A total of 100,200 new vehicle sales were recorded nationally last month, a fall of 2.4 per cent compared with September 2016, according to the industry’s official statistical service VFACTS.

High-end utes are still accelerating but passenger car sales have softened significantly in an overall new vehicle market in Australia that went into reverse during September, 2017.

The Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Tony Weber, said that while there was a modest sales fall in September, strong activity was recorded across several key segments.

“Any month over 100,000 total sales has to be seen as a strong outcome, proving there is continued value for the consumer in the market,” Mr Weber said.

SUV and light commercials remain the two robust areas of the market, accounting for a 58.8 per cent share of total sales year to date.

Pick-up and cab-chassis 4X4 light commercial vehicles, together with small and medium Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) were the three growth segments during September. The 4X4 light commercials were up 11 per cent, small SUVs rose 7.9 per cent and medium SUVs increased 3.3 per cent compared with September 2016.

All passenger car segments were affected by the downturn although sales of sports cars (+4.1%) and people movers (+5.0%) remain ahead of 2016 year to date. All the states and territories experienced a decline in sales although New South Wales (-0.7%), Victoria (-2.3%) and Queensland (-2.7%) were the least affected. On a year to date basis, Victoria’s 3.3 per cent growth significantly outstrips that of all the other states and territories.

Private sales of light commercial vehicles provided stimulus during September, increasing by 9.6 per cent over the same month last year. Business sales of light commercials, too, were up by 7.9 per cent, with 4X4 utilities and cab-chassis models as the segment’s strongest sellers. Diesel remains the overwhelming engine type preference in the light commercial market, up by 10.5 per cent in September to both private and non-private buyers.

In a month where SUV sales were down 1.3 per cent overall, business (+1.7%) and government (+6.7%) sales both absorbed some of the shortfall from an 8.5 per cent decline in private sales.

The Ford Ranger light commercial was Australia’s top-selling vehicle for September with 4,318 sales, followed by the Toyota Hilux (3,822), Toyota Corolla (3,055), Mazda3 (2,776) and Holden Commodore (2,547).

Top 10 Models for September 2017:

  • Ford Ranger — 4,318 (+48.7% YoY)
  • Toyota Hi-Lux — 3,822 (+19.1% YoY)
  • Toyota Corolla — 3,055 (-10.8% YoY)
  • Mazda 3 — 2,776 (-20.5% YoY)
  • Holden Commodore — 2,547 (+7.7% YoY)
  • Hyundai i30 — 2,300 (-16.1% YoY)
  • Toyota Camry — 2,251 (+12.1% YoY)
  • Hyundai Tucson — 2,220 (+0.5% YoY)
  • Mitsubishi Outlander — 2,021 (+80.6% YoY)
  • Mazda CX5 — 1,910 (-28.2% YoY)


The Ford Ranger ute was Australia’s top selling vehicle in September, 2017 with 4,318 purchased by buyers, with Toyota’s Hilux ute the second biggest seller across the entire market at 3,822.

Ford Ranger sales are 49 per cent higher than they were a year ago, while Toyota Hi-Lux sales are up 19 per cent over the same month a year ago.

The Toyota Corolla sedan is the third largest selling vehicle on the market, followed by the Mazda3 and then the Holden Commodore.

Toyota, which on October 3 officially shut down its Melbourne manufacturing factory in the western suburb of Altona, had the biggest market share in Australia with 17.3 per cent of all vehicles solid in September. Mazda was second with 10.3 per cent and Hyundai third at 8.1 per cent.

Holden, which will end almost 60 years of car manufacturing at its Elizabeth factory in northern Adelaide on October 20, had a total market share of 6.9 per cent in September.

"At AFS, our business car loan product or commercial car loan enables Australians to make their purchase through a car dealership, auction house, or from a private sale vendor" says Brad Dale, Executive Director of AFS.

"Our business has had to adapt to the changing tastes of consumers in terms of what vehicles want to buy and where they want to shop."

"AFS specialises in the private-to-private sale market and also accommodates those car buyers looking for something unique like an imported vehicle or older vehicle that may be hard to value. Classic cars that have enjoyed a resurgence this year." Mr Dale said.

"Customers can arrange car finance through AFS that ensures flexibility of choice:

  • Dealer, Auction or Private Sale;
  • New, Demonstrator or Used;
  • Classic, Vintage or Restored cars;
  • Cars of any age to a total value of $100,000."