January vehicle sales start the year on a high

The new year has started strong for car sales in Australia, as the release of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) figures show consumers purchased over 2,000 more new vehicles in January than the same month last year. With recorded sales of 84,373 across the nation, it seems likely that 2016 is going to be a bumper year for fleet managers.

According to Business Insider, Toyota continued its reign at the top of the manufacturer charts, selling 12,453 for the month. However, their top sales performer and Australia's best-selling car of 2015, the Corolla, dropped 20.6% to second place in the top individual models, trailing the Mazda 3 by 964.

With recorded sales of 84,373 across the nation, it seems likely that 2016 is going to be a bumper year for fleet managers

Whether this is a signal that Toyota's three-year run at number one is in jeopardy remains to be seen, as its overall sales figures were bolstered by the ever-reliable HiLux in fourth place. 

High-performance imports growing in popularity

While their affordability and reliability saw seven of the top ten manufacturer spots taken out by Asian carmakers, the more luxury, high-performance corner of the market also had a strong month. Mercedes-Benz narrowly missed out on nudging Kia out of the number ten spot, while Audi and BMW both also sold over 2,000 units.

The surprise sales stars of the month according to Business Insider were the Ford Mustang, now the number one selling sports car under $80,000, and Lamborghini, which moved into second place for sports cars over $200,000. 2016 could be the year when businesses add some more exotic options to their fleet management program. 

What about Australia's manufacturers?

January's figures show Holden and Ford are still selling well, at fourth and sixth place respectively, however Holden in particular saw a large drop through the month. The introduction of its new Spark in April will possibly turn the sales tide around again, with the manufacturer's focus on updated safety features seen as a strong selling point by Automotive Fleet.

Some high performance sports cars are selling well in the new year.Some high performance sports cars are selling well in the new year.

Ford on the other hand launched its newest model Mondeo in April of last year, but its failure to make the top ten in January suggest that consumers may not be adopting it as a natural replacement to the sentimental favourite, the Falcon.

For fleet managers looking to replace some of their inventory, it's clear that there are a number of options to choose from in 2016, from tried and true reliability to a more luxurious, sporty performance.