SUVs overtake passenger car sales for the first time ever

We knew it was coming, and it has finally happened.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries stats show SUV buyers now outnumber hatch, sedan and coupe buyers. If you add pick-up-style trucks like Hilux and Navara, it happened a while ago.

No one can explain this shift, but it seems buyers like the high driving position and increased space. They enjoy taking several sports at Coles and parking half on the footpath at all other times.

FCAI Chief Executive, Tony Weber, said “February’s results are part of the evolution that has been occurring in the composition of the national vehicle market over many years. The steady, Mercedes-Benz-GLE-500edemonstrable shift in consumer preference which has been occurring in the past few years has culminated in this February outcome.”

“Of course, this one monthly outcome doesn’t signal a landslide but clearly Australian buyers are attracted by the features and capabilities of new generation SUVs, and how these types of vehicles suit their needs and lifestyles.”

Breakup of the industry sales for February are:

SUVs 35,497 sales which is a 39.9 % share, Passenger cars sold 34,740 for a 39.0 % share. Light commercials (LCV) were an 18.5 % share.

Overall sales were down 7.7% on February 2016 with passenger vehicles showing the biggest fall of 12.2% SUVs fell by 3.7% and LCVs by 5.6%. This is not as gloomy as it sounds as there were a lot of new models introduced recently.

Interestingly upper-large and medium SUVs bucked the trend by increasing sales by 19.6% and 1.1% respectively. Small SUVs fell by 5.7%. It means more SUVs will be seen trawling the leafy suburbs at school time than at any previous time in our history.

Inexplicably, the top-selling vehicle in February was Toyota’s Corolla, with 3,392 sales. It was followed by the Toyota Hilux (3,386), the Mazda3 (3,143), Ford Ranger (2,931), and Hyundai’s i30 (2,003).

Toyota was the leading brand in February with a 18.3 per cent share of the total industry, followed by Mazda (11.1%), Hyundai (7.9%), Mitsubishi (6.5%), and Holden (6.4%). No doubt Toyota is feeling the pain with the Korean so hot on its heels.

sales figures feb 2017