Record May Lifts Sales across All States

Media Releases

June 13, 2017

The Australian motor industry posted a record result for the month of May, with all states and the Northern Territory growing in vehicle sales.

May sales totalled 102,901, a healthy 6.4 per cent increase on the same month last year with all market segments increasing. Year to date, market sales totalled 465,381, just 0.9 per cent down over the same five-month period in 2016 according to the industry’s official statistical service VFACTS.

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) were again the largest selling segment with a 38.5 per cent share of the total market during May, followed by passenger cars with 37.7 per cent, and light commercial with 20.6 per cent.

The strongest SUV growth is in the medium-sized segment, which grew 23.3 per cent during May 2017 compared with the same month last year, and in volume terms was the second largest segment behind small passenger cars.

Four wheel drive light commercials were Australia’s third largest volume market segment and large SUVs the fourth.

Notable in the sales by buyer type was that business purchase of SUVs nationally rose by 14.9 per cent, and light commercial purchases by government rose by 31.7 per cent. Sales to rental fleets also returned strongly during May.

Diesel sales continue to dominate the light commercial market but dipped during May in the SUV private (down 5.5 per cent over May 2016) and non-private (down 1.4 per cent) categories.

The Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Tony Weber, said that the May market rebound was not unexpected given the approach of the end of the 2016-17 financial year and it was also encouraging to see a return to sales growth for Western Australia.

Victoria was the best-performed among the states and territories with a remarkable 11.3 per cent growth in May over the same month in 2016, followed by the Northern Territory with 8.1 per cent, Queensland (+5.7 per cent), New South Wales (+5.1 per cent), South Australia (+3.1 per cent), and Tasmania (+2.5 per cent). Only the ACT dipped in May, dropping 3.0 per cent in sales.

“Light commercials and SUVs were again strong performing segments, both up by 9.4 per cent on the result of May 2016 but it was also interesting to see small passenger cars as our country’s most popular vehicle category,” Mr Weber said.

Following on the April pattern, Australia’s top-selling vehicle during May was the Toyota Hilux on 4,154 sales, followed very closely by the Ford Ranger on 4,069 sales. The third top seller was the Toyota Corolla (3,160 sales), followed by the Hyundai i30 (2,683) and Mazda3 (2,594).

Toyota continued to lead the market with a 19.3 per cent share during May, followed by Mazda (9.6 per cent), Hyundai (8.1 per cent), Ford (7.4 per cent) and Holden (6.7 per cent).

Key Points:

  • The May 2017 market of 102,901 new vehicle sales is an increase of 6229 vehicle sales or 6.4% on May 2016 (96,672) vehicle sales. May 2017 (27.0) had one more selling days than May 2016 (26.0), which resulted in an increase of 93 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is up by 620 vehicle sales (1.6%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is up by 3,399 vehicle sales (9.4%); the Light Commercial Market is up by 1,824 vehicle sales (9.4%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 386 vehicle sales (13.6%) versus May 2016.
  • Toyota was market leader in April, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 9,973 vehicle sales and 9.7 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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