Australia’s new vehicle market grew 6.1 per cent in the first two months of 2018 compared with the same period last year.
Last month’s industry total of 95,999 was an increase of 7.8 per cent over February last year and lifted the 2018 year-to-date cumulative total to 184,550.
This pattern maintains strong industry momentum at an important time.
Comparing last month’s outcomes with those of February 2017, many key segments of the market produced positive results with light passenger cars up by 10.3 per cent, small passenger cars up by 9.4 per cent and three of the four SUV segments showing double-digit growth.
SUVs remained the dominant segment with 41.5 per cent of the February market, with passenger cars holding a 35.9 per cent share, and light commercials continuing their steady climb to a 19.5 per cent share.
Light commercials produced strong gains again in the two key light truck segments, with 4×2 pick-up and cab chassis models up by 7.1 per cent (compared with February 2017) and 4WD versions increasing by 17.9 per cent.
All the states and territories produced sales gains during February compared with the same month last year. The strongest result was for Victoria which increased 14.2 per cent, followed by Tasmania with 11.8 per cent, Western Australia with 10 per cent, then the ACT (+9.7%), Queensland (+6.0%), South Australia (+5.8%), NSW (+3.4%) and the NT (+1.3%).
The Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Tony Weber, said that the strong 2018 growth provided further proof that the fiercely competitive nature of the Australian new vehicle market was providing strong value for the consumer.
“Consumers are supporting the value propositions that the brands are offering,” Mr Weber said.
“To have the market already running 6.1 per cent ahead of last year’s record total indicates that consumer confidence is still strong, and all those elements which underpin our economy remain in position.”
Toyota was the market leader for February with a 19 per cent share, followed by Mazda with 10.3 per cent, Hyundai with 8.3 per cent, Mitsubishi (7.4%) and Ford (6.3%).
The Toyota Hilux, which led the market last year, maintained its top-seller position in February with 4,426 sales, followed by the Ford Ranger (3,544 sales), Toyota Corolla (3,270), Mazda3 (2,935) and the Mazda CX-5 (2,191).