TOYOTA continues to dominate new car sales, with the market leading Hilux celebrating its 50th anniversary in style, with yet another month as Australia’s number one selling vehicle.
The latest VFACTS figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show a February sales total of 95,999, an increase of 7.8 per cent over February last year, lifting the 2018 year-to-date cumulative total to 184,550.
This pattern maintains strong industry momentum at an important time, and there were some significant standouts hidden in the multitude of numbers published earlier today.
Key segments of the market produced positive results with light passenger cars up by 10.3 per cent on the same time last year, while small passenger cars are up by 9.4 per cent and three of the four SUV segments are showing double-digit growth.
Small SUVs climbed 21.4 per cent compared with February 2017, mediums SUVs by 17.1 per cent and upper large by 12.9 per cent. Of note in that growth, is the fact the Toyota RAV4 has experienced its best January-February sales in its 24 year history.
Light commercials produced strong gains again in the two key light truck segments, with 4×2 pick-up and cab chassis models up by 7.1 per cent (compared with February 2017) and 4WD versions increasing by 17.9 per cent.
The Toyota Hilux, which led the market last year, maintained its top-seller position in February with 4,426 sales, followed by the Ford Ranger (3,544 sales), Toyota Corolla (3,270), Mazda3 (2,935) and the Mazda CX-5 (2,191).
Across the brands, Toyota was the market leader for February with a 19 per cent share, followed by Mazda with 10.3 per cent, Hyundai with 8.3 per cent, Mitsubishi (7.4%) and Ford (6.3%).
Of note in the sports utility, SUV and van spaces, is the 126 per cent increase in sales, year on year, for Chinese car maker LDV, with much of its sales success in 2018 attributed to the new T60 utility range.
The only real downside across the new car market is a very small reduction in passenger vehicle sales, just 250 individual cars, which can be attributed to the 4,303 vehicle increase in the sports utility market.