Fleet buyers dominant in record vehicle sales

Fleet buyers are really dominating new vehicle sales in Australia with 52% of new car purchases in 2017 accounted for by business, government and rental buyers. In all they bought some 584, 895 vehicles, not including an additional 36, 849 heavy commercial vehicles, according to VFACTS data.

VFACTS breaks data down into Private, Business, Government and Rental, categories. While business buyers were up slightly at 2.6%, rental fleets really surged, increasing by 18.2%, or 10,963 vehicles. They're now buying up SUVs and light commercial vehicles as well as regular passenger vehicles. Check out vehicles on offer from rental businesses these days and you're sure to find a range of them. Early in 2017 local manufacturers were still using rental companies to buy up excess production of large and medium cars.

It's not just private buyers who are going off passenger cars in favour of SUVs. Business buyers are turning them down, too, with sales dropping by 8.4% on 2016's figures. Business purchases of SUVs, by contrast, were up 8.9%. Strong resale values as well as the comfort and practicality of modern SUVs are behind that demand.

Utes increasingly popular

The other vehicle trend that's on the rise among private and business buyers alike is light commercial vehicles - specifically dual cab 4x4 utes. Sales were up by 8.6% overall, with rental buyers up by a remarkable 44.5%. One in five new vehicles sold are now light commercials and the top selling vehicle remains the Toyota Hilux.

Once again Toyota, Mazda and Hyundai were the big three dominating Australian car sales in a record year for sales when Australians bought a total of 1,189,116 new vehicles.

In a fiercely competitive market Kia managed to increase its sales by an impressive 28%, selling almost 55,000 vehicles. Its performance was largely driven by its popular Cerato and Sportage models.

Australian Vehicle Sales Year to Date Graph

Image source: VFACTS

SUVs outselling passenger cars

2017 was the first year in which SUV's outsold passenger cars.

“Australians bought 465,646 SUVs during 2017 for a 39.2 per cent share of the total market, compared with 450,012 passenger cars with a 37.8 per cent share,” said Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Chief Executive, Tony Weber.

“The shift in industry dynamic we observed last year has now become entrenched in our market. It is a growth pattern that we expect will continue.”

Australian car manufacturing might now be history but Australians have never had more choice when it comes to new vehicles. If you're in the market for a new vehicle then a novated lease from Fleetcare is the ideal way to get it. Call Fleetcare today on 1300 777 600 to find out how a novated lease will put you behind the wheel of the car you've always wanted while saving you money each week.

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Categories: Australia, Car sales
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