOURCE: VFACTS

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