Australia new car sales have realised growth of 2% on 2015 to set a record of 1,178,133 cars sold in 2016.

AUSTRALIAN NEW CAR sales continue to rise with 2016 realising 2% growth on 2015 sales, and that was despite softening of sales in December 2016 which saw sales down on the same month in 2015, for a monthly total of 98,763 (down 0.9%).

More than the record, 2016 will be remembered as the year in which a light commercial, the Toyota HiLux topped the sales chart and became the best-selling car in the country.

Releasing the 2016 full-year sales results, FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said: “Calendar year 2016 marks the seventh year in a row that the Australian new car market has topped 1 million sales, and this result posts the industry’s third record in four years.

“It is an intriguing and exciting time for industry watchers as there’s little doubt we are observing a significant and dynamic transition in consumer preference. While buyer demand for traditional passenger cars remains healthy, it’s clear consumers are gradually transitioning into other segments.

“The growth, as was witnessed in 2016 and appears certain to continue in 2017, is in SUVs and light commercial vehicles, particularly dual-cab utilities.

“New models with significant performance and comfort attributes, combined with the existing vehicle mix, continued to make Australia one of the most competitive new car markets in the world.”

And the continued growth in SUV sales continued apace in 2016 with SUVs now accounting for 37.4% of all the new cars sold, which is from 35.4% in 2015. And light commercial sales grew too, up from 17.2% in 2015 to 18.5% in 2016.

Quotable Quotes:

Colin Christie, Subaru Australia Managing Director, said: “Subaru strongly out-performed the market in 2016 on the back of a range that promises even more this year. (Subaru was up 7.8% against industry-wide growth of 2%).

“The reception for new Impreza is outstanding, Levorg is carving out a great new niche for us in the performance wagon arena and we have new generation XV pending mid-year.

“It’s quite amazing to see current XV achieving solid growth last year, which is hugely encouraging for the next generation car.”

Mazda Australia managing director, Martin Benders said: “A superb year for Mazda, we were delighted with our 2016 performance and sincerely thank our customers for their support and trust in the Brand, and the entire Mazda Dealership network for giving our buyers such a positive sales experience. Looking ahead, I invite buyers to consider the great offers still available on 2016 plated stock across the majority of the Mazda range. We then turn our attention to the Mazda MX-5 RF, which goes on sale in February, followed by the arrival of the Next-Generation Mazda CX-5 later in the year. There is certainly a lot to look forward to in 2017.”

Mitsubishi’s Executive Director of Marketing Tony Principe said 2016 has been a great year for Mitsubishi, with the brands popular SUV line-up capitalising on the growth in this segment and the continued strength of the LCV market.

“We’ve made steady progress this year to achieve a record of 73,368 units and 6.2 per cent market share in 2016, our best result as a full-line importer,” said Principe.

“We are looking forward to adding an updated Outlander PHEV to our range in April this year and continuing to deliver even more great products to our customers.”

Australia’s top-selling vehicle for 2016 was the Toyota Hilux with 42,104 sales. This was followed by the Toyota Corolla with 40,330 sales, The Hyundai i30 (37,772), Ford Ranger (36,934) and Mazda3 (36,107).

For 2016, the top 10 performing car brands were:

  1. Toyota – 209,610 – 17.8% market share;
  2. Mazda – 118,217 – 10.0% market share;
  3. Hyundai – 101,555 – 8.6% market share;
  4. Holden – 94,308 – 8.0% market share;
  5. Ford – 81,207 – 6.9% market share;
  6. Mitsubishi – 73,368 – 6.2% market share;
  7. Nissan – 66,826 – 5.7% market share;
  8. Volkswagen – 56,571 – 4.8% market share;
  9. Subaru – 47,018 – 4.0% market share; and
  10. Kia – 42,668 – 3.6% market share.

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