– By Marc Sibbald –
The 2015 VFACTS new car sales figures were announced yesterday by Tony Weber, Chief Executive at FCAI, during a special media event at Sydney City Toyota. It was another record year with 1,155,408 new cars being sold and Toyota was crowned the top selling manufacturer for the 13th year in a row.
Tony Cramb, Executive Director Sales and Marketing at Toyota, introduced Mr Weber and in his opening remarks commented that after such a strong sales year a record result was never in doubt, the question was how far it would exceed the previous mark.
Weber suggested new car affordability, the range of brands and models, build quality and service during the vehicle’s ownership were a few reasons for the strong result.
Top five manufacturers in 2015
- Toyota (206,236)
- Mazda (114,024)
- Holden (102, 951)
- Hyundai (102,004)
- Mitsubishi (71,743)
Top five models in 2015
- Toyota Corolla
- Mazda 3
- Toyota HiLux
- Hyundai i30
- Ford Ranger
Winners and losers
In the top five Holden was the only one that sold less cars than 2014. The others all had increases with Mazda the clear standout by achieving a 13% increase (13,320 vehicles).
The luxury brands all did better than the previous year with each one experiencing double digit growth. Audi almost beat BMW though Mercedes-Benz sold the most cars with 36,374 three pointed stars finding a new home.
Ford went backwards despite having the Ranger in the top five. And less people ‘bought a Jeep’ in 2015.
Volkswagen survived the negative press related to the emissions scandal to achieve a 9.9% increase (60,225). Renault (11,525) and Kia (33,786) did well announcing record years. And there were strong sales from Subaru (43,600), Suzuki (19,086) and Honda (40,100).
Are new sales an indicator of consumer confidence?
At the start of the announcement it was mentioned that new car sales results were the first indicator of economic activity for the new year. And the strong result was a good sign.
One reporter questioned the result and suggested it was inflated because not all the cars are sold. That manufacturers had loaded dealers with demonstrators that will be discounted in 2016.
Weber responded saying the FCAI monitors this and there was less of this type of activity than in previous years.
Tony Cramb provided the quote of the morning by clarifying Toyota’s position – “We didn’t stuff vehicles into our dealers”.
Regardless whether there are hundreds or thousands of demonstrators waiting to find a home, or not, the figures suggest consumer confidence is strong because Lamborghini achieved an increase of 211% over 2014, Ferrari increased sales by 47% while Porsche settled for a 45% increase.