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VFACTS: Small SUV sales overtake Small Passenger cars in October

October was a month of rebound for the Australian new car market, with compact crossovers and SUVs accounting for more sales than small passenger cars.

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James Wong
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Small SUVs were more popular than Small Passenger cars last month, seeing the latter drop out of the Top 3 new vehicle segments in October according to VFACTS data.

There were 10,126 small crossovers sold overall in October, compared to 9224 small passenger vehicles, accounting for 12.5 per cent and 11.4 per cent market share respectively.

Rewind to the same time last year, small SUVs accounted for 8894 sales and a 10.8 per cent share, while small passenger shifted 11,606 units and held a 14.1 per cent share.

Both mainstream and premium small crossover segments saw double-digit growth in October 2020, led by the Kia Seltos (1214 units, +578.2 per cent) which outgunned the related Hyundai Kona (1130 units, -17.3 per cent) and Mitsubishi ASX (1119 units, -26.2 per cent) to take top spot in the mainstream monthly sales race.

Meanwhile, the new Audi Q3 continues to dominate the premium class, selling 346 vehicles for a 22.3 per cent share. Second place went to the new Mercedes-Benz GLA (319 units, 20.6 per cent share) and third went to the Volvo XC40 (273 units, 17.6 per cent share).

If you combine sales of the Audi Q2 (122 units, 7.9 per cent share) and Q3, the four-ringed marque accounts for almost a third of all premium compact SUV sales.

By comparison, old favourites from the small passenger segment continue to do it tough.

The Toyota Corolla dipped under 2000 sales (1943 units, -8.2 per cent), while the Mazda 3 (1273 units, -10.0 per cent) and Hyundai i30 (1431 units, -35.4 per cent) were both beaten by the value-driven Kia Cerato (1619 units, -11.4 per cent).

In the premium space, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (350 units, +73.3 per cent) and soon-to-be replaced Audi A3 (338 units, +43.2 per cent) together account for over 70 per cent of the segment’s volume.

While the premium small passenger class grew its volume incrementally by 2.4 per cent in October, the mainstream small passenger segment fell by a significant 22.6 per cent compared to October 2019.

Elsewhere, the newly-created Light SUV class is steadily gaining pace, posting growth of 27.5 per cent last month with 2795 vehicles sold.

The Mazda CX-3 is the overwhelming favourite in the light crossover segment, posting 1233 sales (+1.4 per cent) in October for a 44.1 per cent share, with a distant second and third awarded to the Hyundai Venue (418 units, +8.3 per cent) and Suzuki Jimny (372 units, +304.3 per cent).

New players are doing decent volume, too. The all-new Ford Puma saw 210 registrations in October (7.5 per cent share), and the new-generation Nissan Juke shifted 208 units for a 7.4 per cent share. Volkswagen’s pint-sized T-Cross managed 285 sales for a 10.2 per cent share giving it fourth place behind the Jimny.

Oddly, there were no registrations recorded for the all-new Toyota Yaris Cross which officially goes on sale this month. We anticipate will be a key player in the Light SUV space with a segment-first hybrid drivetrain option and a starting price of $26,990 before on-road costs.

Coming soon to the Light SUV class is the new Kia Stonic, due to launch in December. Like the larger Seltos, the Rio-based Stonic should offer sharp drive-away pricing and good levels of standard equipment.

MORE: VFACTS October 2020 sales results
MORE: VFACTS sales data coverage


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