Sales are up, official forecast revised
Ford are getting a caning in all categories except Falcon ute sales and Holden are catching fast... :bgrrrr:
It all depends on how you look at the numbers.
Although sales figures released yesterday by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show April as being down on the previous month of March by almost six percent, the FCAI has raised its forecast for 2002 to 800,000 vehicles.
VFACTS, the industry’s standard retail report, has the April market down by 3,938 units (-5.8%) on March. However, as April had less selling days than March (count the public holidays, Easter fell entirely in March) it actually had an increase of 128 vehicles per day, or 4.8%
Most importantly, Year To Date (YTD) sales are up eight percent on the same time last year, triggering the FCAI’s optimism.
Chamber chief executive Peter Sturrock said three of the last four months had seen a substantial increase in demand.
“There is significant sign of increased customer activity,“ said Mr Sturrock.
“Sales peaks at the end of the financial year and when new models are released in the third and fourth quarters are likely to drive sales figures even higher.”
Leader of the pack
Holden speared the market home yet again in April, heading Toyota by 2,949 vehicles for a lead of 4.6 percentage points.
It’s probably no consolation for Toyota that, in the YTD figures, Holden’s margin is `only’ 3.9 percent, or 10,019 vehicles.
Traditional rival to Holden but now seemingly only on the racetrack (and that’s yet to be a wild success), Ford last month trailed the General by 6,583 deliveries. A daunting 10.3 percent deficiency, the YTD difference is only slightly less at 9.5.
The Top Ten
While growth is being witnessed in all market areas (Passenger, Light Truck, Heavy Commercial) over the corresponding period last year, it’s the `lifestyle vehicle’ sales which are performing most strongly.
This is clearly indicated by demand for sports cars increasing by a massive 75 percent so far this year, and sales of compact all terrain wagons are up 28.6.
So, to the segment performers…
Sportscar - What's in a name? Lots!
With a 75 percent growth spurt, the 20 contenders in this segment might be expected to all take a share, but of course it doesn’t necessarily work that way.
Holden Monaro remains the undisputed leader, building on its early success as the long-awaited `reborn legend' with 465 sales for an impressive 36.3% of the segment. And it was followed by another new Holden, the Astra convertible, with 122 units for 9.5% share.
Third was a tie between Honda Integra and Peugeot 206 convertible, selling 101 units each for 7.9%, followed by the car that once ruled this segment, Mazda MX5, with 95 deliveries for 7.4% share.
Light Passenger - accent on VFM
With 19 competing models all throwing `value for money’ at buyers, this segment is led by Hyundai’s Accent, which sold 1725 units last month for 31.0 percent of the segment. It was followed home by the Holden Barina, selling 1,118 units for 20.1 percent share.
Third was the Daewoo Lanos on 498 units (9.0%), fourth was Toyota Echo with 402 sales (7.2%), and Kia Rio was fifth on 384 sales (6.9%).
Small Passenger - BigT scores a hit
There can be no doubting that the 22 entrants in this keenly contested segment were led in by the Toyota Corolla, with 2,735 deliveries giving it 20.8% share. Runner-up was the Holden Astra selling 2,148 units for 16.4%.
Third in line was the Mitsubishi Lancer on 1,386 units (10.6%), very closely followed by Nissan Pulsar’s 1,380 (10.5%), and fifth was the Mazda 323 on 1,035 deliveries (7.9%).
Medium Passenger - and again
Another winning segment for Toyota, this one has 11 competing models but it’s hard to argue with a share of 41.2%. That’s what the 4-cylinder Camry managed with its 1,230 units.
Second, but a lot further down the line, was the Subaru Liberty with 545 units (18.3%), followed by the Mazda 626 on 472 (15.8%). Holden Vectra 4-cylinder took fourth spot with 385 units (12.9%) , and fifth was Renault Scenic on 109 deliveries (3.7%).
[B] Large Passenger - And the winner is (yawn)...
This 11-model segment is where Holden and Ford had always been serious sparring partners, but it’s difficult to imagine that today when Holden’s Commodore literally rules in here, last month selling 7,008 units for a seemingly invincible 51.1% share
Ford’s Falcon is second, but with barely more than half that share. Falcon sold 3,623 units to claim 26.4% of the segment.
