New car sales stagnate in April

Ben Gribbin 10 May 2018 NEWS

cars

The Holden Commodore posts its lowest sales in 40 years.

The April edition of VFACTS has arrived. The monthly breakdown of new car sales shows which carmakers are doing well and which ones aren’t.

April new car sales summary

Total new car sales for April 2018 were 82,930, or 4,365 per business day. The final sales figure was down compared to those of March (106,998), February (95,999) and January (88,551) 2018. April 2017 sat 0.2% higher for sales, with 83,135 sales made, despite April 2018 having one more business day.

So far, this year's sales are still 3.3% higher than the same period in 2017, thanks to thriving car sales in the opening quarter.

Why the sales slowdown?

Sales for April slipped due to weak demand for passenger vehicles. Sales for passenger vehicles slumped by 14.4% compared to April 2017. Holden endured their worst sales month for Commodores since the car’s launch 40 years ago, shifting a measly 587 models. That’s a 60% plummet over last April. However, Holden wasn’t the only sedan producer to suffer fewer orders. Ford sold 30% fewer Mondeos, just 208, while the Toyota Camry saw a 60% reduction in demand.

The light commercial segment also recorded a sales decrease of 5.9%, down by a total of 1,106 units. It didn’t help that Australia’s most prominent car-buying state NSW bought 5.5% fewer vehicles.

Australia's growing SUV market came through to save the day, with a 15.3% increase. Additionally, heavy commercial vehicles saw a 25.2% boost. Small SUVs were the most popular with the car-buying public, with a 33.3% jump in orders compared to April 2017. Micro-cars like the Kia Picanto also commanded growing sales with an 8.6% improvement. Picking up where NSW buyers left off, WA, SA, Queensland and Victoria all posted sales gains.

Best-selling car brands

If you’ve read any of our previous VFACTs recaps, there are no prizes for guessing the best-selling automaker: Toyota once again finished first.

Rank Brand April 2018 sales
1 Toyota 16,647
2 Mazda 7,723
3 Hyundai 7,132
4 Mitsubishi 5,508
5 Ford 4,822
6 Holden 4,576
7 Kia 4,502
8 Volkswagen 3,918
9 Nissan 3,028
10 Honda 3,017

Best-selling car models

The Toyota Hilux was again crowned Australia’s best selling vehicle with 3,956 orders. The Toyota Corolla ousted the Ford Ranger from its usual second place into third. The small Mazda3 hatch finished in fourth place and another Toyota model, the LandCruiser, rounded out the top five.

Rank Model April 2018 sales
1 Toyota Hilux 3,596
2 Toyota Corolla 2,979
3 Ford Ranger 2,796
4 Mazda3 2,261
5 Toyota LandCruiser 2,081
7 Hyundai i30 1,903
7 Hyundai Tucson 1,816
8 Mazda CX-5 1,725
9 Mitsubishi ASX 1,706
10 Toyota Prado 1,699

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