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May 2022 New Vehicle Sales Trends

June is typically one of the biggest months of the year when it comes to new vehicle sales, as consumers and fleets look to take advantage of the End of Financial Year sales. We're still waiting to see how it plays out in 2022, given the different circumstances we're facing this year, but in the meantime here are five key themes we've seen emerge over the first five months of this year.

1. No slowdown for Heavy Commercial Vehicles

The Heavy Commercial Vehicle space just keeps on going, up 9% Year on Year. Not overly surprising given the continuing demand for interstate, intrastate, and last mile deliveries, but some interesting shifts when we break it down further. While we have some strong performers in Light Duty (LDV Deliver 9 up 137%, Renault Master up 49%), they're taking share from existing competitors (e.g. Iveco Van down 78%, Ford Transit down 71%), with this segment up just 3% overall. In contrast, Heavy Duty continues to grow as a category (up 21% YoY), one in five of which were manufactured by Kenworth. Isuzu also performs strongly in this segment, sitting second on 810 units (also sitting ahead of competitors in Light and Medium Duty to be our overall category leader).

2. One in three Light Commercial Vehicles sold is a Toyota

So far this year, TMCA has sold almost 35,000 utes and vans (up from ~32k at this point in 2021), more than double its closest competitors in Ford (~17,600), Mitsubishi (~15,400), and Isuzu Ute (~11,100), while no other OEM has cracked 10,000. Impressively, the only LCV segment that isn't led by a Toyota is Vans < 2.5t, where the Renault Kangoo (433 units) leads from the VW Caddy and Peugeot Partner.

3. Lack of supply continues to limit SUV sales

At an overall level, SUV sales are down 4% YoY, which could be taken as a shift in consumer demand. Given however that the overall market is down 4% for 2022, we'd suggest that global supply shortages are having more of an impact here. At a segment level, mid-sized SUVs continue to make up around a third of total sales, with perennial favourites the Toyota RAV4, and Mazda CX-5 remaining at the top of the category. Somewhat more surprising is the 51% increase in sales for the Toyota Prado, with its 11,400 sales ranking it as the 3rd most popular SUV YTD. Chinese brands also continue to perform well in this category, with the MG ZS ranked 4th, and the GWM Haval Jolion recording 2,462 sales to place it 9th in the highly competitive small SUV segment.

4. When it comes to country of origin, the big 3 is now a big 4

Looking at OEMs country of manufacture, it's no surprise that Japan remains at the top of the list, underpinned by strong performance from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, etc. Thailand also remains a popular source for Australian stock, as well as Korea (given Hyundai and Kia's ongoing sales results). China has however now taken ownership of fourth spot, up almost 50% year on year. For context, this is based on sales of more than 40,000 Chinese-made vehicles in 2022 YTD, ahead of Germany in 5th place, with 15,033 units sold. Given the aggressive growth aspirations of Chinese OEMs like MG, GWM, and new entrant BYD, this is likely to grow further in the years ahead.

5. Electric is coming, but Hybrid is filling the gap for now

There's been plenty of discussion around the growth in EV sales, particularly given the likely greater focus on a national EV uptake strategy under the incoming Labor government. While their 400% YoY growth is impressive, Hybrid vehicles are still filling the capacity gap in the short term. Excluding Plug-In Hybrid vehicles (which despite a 111% YoY increase continue to struggle to capture share), almost 35,000 Hybrid vehicles have been sold. To date, EV and Hybrid sales are having the greatest impact on petrol (down 13% YoY), but are likely to begin to impact diesel sales as more battery-powered Light Commercial alternatives enter the market over the next 12-24 months.

We will be watching closely in June to see the impact of supply shortages on the traditional sales bump, and how this all flows through into the second half of the year. Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and feel free to get in touch with our team of auto experts if you'd like to find out more.

Topics: Automotive Research automotive trends vfacts