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Australia February 2016: Mazda, Hilux and Ranger shine in record month

Toyota Hilux sales are up 14% year-on-year in January. Picture caradvice.com.au

* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 50 All-brands by clicking on the title *

The Australian new light vehicle market is flying from record to record: after signing an all-time high year in 2015, February sales mark the highest ever score for this month at 96.443 units, up 7% on a year ago and lifting the year-to-date total up 5% to 180.816 sales, here too a record after just two months. The three biggest states in the country are driving most of the national growth: New South Wales (Sydney) is up 13% to 32.633 sales, Victoria (Melbourne) is up 8% to 26,782 and Queensland (Brisbane) up 3% to 18,711 whereas Western Australia is in negative again. SUVs (38.2% share, up 2.8 points) continue to put pressure on passenger cars (41% share, down 4.1 points) with light commercials – mainly pickup trucks – also up at 18.1% share (+1.0 point).

The Ford Ranger is up an impressive 36% so far this year. Picture caradvice.com.au

Among channels, business sales drive the market at +16%) while private sales (+1%) and government sales (+2%) grow slower and rental sales decrease (-0.6%). As the country is headed towards becoming a pure importer for the first time in 80 years, Australian consumers are already walking away from local production: the most popular sources of imports this month are Japan (28.138), Thailand (22.325), South Korea (11.576) and Germany (7.322), all outselling Australian-made vehicles at 6.493 or a paltry 6.7% of sales.

Mazda CX-3. The Japanese carmaker is up 13% to 10.6% market share. 

Toyota climbs back to more reassuring heights at 16.8% thanks to stable sales (16.191) while full importer Mazda stuns again with deliveries up 13% to post a second 5-digit monthly figure in a row at 10.205 and 10.6% share. Its year-to-date market share stands at 11.2% vs. 15.8% for Toyota. Hyundai disappoints at -4% but still manages to rank third above Holden (-6%) whereas Mitsubishi jumps up two spots to #5 (+7%) followed by Ford, up an unusual 33% to 6.656 registrations.

Mitsubishi Triton Australia February 2016. Picture courtesy caradvice.com.auMitsubishi ranks at a high #5 in February.

A lot of carmakers post spectacular gains this month: BMW is up 52% to #13, Land Rover up 64% at #18, Porsche up 145% to #21, Volvo up 59% to #22, Jaguar up 192% to #27 and Chinese carmaker LDV is up 274% to a still modest 131 sales. Notice also – in ranking order – Subaru (+10%), Honda (+13%), Mercedes (+18%), Kia (+21%), Audi (+18%), Isuzu (+15%), Suzuki (+12%), Lexus (+30%) and Mini (+34%). On the other hand, Jeep continues its freefall at a devastating -42% to #17. Note newcomer Ram drops from 23 sales in January to just 11 in February.

BMW jumps 52% in February while Lexus is up 30%.

If we split sales between passenger cars and SUVs, the brands rankings differ greatly. According to local publication caradvice.com.au, the most popular passenger vehicle brands in February are: Toyota (6.763), Mazda (5.610), Hyundai (4.771), Holden (4.152), Volkswagen (3.054), Kia (2.096), Ford (1.930), Mercedes (1.576), Honda (1.385) and BMW (1.279). The leading SUV brands are Toyota (4.869), Nissan (3.735), Mazda (3.712), Mitsubishi (3.516), Subaru (2.534), Hyundai (2.282), Honda (1.894), Ford (1.696), Holden (1.529) and BMW (1.469).

The Mazda3 remains the #1 vehicle so far in 2016.

In the models ranking and despite sales down 12% year-on-year, the Toyota Corolla reclaims the pole position it has held over the past three years off the Mazda3 – leader in January – but its slim February advantage (3.455 vs. 3.354) keeps it to #2 year-to-date at 6.213 (-16%) vs. 7.076 (-6%). for the Mazda. The Toyota Hilux is up 14% to reclaims the ute lead off the Ford Ranger (+36%) at 3.261 sales vs. 2.655 while the Hyundai i30 (+16%) is back to #5, the Holden Commodore (-7%) back up 9 ranks on January to #6 and the Mitsubishi Triton (+9%) is up 10 to #7, a ranking it also held last December.

In a month where everyone is back to their traditional leadership positions, the Mazda CX-5 (#8) reclaims the SUV lead over the Hyundai Tucson (#9) still impressive at 1.849 deliveries. The Mazda CX-3 (1.381) and Honda HR-V (1.152) still display loads of potential as well.

Previous month: Australia January 2016: Hyundai Tucson breaks record in 6th place overall

One year ago: Australia February 2015: Toyota Corolla #1, Mazda CX-5 hits record #6

Full February 2016 Top 10 models and Top 50 All-brands below.

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