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05 July 2017

Australia hits all-time new-car sales record in June

Utes such as the Ford Ranger had a massive impact in June’s record sales. Picture: Supplied.

AUSTRALIANS bought more new vehicles than any other time in our automotive history last month — as our taste in cars continues to change.

Official figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries released today show 134,171 vehicles were reported as sold, up 4.4 per cent on the same month last year and the third record June in a row.

The figures are based on sales information supplied by the car industry and are then forwarded to the Australian Bureau of Statistics — but they are not based on registrations.

Industry insiders say it can take several months for about 10 per cent of vehicles reported as sold to be registered and delivered to paying customers.

The Toyota HiLux (right) and Ford Ranger (left) filled the top two sales spots in June, while Holden set a new record for the Colorado (middle). Picture: Thomas Wielecki.

The Toyota HiLux (right) and Ford Ranger (left) filled the top two sales spots in June, while Holden set a new record for the Colorado (middle). Picture: Thomas Wielecki.Source:Supplied

Nevertheless, the strong result in June follows a record May — the biggest in four years — showing two months in a row of substantial growth as buyers continue to cash-in on low interest rates.

Market leader Toyota had its best month in years, selling 24,546 vehicles (almost one in five passenger vehicles sold), while there were big upsets at Holden and Ford.

Ford is now selling more Mustangs per month than it did Falcons in the locally-made sedan’s final years. Picture: Supplied.

Ford is now selling more Mustangs per month than it did Falcons in the locally-made sedan’s final years. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

Holden sales dropped by the biggest margin within the Top 10 (down 18.5 per cent). Ford posted a gain on the back of strong sales of the Ranger ute and Mustang sports car — but the brand overall was outsold by Mitsubishi, which had a massive month.

Korean car maker Kia continued its surge up the sales charts, overtaking Nissan with an incredible 30.3 per cent increase.

Kia sales are powering, driven largely by the $19,990 drive-away on the Cerato (above) and an industry-first, factory-backed seven-year warranty. Picture: Supplied

Kia sales are powering, driven largely by the $19,990 drive-away on the Cerato (above) and an industry-first, factory-backed seven-year warranty. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

The Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger utes were the top two sellers overall in June as demand for sedans and small hatchbacks continued to slide.

Former champions the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 posted sales declines as buyers continue to switch to compact SUVs that fit in the same size parking space but have a taller driving position and roomier cabins and cargo areas.

Hyundai’s Tucson set a new record for compact SUV sales, ranking fourth overall and outselling the reigning top seller, the Mazda CX-5.

The Hyundai Tucson set a new record for sales of compact SUVs and ranked fourth outright in June. Picture: Supplied.

The Hyundai Tucson set a new record for sales of compact SUVs and ranked fourth outright in June. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

But utes were the driving force as private buyers and small businesses took advantage of special offers in the lead up to the end of the financial year.

Heavy discounts on the Toyota HiLux SR5 and Ford Ranger XLT over the past two months saw record sales for the Ranger, with more than 5000 deliveries, including 4449 four-wheel-drive variants.

This was enough for Ranger 4×4 to outsell the HiLux 4×4 — but the HiLux still led the month overall and continues to lead year-to-date because sales of the two-wheel-drive HiLux push it ahead of Ford.

The score for the first six months of this year when all ute variants are combined: 23,378 (HiLux) versus 21,638 (Ranger).

Forget Falcon v Commodore, Ford Ranger v Toyota HiLux is the new battle. Picture: Joshua Dowling.

Forget Falcon v Commodore, Ford Ranger v Toyota HiLux is the new battle. Picture: Joshua Dowling.Source:Supplied

The Holden Colorado’s tally of 2400 looks modest next to the big two but this was the Colorado’s best monthly result of all time and just missed finishing inside the Top 10.

The Mitsubishi Triton ute is now a Top 10 regular and Nissan Navara sales also picked up (2268), but it’s still nowhere near its former glory.

Market leader Toyota had a strong month but sales of former top-sellers the Corolla (above) and the Mazda3 are down as buyers move from small cars to SUVs. Picture: Joshua Dowling.

Market leader Toyota had a strong month but sales of former top-sellers the Corolla (above) and the Mazda3 are down as buyers move from small cars to SUVs. Picture: Joshua Dowling.Source:Supplied

Top 10 cars in June 2017

Toyota HiLux 5461 — up 18.4 per cent

Ford Ranger 5051 — up 23.8 per cent

Toyota Corolla 3830 — down 13.5 per cent

Hyundai Tucson 3741 (new model)

Mazda3 3490 — down 15.1 per cent

Hyundai i30 3471 — down 46 per cent

Toyota Camry 3191 — up 4.7 per cent

Mitsubishi Triton 2995 — up 4.8 per cent

Mazda CX-5 2487 — down 5.9 per cent

Toyota RAV4 2460 — up 17.8 per cent

Top 10 brands in June 2017

Toyota 24,546 — up 11.2 per cent

Mazda 12,501 — up 0.4 per cent

Hyundai 12,251 — down 0.4 per cent

Holden 9273 — down 18.5 per cent

Mitsubishi 9266 — up 6.2 per cent

Ford 8853 — up 6.5 per cent

Kia 6737 — up 30.3 per cent

Nissan 6690 — down 1.3 per cent

Volkswagen 6447 — up 8.7 per cent

Honda 5412 — up 2.8 per cent

Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), June sales compared to the same month last year.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling

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