September Keeps Car Market Ahead of Record

Media Releases

Oct 26, 2017

Three of the growth segments in the Australian new vehicle market continued their momentum during September despite a 2.4 per cent dip in the overall market compared with the same month last year.

A total of 100,200 new vehicles sales were recorded nationally last month, a fall of 2.4 per cent compared with September 2016, according to the industry’s official statistical service VFACTS.

Pick-up and cab-chassis 4X4 light commercial vehicles, together with small and medium Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) were the three growth segments during September. The 4X4 light commercials were up 11 per cent, small SUVs rose 7.9 per cent and medium SUVs increased 3.3 per cent compared with September 2016.

SUV and light commercials remain the two robust areas of the market, accounting for a 58.8 per cent share of total sales year to date, up from 56 per cent in 2016.

Importantly, the overall market remained slightly ahead (0.2%) of last year’s record total on a year to date basis.

All passenger car segments were affected by the downturn although sales of sports cars (+4.1%) and people movers (+5.0%) remain ahead of 2016 year to date.

All the states and territories experienced a decline in sales although New South Wales (-0.7%), Victoria (-2.3%) and Queensland (-2.7%) were the least affected. On a year to date basis, Victoria’s 3.3 per cent growth significantly outstrips that of all the other states and territories.

Private sales of light commercial vehicles provided stimulus during September, increasing by 9.6 per cent over the same month last year. Business sales of light commercials, too, were up by 7.9 per cent, with 4X4 utilities and cab-chassis models as the segment’s strongest sellers. Diesel remains the overwhelming engine type preference in the light commercial market, up by 10.5 per cent in September to both private and non-private buyers.

In a month where SUV sales were down 1.3 per cent overall, business (+1.7%) and government (+6.7%) sales both absorbed some of the shortfall from an 8.5 per cent decline in private sales.

The Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Tony Weber, said that while there was a modest sales fall in September, strong activity was recorded across several key segments.

“Any month over 100,000 total sales has to be seen as a strong outcome, proving there is continued value for the consumer in the market,” Mr Weber said.

“To keep this outcome in perspective, it has to be remembered that the September results of 2015 and 2016 were both very strong, and both those years ended in records.”

Market leader Toyota recorded a 1.07 per cent rise in sales during September for a dominant 17.3 per cent share overall, followed by Mazda with 10.3 per cent, Hyundai (8.1%), Mitsubishi (7.1%) and Holden (6.9%).

The Ford Ranger light commercial was Australia’s top-selling vehicle for September with 4,318 sales, followed by the Toyota Hilux (3,822), Toyota Corolla (3,055), Mazda3 (2,776) and Holden Commodore (2,547).

Key Points:

  • The September 2017 market of 100,200 new vehicle sales is a decrease of 2,496 vehicle sales or -2.4% on September 2016 (102,696) vehicle sales. September 2017 (25.6) had the same number of selling days as September 2016, which resulted in a decrease of 97.5 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 3,929 vehicle sales (-9.3%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is down by 494 vehicle sales (-1.3%); the Light Commercial Market is up by 1,485 vehicle sales (8.1%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 442 vehicle sales (15.4%) versus September 2016.
  • Toyota was market leader in September, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 7,049 vehicle sales and 7.0 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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