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VFACTS: Officials left asking ‘what if’ in September
Lockdowns in three states fail to hinder new-car sales growth in Australia
5 Oct 2021
DESPITE the prolonged lockdowns of New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, Australia’s new-car market has continued to grow in 2021 with sales up 20.8 per cent in September compared to the same month last year, taking the yearly total to 816,140 vehicles.
Australians purchased 83,312 new vehicles across 25.6 selling days last month compared to the 68,985 delivered over the 25.9 selling days in September 2020, leaving the market 26.6 per cent better off for the year.
Predictably at a state and territory level, the locked-down ACT and New South Wales failed to record any growth last month, with sales down 35.4 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.
Victoria, the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia all enjoyed growth of at least 16.6 per cent – in that order – with the former posting a 96.2 per cent improvement compared to 12 months ago, despite still being in lockdown.
While the results are far from record breaking, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said the success was bittersweet for manufacturers “with the knowledge of what could have been achieved in a normal trading environment”.
“These are challenging times, but automotive manufacturers are rising to meet them,” he said.
“Brands are working across their supply chains to deal with microprocessor issues and consumers are embracing online purchasing through click and collect delivery options.
“In many respects these figures give the industry great encouragement and excitement for what will be possible in 2022 when lockdowns will hopefully be a thing of the past.”
Not even a lockdown in three separate states and territories could hinder Toyota’s success last month as it continued its run of total dominance with a 24.3 per cent stranglehold on the market from 20,216 units.
Toyota was so far out in front that Mazda, which ranked second, sold less than a third as many vehicles (6555 units/7.8 per cent share), with the final margin being 13,661 deliveries.
Giving Mazda a vague run for its money was Ford (5759/6.9 per cent), which was primarily kept in the game by another excellent month for its Ranger – more on that below – while fourth and fifth were scrapped out by Korean sister brands Hyundai (5475/6.5 per cent) and Kia (5155/6.2 per cent).
Sixth place went to Mitsubishi with its 4605 sales netting it a 5.5 per cent share of the market, followed by Volkswagen (3791/4.6 prer cent) in seventh and Isuzu Ute (3130/3.8 per cent) in eighth.
Subaru’s 3062-unit tally earned it a 3.6 per cent slice of the market while narrowly besting the Chinese-owned MG, which posted 3010 sales for a near-enough equal 3.6 per cent share.
In terms of the best-selling models last month, the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux again battled it out at the top – with the fight this time going the way of the Ranger on 4192 units vs 3635.
But, while Toyota may have missed out on taking the double last month (best-selling make and model), it still had the last laugh in occupying five of the top 10 spots.
Behind the HiLux in third, fourth and fifth were the Corolla (3487), RAV4 (3390) and Prado (2173) respectively while the Camry (1610) nabbed eighth.
Filling the gaps were the Hyundai i30 (2034) in sixth, Isuzu D-Max (1833) in seventh, Mitsubishi ASX (1489) in ninth and Mazda BT-50 (1444) tenth.
While not necessarily alluded to by the top 10 best-selling models, Australia’s vehicle class of choice is still the SUV with 40,832 high-riding hatchbacks and family haulers being purchased last month, equating to 49 per cent of the market.
Light commercial vehicles accounted for 24 per cent of the market with 20,035 sales while passenger cars made up 22 per cent (18,531 units).
Mr Weber said that with more than 150 different models available within the SUV and light commercial segments, competition had never been stronger between the brands and was resulting in “the best technology and lowest prices” being available “for Australian families looking to break out of lockdown with a road trip”.
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