AUSTRALIA’S new-car market continued to nudge record territory in October, as observers focused on Volkswagen Group to see if the Dieselgate scandal was hurting.
Judging by the figures, the results are varied. While the halo brand Volkswagen suffered a six percent slump in sales, to 4480, compared with the same month last year, its premium arm Audi (2030 sales) managed to outsell rival BMW (2001) for the month, and market minnow Skoda (412) improved its lot.
The Australian new-car market recorded 94,321 sales last month, a 3.4 percent rise over the same month last year and only 2603 sales behind the record-setting October 2013, the latest VFACTS data shows.
Australian sales for the calendar year are expected to crack the one million mark this month, on the way to what could be a record.
The month belonged to business buyers, as both government and private buyers chose to idle along.
Business-bred spending was reflected in the sales numbers. Toyota reckoned its all-new Hilux would have a crack at becoming Australia’s best-selling model, and it wasn’t too far wrong, with the trade ute notching up 3339 sales for the month to relegate the car-fleet friendly Toyota Corolla hatch to second place on 3271 sales.
Third place went to another fleet favourite and last month’s best-seller, the sharply discounted Hyundai i30 (2669 sales), while the Mazda 3 (2582) and last-generation Holden Commodore (2243) rounded out the top five.
Toyota led the overall sales race, moving 16,964 units for the month. Hyundai was a distant second on 9003, with Mazda (8532), Holden (8088) and a resurgent Ford (6098) rounding out the top five.
Ford’s turn of fortune from its lacklustre September again rested on the Ranger trade ute (2597) accounting for two out of every five of the brand’s sales, but stand-out performers for the brand’s passenger car line-up include the Focus hatch and sedan (715), Territory SUV (596), and even the Falcon large sedan (435), which had a strong month.
Toyota’s new entrant to the Australian market, the Hilux-based Fortuna SUV, did well (329 sales) considering it has not been on sale for a full month, while its direct competitors, the Holden Colorado 7 (255) and Isuzu MU-X (496) softened slightly for the month compared with September.
October marked 12 months to the start of the closure of what’s left of the Australian car manufacturing industry, with the figures showing the number of Aussie-built rides joining our driveways continues to decline at a steady rate.
The VFACTS figures show only 7150 locally made cars wheeled out of showrooms nationally, down 6.9 percent on the same month last year and 8.4 percent since the start of this year.
Holden was the biggest local manufacturer, selling 3513 vehicles, followed by Toyota with 2409 and Ford with 1228.
Top 10 passenger cars for October
Top 10 brands for October