October VFACTS: Kia leaps to number four spot

Korean brand is rocketing up the charts, but mainstream players grapple with bleak market

UPDATED 06/11/2019 NOON: Official figures released by VFACTS today confirm that sales for October topped out at 82,456 – that's 8262 units in arrears of the figure for October 2018. In year to date numbers the market is 77,803 sales behind the same period in 2018.

At 893,920 for the year through to the end of October, 2019 still looks on track to pass a million sales, but with the market down eight per cent for the year. If that trend continues through November and December, a 1.1 million sales total for the year appears unlikely, although the current sales decline had commenced before the end of 2018.

"While the drought and other domestic conditions are impacting the market, our key concern is the effect over-regulation of the financial sector is having on new vehicle sales," Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, was quoted as saying in a press release issued today.

"The FCAI and our members have been concerned about the risk-averse approach to lending in Australia for some time and see improved access to finance as a key to driving economic growth in 2020."

Kia, in sixth place for the year to date, sold 5062 cars during October, and the Toyota HiLux (3516 sales) was the most popular vehicle in the market last month.

Kia has defied the odds again – and prevailing market conditions – to post another outstanding sales result last month.

When made public on Wednesday of next week, VFACTS figures for October are expected to show Kia sold over 5000 vehicles for the month, moving into fourth position behind Toyota, Hyundai and Mazda, in that order.

The brand's best-selling car was the Cerato, which sold nearly 500 more than during October 2018 – the difference likely being the introduction of the hatch and GT variants in the 12 months since. Kia's total for last month was boosted by added sales from the Carnival and Sorento, along with the introduction of the new Seltos SUV.

For the year to date Kia is likely to remain in sixth position behind Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Ford. The other companies in the top 10 for year-to-date sales are believed to be Nissan, Volkswagen, Holden and Honda.

Toyota's HiLux took out top spot for the month, but its 4x4 variants were actually outsold by Ford's Ranger counterparts.

Most of the market continues listing to port. From among the top 10 brands, only Hyundai and Kia sold more cars during October than for the same month the year before. Hyundai's sales improved by a tiny margin only – about 30 extra sales for the month.

Of the other eight brands, Toyota lost over 800 sales, Mazda's monthly sales fell by about 1800 and Ford waved goodbye to about 500. Mitsubishi, which has performed admirably this year, struck severe headwinds in October, shedding something like 1500 sales in the one month.

Volkswagen dipped by around 600 sales for the month and Nissan dropped about 130. Subaru is a brand not normally appearing in the year-to-date top 10, but fared better than Holden and Honda to put in appearance at eighth spot for the month. Even so, its monthly sales volume was nearly 1100 units lower than for October 2018.

Holden suffered severely, with sales last month nearly 2300 units down. And Honda rounded out the top 10 with approximately 300 lost sales for the month.

Total sales of passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles for the month have fallen short of 79,000 units – over 8000 fewer than the sales figure for October 2018. That sort of shortfall is over nine per cent lower. To date the market is 7.9 per cent down with 811,464 vehicles sold to the end of September, and the October result is likely to push the needle beyond eight per cent.

Top 10 brands for 2019 to date
Toyota - 171,503
Mazda - 85,427
Hyundai - 73,944
Mitsubishi - 69,317
Ford - 53,495
Kia - 51,422
Nissan - 42,354
Volkswagen - 41,929
Holden - 37,301
Honda - 36,971

Top 10 cars for October 2019
Toyota HiLux - 3516
Ford Ranger - 3160
Hyundai i30 - 2216
Toyota RAV4 - 2132
Toyota Corolla - 2117
Toyota LandCruiser - 2101
Kia Cerato - 1827
Mazda CX-5 - 1708
Hyundai Tucson - 1693
Nissan X-TRAIL - 1592