PASSENGER cars took the brunt of yet another drop in Australia’s new vehicle sales in May, almost 12 per cent down on May 2018.

It was the fifth consecutive month of declining sales, with a total of 92,561, reflecting  a decrease of 8.1 per cent on the same month in 2018.

The swing to vehicles other than passenger cars was highlighted in the Top 10, where just four cars, Hyundai’s i30, Corolla, Mazda3 and Kia Cerato claimed spots among the dominating utes and SUVs.

The Federated Chamber of Automotive Industries attributed the negative trend to the economic downturn, drought, political events, the tightening of finance and lack of confidence in the market.

But chief executive Tony Weber suggested better times were in sight.

“Now that the Federal election has been finalised, we are optimistic that the market will improve over the next few months,” he said.

Overall market leader was Toyota, with 18,820 sales, followed by Mazda with 8578, Hyundai on 8106, Ford 5788 and Kia 5533.

The Top 10 individual models for May were:

Toyota HiLux4206
Ford Ranger3972
Toyota RAV42917
Hyundai i302901
Toyota Corolla2467
Mazda32359
Mazda CX-52100
Kia Cerato2024
Toyota Prado1776
Holden Colorado1719

SUVs fared best with just short of 41,000 sales, compared to 19,000 light commercials and 29,000 passenger cars.

There are 24 models in the small SUV segment, with Mazda CX-3 leading from Hyundai Kona and Subaru XV — the latter selling 120 more vehicles than former segment leader Mitsubishi ASX.

Among the 20 contenders in the medium SUV arena, RAV4 came out well in front of CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and Nissan X-Trail, and the 24 in the Large class were led by Prado from Kluger, Subaru Outback, and just 7 sales behind was Isuzu MU-X.

Alfa Romeo sales were down 46 per cent on May 2018 with just 58 sales, while fellow Italian Maserati leapt 18 per cent to finish one ahead, on 59.

Porsche found 465 buyers, Skoda 623, Volvo 600 and Lamborghini 13.

Ferrari recorded 26 sales, Great Wall 150, Haval 119, Jeep 501, McLaren 10, two people bought Morgans and one opted for a Lotus.

sales - morgan - Down, down, deeper and down . . . sales leave town
Make that two Morgans

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.