Monday December 4, 2017
By Richard Bosselman
WILL 2017 be remembered as the year when the word ‘record’ will have been employed by the car industry for a record time?
Certainly, it is used with what could be record frequency in media comment provided to describe new vehicle registrations in November … a count that was … erm … unprecedented according to David Crawford (right), Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Industry Association, which represents all new vehicle distributors.
Two high points: First, it was the strongest November count ever – or, at least, since 1984, when the industry decided to keep such statistics. All in all, 14,594 new vehicles were plated last month – that’s 486.4 cars on daily average.
Second, as result of that performance, the count to the end of last month means the tally has reached 148,335. That figure the count for the whole of 2016 has been surpassed by 1582 units.
Which means, in turn, that 2017 will be a – well, you know the word – continuing a growth trend that became in 2014, but the year-on-year growth has been exceptional, being 9.5 percent ahead of last year in direct monthly reference.
Crawford says that year to date, sales of passenger and SUVs are up by 6.2 percent (5888 units) and commercial vehicles by 16.9 percent (6952 units) compared to this time in 2016.
Toyota remained the overall market leader in November, with 22 percent market share (3227 units), followed by Ford with 11 percent (1546) and Holden with 10 percent (1489).
Toyota was also the market leader for passenger and SUV registrations with 23 percent market share (2358 units) followed by Holden with 11 percent (1149 units) then Mazda with nine percent market share (904 units).
The top selling passenger and SUV models for the month were Toyotas. The Corolla achieved passenger dominance, with 814 units, and the RAV4 topped the SUV sector, with 648. The third best-selling model for the month was another Toyota SUV, the Highlander with 445 units. All achieved on the strength of strong rental market sales.
In the commercial sector, Ford was the market leader with 22 percent (943 units) followed by Toyota with 20 percent (869) and Holden third with eight percent (340).
The Ford Ranger retained the top spot as the bestselling commercial model with 20 percent share (874) followed by the Toyota Hilux with 14 percent share (620).
Year to date the Ford Ranger remains both the top commercial vehicle model and the top model overall with 8824 registrations compared to 7664 for the Toyota Hilux. But Ford is debatedly in a weaker position overall as none of its passenger models performed well.
Vehicle segmentation for the month of November returns to more normal patterns of recent times with the top four spots taken up by SUVs and light commercial vehicles.
The top segments were SUV medium vehicles with 19 percent share, followed by the Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4x4 segment with 13 percent and SUV Large with 12 percent market share.
“With one month to go the question on everyone’s lips is whether the total for the year will break through the 160,000 mark for the first time,” Crawford said.