September new-car sales numbers: Mitsubishi, Mazda and Kia shine in downward market

With one quarter to go before the end of 2019, Australia’s new car market continues to haemorrhage sales as September’s figures reveal a drop of 6.9 per cent to 88,181 units compared to the same month last year.

Only the SUV market managed to find growth last month, lifting 1.1 per cent to 41,861, while passenger cars dropped a substantial 18.3 per cent to 24,893.

Despite the top three best-selling models last month being the Toyota HiLux (3364, -22.5%), Ford Ranger (3116, -3.5%) and Mitsubishi Triton (3001, +61,6%), the light-commercial vehicle (LCV) segment also dipped 5.4 per cent to 18,257.

After nine months of trading, Australia’s overall new vehicle tally sits at 811,464 units, which is 7.9 per cent off the pace of the same period in 2018.

However, Mitsubishi, Mazda and Kia have managed to grow their market share in September, up 18.0, 15.5 and 2.5 per cent with 8990, 8168 and 5128 sales respectively compared to the same month last year.

Thanks to its sales surge, Mitsubishi secured second place in September with a 10.2 per cent market share behind the evergreen Toyota that carved up 17.2 per cent of the overall market last month.

Three Mitsubishi models placed in the top 10 model table, with the recently refreshed Triton in third, the ASX (2419, +13.1%) in fifth and the Outlander (1731, +23.3%) in 10th.

Toyota however, tallied 15,166 sales in September, a 12.8 per cent drop over the same month in 2018, with the HiLux once again topping the best-selling models’ table, and the Corolla small car (2219, -23.9%) placing seventh.

Mazda’s annual M day sales event, which was held in September this year as opposed to August last year, made a significant impact to the brand’s bottom line and reversed its drastic sales drop the month before.

As a result, Mazda finished the month in third place with the CX-5 mid-size SUV (2355, +56.4%) coming in as the fifth most-popular model.

Fourth-placed Hyundai continued to kick goals in September, notching 7245 sales (-10.7%), with its i30 small car (2447, -2.4%) placed fourth on the sales charts and Australia’s best-selling passenger vehicle for the month.

Kia’s sales increase last month secured the South Korean brand fifth place on the manufacturer list, as the Cerato (2022, +28.5%) landed in seventh position on the top 10 models’ chart.

Meanwhile, Ford sales reached 4783 (5.9%) last month for sixth place, just ahead of seventh-placed Nissan with 4651 (-10.0%) sales.

The Ranger did the majority of the heavy lifting for Ford last month, representing 65 per cent of the brand’s overall sales, while Nissan’s most-popular model was the X-Trail SUV (1769, -7.3%) that landed in ninth place.

Volkswagen scored eigth place with 3816 sales, down 18.7 per cent, last month, while Subaru and Honda battled for ninth and 10th place respectively, with the former hitting 3502 (-26.4%) sales and the latter notching 3404 (-24.8%) units.

Holden’s performance continued to slide in September with just 2863 (-38.4%) sales, placing it 11th on the charts and its lowest monthly result in its history.

Of note, the three best-selling models each outsold Holden’s entire portfolio in September.

Now in its eighteenth consecutive month of sales decline, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said: “It is clear the slower sales rate the market is experience is in line with the broader economic environment in Australia.

“Of particular concern to the industry is the restrictive regulatory lending conditions currently facing consumers,” he said.

“The question has to be asked – are these results telling us we have made it too difficult for people to finance basic purchases in today’s Australia?”