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Australian Auto Market Research: Businesses Continue to Rein in Fleet Purchases in 2014

The latest Australian auto market research has been released by VFACTS so it’s time to review vehicle sales performance as they were at the end of May 2014. 

Looking at the market as a whole, sales in the first five months of 2014 have not kept pace with 2013. 441,642 new vehicles were sold by the end of May 2014, down 2.9% on the same period in 2013. 

As reported elsewhere, the slowdown in the market is driven by weak business vehicle sales, which fell by 9.1% in May and are down 7.7% compared with the same period in 2013. 

New Vehicle Sales 2014

The main growth segments are the small SUV and large passenger segments, which are up 14.4% and 17% respectively. Conversely, sales of 4x4 utes, micro and light passenger vehicles are down 11.1%, 27.8% and 13.5% respectively. Sales of light passenger vehicles are continuing the same downward trend observed across 2013.

The 4x4 ute segment is weakening because businesses have not purchased anywhere near the same volumes as seen last year. This may be related to market sentiment. Research that we conduct for the Commonwealth Bank shows business confidence has dipped slightly since 2013, but the overall outlook remains positive.

Total Market Segmentation

In the battle of the brands, Toyota continues to dominate the Australia market with 18% market share. Holden, Hyundai and Mazda are battling it out for second place, with Hyundai up 0.4% from a year ago. Nissan is showing signs of recovery after a slow start to the year with share in May up 1.4 points from the previous year.

Comparing Australia with the global rankings, Toyota maintains first place, with 9.9% market share. Volkswagen’s impressive performance in second place is driven by its strong showing in the Chinese market. OEMs with a manufacturing presence in Australia continue to perform well locally, but it will be interesting to see if this strong domination of the market is sustained once local production stops and consumers are no longer able to purchase vehicles made in Australia.

Australia's Top 10 Brands YTD May 2014

The World's Top 10 Brands Q1 2014

The top 5 models sold in 2013 in Australia continue to be the top selling models in 2014, but the running order has changed. The Mazda 3 is now in top spot, just ahead of the Toyota Corolla, and the Hyundai i30 sits in fifth place after a strong showing when it took third place in 2013. New models of the Corolla and Mazda 3 have been released in 2014 and the battle to be the most popular car model sold in 2014 will be close. Both the Hilux and the Corolla outsold the Mazda 3 in May 2014, so it may be that the momentum is now with Toyota.

Best Selling Models YTD May 2014

ACA Research regularly monitors the Australian automotive industry and collates and compiles market data from various sources, including industry bodies, government statistics and trade reports. Please contact us if you would be interested in arranging a meeting to discuss your research needs further. Or subscribe to our monthly newsletter, In The Headlights, for all the latest automotive research and insights.

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Topics: Automotive Research