New car market tops 160,000
Sales of new vehicles set another record last year with 161,519 registrations recorded. Overall the market was up just one per cent on last year, signalling a distinct cooling in demand compared with the previous four years of strong growth.
The overall increase was led by the continued growth in commercial vehicles, particularly double cab utes, with the numbers for light commercials up four per cent on 2017, while the numbers for passenger cars and SUVs softened by 0.4 per cent.
December figures saw Toyota steamroll the rest with a 26 per cent share of the overall market (2900 units) while Holden was a distant second with 1012 registrations for a nine per cent share.
As for the overall market for 2018, Toyota was the dominant player leading the sales for the 31st year in succession. It ended up on 32,260 with a 20 per cent market share while Ford was second with 16,366 (10 per cent) and Holden third with 13,046 sales (eight per cent).
The best selling vehicle overall was once again the Ford Ranger with 9904 retailed, 484 more than last year, while the Hilux was second with 8086 sales. Corolla came in third with on 7300, with 64 per cent of those sold to rental car companies.
In the luxury market, Mercedes-Benz remained on top with 2251 registrations, besting Audi on 1811 and BMW on 1649. All three however have seen sales slide, with Merc down 11 per cent compared with last year. They say the luxury sector is a harbinger for the mass market, and so pundits are predicting an overall softening of new car sales in 2019.