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VFACTS: 2021 off to a strong start

Hot start: The Isuzu Ute D-Max increased its January sales by 167.9 per cent on 2020, enough to place it ninth overall.

Disastrous 2020 new-car market may be in rearview mirror with strong start to 2021

3 Feb 2021

FOLLOWING a year in which the Australian new-car market recorded its lowest annual sales tally since 2003, the first month of 2021 has shown some positive signs with an 11.1 per cent sales lift in January compared to the same month last year.


Continuing the momentum showed in November and December, January saw 79,666 vehicles sold across the country compared to 71,731 over the same period in 2020, with every state and territory posting sales increases. 


The growth was attributed in part to increased demand from private buyers to the tune of 25.4 per cent, with business, government and rental sales all taking a dip.


Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive Tony Weber said the January result, along with the increase in December and November, led to a sense of optimism about the market.


“During the past three months sales had increased by 12.4 per cent compared to the corresponding period 12 months earlier,” he said.


“The January sales numbers are indicative of positive consumer confidence in the domestic economy. 


“With attractive interest rates and a range of other economic indicators encouraging consumption, we hope to see this trend in new vehicle purchasing continue through 2021.”


As mentioned, every state and territory saw a year-on-year sales increase, lead by the Northern Territory (up 38.7 per cent) and Western Australia (+24.9%), while Queensland (+18.1%) and South Australia (+17.0%) also saw strong improvements.


While the new year brought about some changes, one thing remained decidedly the same – Toyota’s dominance of the Australian market, with 16,819 total vehicles sold in January, marking a 21.1 per cent overall market share.


Also unsurprisingly, the best-selling vehicle for the month was Toyota’s HiLux, with 3913 total sales representing a 31.8 per cent year-on-year increase, and continuing on from where it left of last year when it chalked up five consecutive years of sales dominance.


Other strong performers for Toyota included the RAV4 medium SUV in third with 3306 units (+33.9%), the Landcruiser 70/200 Series in fourth with 2388 units (+89.2%) and the Corolla small car, which sold 2062 new examples to finish sixth (-13.0%).


Second place belonged to Mazda on 8508 units with a 10.7 per cent share, up from the 6695 it managed in January 2020.


Mazda was represented in the top 10 by the ever-popular CX-5 medium SUV, which placed fifth overall with 2081 units (+11.9%).


Hyundai finished third with 5951 units (7.5% share), helped by the i30 small car with 1952 units (-4.2%), good enough for seventh overall.


Kia (5500 units, 6.9% share) and Mitsubishi (5179 units, 6.5% share) finished fourth and fifth respectively, with the only model between the two marques to find its way in the top 10 being Mitsubishi’s Triton pick-up in eighth with 1908 units (-8.0%).


Ford took sixth place with 5099 units (6.4% share), with the Ranger pick-up doing the heavy lifting as usual, bested only by the HiLux with 3120 units, up 18.9 per cent.


Next up was Nissan in seventh (3756 units, 4.7% share) and Subaru in eighth (3223, 4.0%), the former helped by the X-Trail medium SUV which finished the month in tenth place on 1593 units (+8.6%).


The top 10 was rounded out by Volkswagen (2722, 3.4% share) and Mercedes-Benz Cars (2443, 3.1%), which proved to be the most popular of the premium brands.


Isuzu Ute narrowly missed out on a top 10 finish with 2363 total sales, however its D-Max pick-up tried its hardest to drag it over the line with 1822 sales for ninth place, an increase of 167.9 per cent.


Benz bested traditional rivals BMW (1701, -11.9%) and Audi (1455, -0.5%), with Mercedes sales for the month up 31.5 per cent compared to the same point in 2020.


Strong performers to start the year included MG (2408, +162.0%) and GWM (769, +135.9%), the latter on the back of the arrival of the all-new Ute pick-up.



Top 10 Brands January 2021

Ranking Brand Sales Share %
1 Toyota 16,819 21.1
2 Mazda 8508 10.7
3 Hyundai 5951 7.5
4 Kia 5500 6.9
5 Mitsubishi 5179 6.5
6 Ford 5099 6.4
7 Nissan 3756 4.7
8 Subaru 3223 4.0
9 Volkswagen 2722 3.4
10 Mercedes-Benz Cars 2443 3.1


Top 10 Models January 2021

Ranking Model Sales
1 Toyota HiLux 3913
2 Ford Ranger 3120
3 Toyota RAV4 3066
4 Toyota LandCruiser 2388
5 Mazda CX-5 2081
6 Toyota Corolla 2062
7 Hyundai i30 1952
8 Mitsubishi Triton 1908
9 Isuzu Ute D-Max 1822
10 Nissan X-Trail 1593

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