New car sales in Australia dropped 3 per cent in 2018 when compared to 2017’s record, the overall sales tally reached 1,153,111 registrations according to VFACTS figures released today.
 
The 2018 sales result represents the first decline since 2014. Last year saw ten months that were below the corresponding months in 2017. National vehicle sales for December fell by 14.9 per cent from the corresponding month in 2017 to 87,528 vehicles making it the quietest December in a decade.
 
There are plenty of factors which influenced the sales decline including the drought, a slowing housing market and the tightening of lending criteria as the fallout of the banking royal commission continues.
 
2018 saw SUVs take a 43 per cent share of the market, leaving passenger vehicles with a 32.8 per cent share of the action.
 
The success of the HiLux and Ranger boosted light commercial vehicles to a 20.6 per cent of the market. Interestingly, 4x4 utes now account for 15.1 per cent of all sales.
 
Toyota was the market leader for the 16th year in a row after selling 217,061 vehicles in 2018. Eight Toyota vehicles led their individual segments - Corolla, Camry, LandCruiser Prado, LandCruiser wagon, HiLux 4x2, HiLux 4x4, HiAce van and the HiAce bus.
 
Last year was the 14th time Toyota has sold more than 200,000 vehicles and the 22nd time the brand has been the overall market leader.
 
The HiLux, RAV4, LandCruiser Prado, Kluger and C-HR established new sales records in 2018.
 
Across the brands, Toyota commanded an 18.8 per cent market share, followed by Mazda (9.7 per cent), Hyundai (8.2 per cent), Mitsubishi (7.4 per cent) and Ford (6 per cent).
 
Incidentally, Ford scored a sales win over Holden for the first time in over 20 years. Although Ford sales dropped 11.6 per cent to 69,081 sales, it was enough to beat Holden’s tally of 60,751 units which represents a massive 32.7 per cent drop.
 
In terms of models, for the third consecutive year, the Toyota HiLux was the number one selling vehicle across all categories with 51,705 sales. The last car to crack the 50k mark was the Holden Commodore in 2008.
 
The HiLux was followed by the Ford Ranger (42,144 sales), Toyota Corolla (35,320 sales), Mazda 3 (31,065 sales) and the Hyundai i30 (28,188 sales).
 
Top 10 selling new vehicles 2018
 
Toyota HiLux - 51,705
Ford Ranger - 42,094
Mazda 3 - 31,065
Hyundai i30 - 28,188
Mazda CX-5 - 26,173
Toyota RAV4 - 22,165
 
Top 10 selling vehicle brands 2018
 
Toyota - 217,061
Mazda - 111,280
Hyundai - 94,187
Mitsubishi - 84,944
Ford - 69,081
Holden - 60,751
Kia - 58,815
Nissan - 57,699
Volkswagen - 56,620
Honda - 51,525
 
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More: New Car Sales December 2018