Third was the Mitsubishi Magna with 1,160 sales (8.5%), but then things get interesting again with two entrants from Toyota, the Camry V6 and the Avalon, combining to reach 1,449 units (10.6%). Magna may have secured third spot overall, but the extra 140 units (1.0%) contributed by its up-spec Verada were not enough to keep it clear of Toyota.
People Movers - the carnival continues
`Value for money’ speaks clearly again here, the 13 competing models being lead in by Kia Carnival’s 197 units (24.3%)
Second was Toyota Tarago with 127 deliveries (15.6%), Holden Zafira was third on 106 units (13.1%) , fourth went to the Chrysler Voyager on 104 sales (12.8%), and fifth was another Toyota, the Avensis, with 83 units (10.2%).
Prestige Passenger - local politician re-elected
Another win for Holden, with its Statesman leading home the 22 competing models on 341 units and 16.0% share.
Runner-up was the Nissan Maxima, selling 187 vehicles to claim 8.8%, and third was Ford Fairlane with 154 units and 7.2%. Volkswagen’s Bora claimed fourth spot with 133 deliveries and 6.2%, followed by Honda Accord on 124 (5.8%).
Luxury Passenger - talk about crowded
No less than 58 models are now jostling for attention in one of the smaller segments in terms of volume, yet Luxury Passenger remains the preserve of the two big Germans, BMW and Mercedes-Benz .
BMW’s 3-Series sedan held the top spot with 433 units and 17.7% of the segment, closely followed by the C-Class Mercedes on 404 deliveries (16.5%).
Third was another BMW, the 3-Series coupe on 177 and 7.2%, fourth was the Mercedes C-Class sports coupe with 112 units (4.6%), and fifth was (you guessed it, another BMW) the 5-Series recording 107 sales (4.4%).
Light Trucks, 4x4s
These are all fiercely contested segments, and that’s particularly so in the ever-expanding choices made available in what dyed-in-the-wool 4WDrivers refer to as "soft-roaders". Despite their sniffs of disapproval, significant numbers of buyers have been deciding they don't need full offroad ability.
All Terrain Wagon Compact - who needs L4?
There are now 15 models vying for attention, and they were lead in yet again by the Honda CR-V with its 926 deliveries giving it 24.1% of the segment.
Second was the Subaru Forester with 686 units (17.8%), closely followed by Nissan’s X-Trail on 676 (17.6%), fourth was the Daihatsu Terios on 175 (4.5%), and fifth was the LandRover Freelander on 67 units (1.7%).
All Terrain Wagon Medium - we need L4 (we think)
The most crowded of all offroad segments with 21 competitors, this saw another win by the Mitsubishi Pajero with 654 units claiming 14.7% share.
There was a changing of the guard for second place, however, with a `softroad' all-wheel-drive displacing a `real 4WD'. It may not have low range but the Mazda Tribute continues its climb up the slope of sales with 628 units to stake 14.1% of the segment, just 0.6 of a point shy of Pajero.
Toyota’s Prado found itself third on 525 deliveries (11.8%), followed by Subaru Outback with 478 (10.7%) and the Ford Escape (rebadged sibling of the Mazda Tribute) on 305 (6.8%).
All Terrain Wagon Large - we definitely need L4!
There are only seven contenders in this segment, and they were lead as usual by Toyota’s LandCruiser wagon that sold 1,148 units to claim 43.7% share.
Again as usual, the runner-up was Nissan Patrol on 742 units (31.5%), leaving the others to squabble over the remnants. Jeep Grand Cherokee sold 175 units (7.4%), the Mercedes-Benz M-Class had 160 deliveries (6.8%), and the BMW X5 sold 110 units (4.7%).
4X2 Utility - the workers slug it out
Ford still fights back here, its Falcon ute leading in the eight competitors with a tally of 1,366 to claim 29.9% share.
Holden’s Commodore ute was runner-up again, with 1,081 deliveries and 23.6% of the segment, however the minor placings create an interesting situation.
Toyota’s Hilux was third on 812 units (17.8%), followed by Holden Rodeo with 565 sales (12.4%), then the Ford Courier with 249 (5.4%).
So despite its Falcon ute leading them in, Ford is second overall in the segment as Holden’s Commodore and Rodeo combined had 1,648 sales (38%), to the combined total of Falcon and Courier, 1,615 units and 35.3%.
Good times ahead?
With sales taking such an upward swing, Australia's automotive industry has reason to feel confident. However, it will be interesting next month to observe any effect on deliveries of the recent industrial action that forced the industry through almost two weeks of paused and halted production.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.