Light Commercials Hold Up In a Reduced April Outcome

Media Releases

May 09, 2017

Strong growth was experienced in light commercial vehicles, and in particular 4X4 utilities, despite a weaker April sales outcome, according to the motor industry’s statistical service VFACTS.

Although total vehicle sales for April were at 83,135 compared with 87,571 in April 2016, light commercials were up by 3.1 per cent, with 4X4 utilities up 11.1 per cent. Two light commercials, the Toyota Hilux and the Ford Ranger, were first and second respectively in national sales during April.

On a year-to-date basis, sales of both LCVs and SUVs are tracking ahead of last year with light commercials up by 1.8 per cent and SUVs by 1.7 per cent.

All the states and territories were affected by April’s sales decline although the two volume selling states, Victoria and NSW were least affected, both markets down by 2.8 per cent.

The notable market growth across the segments was in medium SUVs, which grew by 10 per cent in April compared with the same month in 2016. Among the passenger cars, the medium segment was the best-performed, down just 0.2 per cent on April last year. The sale of micro, light and small cars were all adversely affected by the monthly decline.

Business sales, particularly in the light commercial utility segment, were reasonably healthy during April, as were sales to rental fleets. Sales to business were up by 1.7 per cent, although private sales declined 13 per cent and sales to government by 14.8 per cent.

Tony Weber, the Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, said that market activity during April was affected by the impact of the Easter long weekend break, Anzac Day and national school holidays.

“There were two less selling days overall in April this year compared with last, but added to this was the dampening effect that the holiday period had on dealership traffic as many families headed off to enjoy a final break before winter,” Mr Weber said.

The Toyota Hilux topped the market with 3,430 sales, followed by another light commercial, the Ford Ranger, with 3,120 sales. In third place was the Toyota Corolla with 2,555 sales, followed by the Mazda3 (2,313 sales) and the Mazda CX-5, which posted 2,166 sales and rounded out the top five.

Toyota dominated the April market with a 19.4 per cent share, followed by Mazda with 10.4 per cent, Hyundai with 8.2 per cent, Holden (5,804) and Ford (5,802) both with a 7 per cent share of the total market.

Key Points:

  • The April 2017 market of 83,135 new vehicle sales is a decrease of 4436 vehicle sales or -5.1% on April 2016 (87,571) vehicle sales. April 2017 (22.0) had two less selling days than April 2016 (24.0), which resulted in a decrease of 130.1 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is down 4,524 vehicle sales (-12.3%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is down by 415 vehicle sales (-1.3%); the Light Commercial Market is up by 516 vehicle sales (3.1%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is down by 13 vehicle sales (-0.5%) versus April 2016.
  • Toyota was market leader in April, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 7,460 vehicle sales and 9.0 market share points.

VFACTS monthly vehicle sales data is available at Midday on the 3rd working day after the end of every month. Select data and media releases on the sales results are available at

For further information contact:

Peter Brewer

P: 02 6229 8221


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