TOYOTA’S Camry, runaway leader of the medium car sales sector almost since Noah took to four wheels, suffered a huge drop last month with sales down 50per cent compared to September 2017.
The Toyota stalwart found just 1145 buyers, compared to 2251 in the same period last year.
However, it still comfortably led its sector, outselling nearest rival Mazda 6 by more than five to one.
The steep decline was largely due to the ongoing swing from passenger cars to SUVs, although the market overall was down 5.5per cent.
Passenger cars were down 20per cent, SUVs up 6per cent.
The sole performers in the passenger category were micro cars, up strongly from 642 to 927 and small SUVs, which had a 26per cent leap to 13,263 for the month.
Kia’s Picanto micro king stormed to 82per cent jump over last September’s 351 with 640 sales last month and second-placed Mitsubishi Mirage had even more spectacular statistics with a 221per cent surge from 71 to 223. Third was Fiat 500 on 55.
Corolla led to small car sector with 2917 sales, from Hyundai’s i30 (2508) and Kia Cerato (1574).
In the pricey part of the small cars, those of more than $40,000, Audi’s A3 led from A-Class Mercedes with 364 to 328, with BMW 1 Series third on 224.
The light car segment was Hyundai Accent territory on 1288 sales from Toyota Yaris (832), Suzuki Swift (794) and Mazda2 (671).
Good to see MG back on the charts. Its MG3 notched up 105 sales.
Among the medium cars with $60K-plus price tags, Mercedes CLA-Class led on 363 sales from C-Class on 356. It was a massive drop for C-Class, though, down 61per cent on last year’s 910, while BMW 3 Series took third on 296 – an 80per cent leap over its 2017 figure.
The imported Holden Commodore had the bulk of the large car class with 672 sales, followed by Kia Stinger (130) and Skoda Superb (63).
The upper large lads with $100,000-plus tickets were led by Merc S-Class on 22 sales, sharply up fro last September’s 5 and Porsche Panamera was second with 11 buyers. Maserati tripled its 2017 figure with its Quattroporte, which fond 3 buyers as opposed to just one last September.
Kia Carnival led the people movers from Honda Odyssey and VW Multivan and Ford Mustang remained the most popular sports car on 422, down 36per cent. Next came BMW 3 Series Coupe (101) and Toyota 86 on 69.
Porsche 911 was the most popular of the over $200K sports division with 57 sales nationwide and Bentley ran second on 36 sales – a big jump on the 7 cars sold in September 2017.
Defying the odds, Mitsubishi’s ASX dominated the small SUVs with 2138 sales from Hyundai Kona 1513, Honda HR-V (1247) and Subaru XV (1224). Merc’s GLA-Class led the luxury models.
SUV medium was a closely-fought affair between Nissan X-Trail (1908), Toyota Rav4 (1611), Mazda CX-5 (1506) and Subaru Forester (1470).
Toyota were on top in the large SUVs with its Prado shading its Kluger 1518 to 1042 with Subaru’s Outback third on 936, while BMW led the $70K+ category with 211 sales of its X5.
Overall, the market was again led by a couple of utes: Toyota Hilux (4338) from Ford Ranger on 3228.
Corolla and i30 kept the passenger car flag flying taking third and fourth places – and fifth was Mitsubishi’s ASX.
The times, as philosopher Bob Dylan once said, certainly are a-changin’.