The new car market might have softened in October but sales of SUVs has continued to strengthen at the expense of passenger car sales, according to figures from VFACTS.

Sales of new passenger cars continues to fall with sales in October down 5.3 percent compared to October 2017 with passenger cars dropping 23.6 percent compared to the same month last year. Sales of SUVs grew to 39,849 for October 2018 and they now represent 43.9 percent of the total new car market in October and 38.5 percent for the year.

Breaking down SUV sales, medium SUVs are the biggest segment with 18.1 percent of the total market in October. Small SUVs improved by 14.1 percent in October compared to the same month last year and held 12.6 percent of the total market in October.

Currently, new car sales are sitting at 971,723 which is down 1.3 percent on the same period last year. The key area of sales decline is with private buyers which is down 6.6 percent compared with the same time last year. The sales drivers were business purchases of SUVs and light commercials.

The Toyota HiLux was the highest selling vehicle in October 2018 with sales of 4401, followed by the Ford Ranger (3511), the Toyota Corolla (2663), the Mazda 3 (2094) and the Hyundai i30 (2049).

Toyota led the market in sales volume for October with 19.6 percent of the total market, followed by Mazda (9.0 percent), Hyundai (8.2 percent), Mitsubishi (6.9 percent) and Ford (5.9 percent). Sitting in sixth spot, Holden sat just behind Ford on 5.8 percent of the market but when you look at its year-on-year performance the brand is struggling, its sales volume at the same time last year was more than 70,000 vehicles, but year-to-date it’s only managed to shift 50,804. It’s the largest sales drop of any maker in the Top 10. Other brands have softened, but not to the same extent; Ford is down less than 10,000 sales compared with the same time last year while Hyundai is off by only 2000.


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