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Australia May 2019: Toyota RAV4 first ever SUV to climb on monthly podium in 14th consecutive market fall

The Toyota RAV4 breaks the monthly ranking record for an SUV in Australia at #3.

This article has been updated with the Top 47 All-brands and Top 275 All-models.

The Australian new vehicle market endures a 14th consecutive month of year-on-year decline in May at -8.1% to 92.561 units, exactly the same rate as YTD at 436.649, the lowest volume at this stage of the year since 2012 (435.288). Passenger cars (-11.9%) continue to fall into oblivion at just 28.890 units and 31.2% share vs. 32.5% a year ago and 37.7% in 2017, and even SUVs (-4.7%) also fall year-on-year to 40.937 and 44.2% share vs. 42.7% in May 2018 and 38.5% in 2017. Light commercials (-9%) also suffer to 19.178 or 20.7% share vs. 20.9%. Petrol sales (56.937) easily top diesel (28.460), hybrid (3.498) and EV/PHEV (170) keeping in mind Tesla doesn’t disclose sales figures for Australia. Only one State is up this month and year-to-date: Tasmania up 5.5% and 2.2% respectively, with the Northern Territory the hardest hit at -20.2% in May and -10.7% YTD. Cars sold in Australia come from Japan at 29.506 (-3.6%), Thailand at 22.979 (-9.9%) and South Korea at 13.673 (-13.3%).

As usual, Toyota (-3.8%) is the best-selling carmaker in the country, posting the best hold on the podium to a dominant 20.3% share, more than Mazda (-8.8%) and Hyundai (-8%) put together. Ford (+0.9%) manages its first year-on-year uptick in 15 months (since February 2018), securing the 4th spot above Kia (+0.6%) also up to equal the record share hit just last month at 6% and break into the Top 5 for only the 2nd time in history after last January. The remainder of the Top 10 bar Subaru (+0.1%) falls faster than the market, led by Mitsubishi (-26%), Volkswagen (-16.8%) and Holden (-14.4%) with only Nissan (-8.4%) in the single-digits. Lexus (+5.9%), Volvo (+5.8%), Skoda (+5.6%) and Suzuki (+4.8%) shine further down into the Top 20.

No surprises atop the models ranking: the Toyota Hilux (-4.1%) scores a 19th consecutive month at #1 – the longest winning streak for any nameplate in Australia in 14 years, since the 22 straight wins of the Holden Commodore between October 2003 and July 2005. However for the 2nd month in a row the Hilux loses to its archenemy the Ford Ranger (+8.1%) in the lucrative 4×4 ute battle at 3.137 vs. 3.604. Boosted by its new generation now in dealerships and up 10 ranks on April, the Toyota RAV4 (+41.4%) becomes the very first SUV to climb onto the monthly Australian podium at #3 according to BSCB archives, with its previous high being #7 reached in January 2003, January, May and July 2018. The previous highest ranking held by an SUV in Australia was #4 by the Hyundai Tucson in June and August 2017. Only three other SUVs have ever managed to rank inside the monthly Top 6: the Mazda CX-5 at #5 (8 times between April 2017 and February 2019), the Mitsubishi ASX at #5 in October 2018 and the Ford Territory at #6 in December 2004.

The RAV4 is also the best-selling SUV in the country for the first time in 4.5 years (since December 2014). At 3.2% share, it also becomes the first ever SUV to cross the 3% share mark in Australia, the previous best being 2.9% by the Ford Territory in December 2005 and the Mazda CX-5 in January 2019. However its 2.917 units, although a new volume record for the nameplate, isn’t a new SUV record, ranking 3rd below the Hyundai Tucson at 3.741 in June 2017 and the Mazda CX-5 at 3.136 in June 2018. June volumes traditionally being the largest for the year, the RAV4 could well break the SUV volume record as soon as next month. Below, the Hyundai i30 (+4.4%) takes the lead of the passenger cars race, outpacing the Toyota Corolla (-20.9%) and Mazda3 (-8.8%) both handicapped by dearer new generations. The Kia Cerato (+9.8%) is down one spot on its record #7 last month but equals its record share at 2.2%. The Subaru Forester (+81.3%), Toyota Camry (+12.5%), Nissan X-Trail (+7.3%) and Toyota Prado (+3.7%) are also strong in the remainder of the Top 15.

Previous month: Australia April 2019: Kia hits highest share, Cerato up to record #7 in 13th straight market drop

One year ago: Australia May 2018: Kia breaks records, Holden down to #8

Full May 2019 Top 37 All-brands and Top 275 models below.

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