Gross sales collapse tracked: The place did all a budget small vehicles go?

We reside in occasions the place gas effectivity and affordability are rising priorities. The previous attributable to local weather change and the latter to a shaky financial scenario. 

But demand for the market’s least expensive and smallest vehicles has collapsed over the previous decade, as patrons flock to higher-riding SUVs. 

This in flip has seen manufacturers discontinue their smallest and least expensive vehicles at a fee of knots, with the variety of Micro and Mild vehicles on sale dropping from 38 fashions in 2013 to 16 on the finish of 2022. 

Accordingly, this lack of maximally reasonably priced used vehicles has undoubtedly put upward worth pressures on used vehicles, as patrons on a finances go for pre-owned. 

We’ve gone by way of the gross sales figures from 2013 to now, and mapped the adjustments within the Micro and Mild Automotive courses, as outlined by business stats database VFACTS. 

We’ve bundled these two courses collectively as a result of, frankly, to a mean buyer they quantity to just about the identical factor. A Kia Picanto (Micro) and Toyota Yaris (Mild) are hardly totally different from each other.

Because the desk exhibits, in 2013 Micro and Mild Vehicles accounted for 136,300 gross sales, equal to a 12 per cent total share of the Australian new automobile market.

Gross sales and market share have steadily declined in principally linear style ever since, hitting their absolute low on the peak of COVID (lower than a 3rd of the 2013 tally). 

Even with the small rally since then taken under consideration, on the finish of 2022 the gross sales and market share of Micro and Mild Vehicles have been barely a 3rd of the 2013 tally.

One key cause for this past altering client sentiment – and till not too long ago low rates of interest – has been the push for automobile manufacturers to suit increasingly more driver-assist and luxurious options into even the most cost effective vehicles, thereby driving up the worth at a higher fee than wage development. 

As a result of these segments are so cost-sensitive, that hurts. It additionally means patrons may simply chew the bullet and purchase that larger automobile as a result of the price distinction over a cost interval actually isn’t all that nice. 

Correlation and causation aren’t at all times aligned, however think about: In 2013 the Small SUV phase had 6.6 per cent market share, from a listing of 20 fashions. By 2022 this market (now divided into Mild SUV and Small SUV) accounted for 18.2 per cent share, from a complete of 44 fashions. 

So within the timeframe the place Micro/Mild Automotive share plummeted to a 3rd of their unique measurement, the market share of Mild/Small SUVs tripled, and the selection of fashions greater than doubled.

Prime-selling Micro Vehicles 2013-22

  1. Kia Picanto: 31,566 (2016-22)
  2. Mitsubishi Mirage: 29,740 (2013-22)
  3. Fiat 500: 12,705 (2013-22)
  4. Nissan Micra: 9513 (2013-17)
  5. Holden Spark: 8203 (2013-19)

Prime-selling Mild Vehicles 2013-22

  1. Mazda 2: 102,589 (2013-22)
  2. Toyota Yaris: 95,298 (2013-22)
  3. Hyundai Accent: 86,390 (2013-20)
  4. Suzuki Swift: 74,305 (2013-22)
  5. Kia Rio: 67,256 (2013-22)
  6. Volkswagen Polo: 59,174 (2013-22)
  7. Honda Jazz: 55,028 (2013-21)
  8. MG 3: 41,733 (2017-22)
  9. Holden Barina: 40,034 (2013-19)
  10. Hyundai i20: 39,865 (2013-15, 2021-22)

Micro and Mild Automotive gross sales – a decade of decline

Micro and Mild automobile gross sales, share and selection tracked

Yr Gross sales Share % Fashions
2022 50,446 4.7 16
2021 55,260 5.3 19
2020 43,527 4.7 21
2019 69,560 6.5 24
2018 84,531 7.4 27
2017 91,391 7.7 29
2016 105,228 9 29
2015 122,671 10.6 35
2014 124,374 11.2 39
2013 136,300 12.0 38


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