Australia’s motor industry new car sales for the first half of 2018 are ahead of 2017 by 1% at 605,522 units but have car sales cooled as housing prices slump? 

The three top-selling vehicles during June 2018 were Utes with Toyota Hilux continuing to dominate overall new car sales in Australia. But hot on its rear bumper bar is the Ford Ranger and not far behind the Mitsubishi Triton. 

Whilst light commercial sales continue to roar along, passenger vehicles are down by 17.9% and it will take more than low interest rates and end of financial year clearance sales to hit a milestone for the calendar year.

SUV's accounted for 43.1 per cent of the total market in June 2018.

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) continued to strengthen last month, sales increasing by 9.3 per cent over June 2017.

SUVs held a dominant 43.1 per cent share of the June market, with the passenger car share at 31.9 per cent, and light commercials at 21.8 per cent.

Among the passenger cars, the micro segment was the only one to show an increase, jumping by 58.9 per cent albeit off relatively low volumes.

The small and medium segments were the main contributors to the growth in SUV sales during June. Small SUVs rose 32.2 per cent, and medium SUVs by 7.3 per cent.

Year to date, light commercial sales in general, like the SUVs, continue to show growth and now account for 20.3 per cent of the total market, up from 19.8 per cent for the corresponding six months of 2017.

There were declines in purchasing across all buyer types in June (other than rental), with private sales down 7.8 per cent, business down 1.5 per cent and government down 5.1 per cent. On a year-to-date basis, business and rental sales are still running ahead of last year.

In sales across the states and territories, only Tasmania showed an increase in June compared with the same month last year. Tasmania’s sales rose 3.0 per cent. Sales across NSW fell 4.5 per cent, Victoria was down 1.5 per cent, Queensland dropped 1.7 per cent, as did the Northern Territory (-3.5%), Western Australia (-0.8%), South Australia (-6.7%) and the ACT (-10%).

The five top-sellers for June were the Toyota Hilux (5,787), Ford Ranger (4,768), Mitsubishi Triton (3,919), Toyota Corolla (3,780) and Hyundai i30 (3,547).

Toyota led the market with a 17.8 per cent share, followed by Mazda (9.6%), Hyundai (8.0%), Mitsubishi (7.9%), and Ford (5.7%).

Toyota’s drop away was entirely attributable to a big fall in Camry sales. Last June it was doing huge deals to move Australian-made stock, whereas it took a more profit-minded approach with the import this year and saw sales more than half.

Top 10 Brands for June 2018:

  • Toyota — 23,171 (17.8% share)
  • Mazda — 12,469 (9.6% share)
  • Hyundai — 10,436 (8.0% share)
  • Mitsubishi — 10,232 (7.9% share)
  • Ford — 7,492 (5.7% share)
  • Holden — 7,385 (5.7% share)
  • Kia — 7,067 (5.4% share)
  • Honda — 7,013 (5.1% share)
  • Nissan — 6,604 (5.1% share)
  • Volkswagen — 6,334 (4.9% share) 

Top 10 Models for June 2018:

  • Toyota Hilux — 5,787
  • Ford Ranger — 4,768
  • Mitsubishi Triton — 3,919
  • Toyota Corolla — 3,780
  • Hyundai i30 — 3,547
  • Mazda 3 — 3,327
  • Mazda CX-5 — 3,136
  • Toyota RAV4 — 2,690
  • Kia Cerato — 2,485
  • Holden Colorado — 2,472

Positions 11-20 were occupied by the Volkswagen Golf, Honda CR-V, Isuzu D-Max, Nissan Qashqai, Nissan X-Trail, Mitsubishi ASX, Hyundai Tucson, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V. 

Key Points for June 2018:

  • The June 2018 market of 130,300 new vehicle sales is a decrease of 3,871 vehicle sales or -2.9% on June 2017 (134,171) vehicle sales. June 2018 (25.2) had 0.2 more selling days than June 2017 (25.0) but this resulted in a decrease of 196.2 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 9,085 vehicle sales (-17.9%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is up by 4,769 vehicle sales (9.3%); the Light Commercial Market is up by 93 vehicle sales (0.3%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 352 vehicle sales (9.1%) versus June 2017.
  • Toyota was market leader in June, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 10,702 vehicle sales and 7.8 market share points.

In response to the strong half year sales, Managing Director of AFS, Brian Anderson, said "Strong sales throughout all segments, particularly commercial vehicles, SUVs and utes had translated across to the car finance market with AFS achieving record car loan volumes in June 2018."

"At AFS, our business car loan product or commercial car loan has been very popular with finance brokers to finance Utes like the Hilux & Ranger and SUVs like the mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4."

"Off the back of strong new car sales, we also see strong demand our used car loan, private sale car loan, import car loan and classic car loan."

"In fact, AFS is currently running a classic car loan campaign with that runs until the end of September 2018 which is driving increased enquiries for older cars, vintage cars, classic cars, restored cars and muscle." Mr Anderson 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 $130,000."