Toyota has maintained its stranglehold on Australian car sales in March, managing to grow despite a 17.9 per cent market decline.

    The Japanese giant was comfortably the number one brand in Australia last month, selling 17,583 vehicles – a 1.6 per cent improvement on its results from March 2019.

    Mazda (6819 sales, down 29.1 per cent) and Mitsubishi (6002, down 40.8 per cent) rounded out the top three.

    VFACTS: Toyota stays strong as market dives

    Kia outsold Hyundai for the first time ever, recording 5654 sales (up 6.6 per cent), while Holden (4992, up 30.2 per cent) leapt to sixth on the charts as buyers snap up heavily-discounted models before its closure late in 2020.

    Ford (4857, down 21.2 per cent), Nissan (3501, down 31.6 per cent), Honda (3144, down 27.5 per cent) and Subaru (3024, up 0.2 per cent) finished the top 10.

    The Market

    New car sales fell from 99,442 in March 2019 to just 81,690 in 2020, a drop of 17.9 per cent.

    It was the 24th successive month of declining new car sales in Australia.

    To date in 2020, Australian new car sales have declined 13.1 per cent.

    Only the ACT saw growth, with sales up 77 per cent to 1287. The Northern Territory saw the biggest drop in sales (33.5 per cent), while the Western Australian market declined the least (14.4 per cent).

    VFACTS: Toyota stays strong as market dives

    Passenger car sales continued their steady decline, with a 26.7 per cent share of the market in March.

    The SUV category remains dominant Down Under, with a 48 per cent market share.

    Light commercial vehicles (vans and utes) make up 22.2 per cent of the market, while heavy commercial vehicles cover the remaining 2.2 per cent.

    The Biggest Winners

    Just 11 of the 50 car brands in Australia managed to grow in March, with four of them in the top 10. They were:

    • Haval: 213 sales, up 131.5 per cent
    • MG: 1234, up 75.5 per cent
    • Infiniti: 157, up 68.8 per cent
    • Great Wall: 161 sales, up 67.7 per cent
    • McLaren: 14, up 55.6 per cent
    • Peugeot: 162 sales, up 47.3 per cent
    • Ram: 262 sales, up 30.3 per cent
    • Holden: 4992 sales, up 30.2 per cent
    • Kia: 5654 sales, up 6.6 per cent
    • Toyota: 17,583 sales, up 1.6 per cent
    • Subaru: 3024, up 0.2 per cent

    Holden and Infiniti are both preparing to close in Australia and are offering cars at significant discounts, which somewhat skews their numbers.

    Genesis also jumped from one sale to 15, however the brand hadn’t formally launched at this point last year, so we have excluded it from this list.

    VFACTS: Toyota stays strong as market dives

    Best Selling Vehicles

    In news that will surprise no-one, the Toyota HiLux (3556) was once again the best-selling car in Australia.

    The Ford Ranger (3108) clung onto second spot but not by its usual margin, the Toyota RAV4 (2991) just 117 sales behind in third.

    In fourth was the Toyota Corolla (2812), followed by the Holden Colorado (2391).

    Holden has long said the Colorado should be a top-three dual-cab ute in Australia. Unfortunately, it took bargain-basement prices to get there.

    VFACTS: Toyota stays strong as market dives

    Sixth was the Hyundai i30 (1856), followed by the Kia Cerato (1841) and Mitsubishi Triton (1813).

    Expect to see i30 sales jump significantly when the new i30 sedan arrives later this year. The current sales figure only accounts for the hatchback, as the Elantra sedan is listed as a different model.

    Rounding out the top 10 were the Mazda CX-5 (1734) and Mitsubishi ASX (1643).

    VFACTS: Toyota stays strong as market dives


    • Micro cars: Kia Picanto (365), Fiat 500 (40), Mitsubishi Mirage (34)
    • Light cars: Toyota Yaris (721), Kia Rio (642), MG 3 (631)
    • Small cars: Toyota Corolla (2812), Hyundai i30 (1856), Kia Cerato (1841)
    • Small over $40k: Mercedes A-Class (843), Audi A3 (169), BMW 1 Series (167)
    • Medium cars: Toyota Camry (1332), Mazda 6 (152), Skoda Octavia (134)
    • Medium over $60k: BMW 3 Series (218), Mercedes C-Class (200), Mercedes CLA (190)
    • Large cars: Kia Stinger (175), Holden Commodore (95), Skoda Superb (13)
    • Large over $70k: Mercedes E-Class (56), BMW 5 Series (48), Audi A6 (22)
    • Upper large cars: Chrysler 300 (18), BMW 6 Series GT (45), Mercedes S-Class (8)
    • People movers: Kia Carnival (475), Honda Odyssey (130), LDV G10 (55)
    • Sports cars: Ford Mustang (309), BMW 2 Series (38), Toyota 86 (38)
    • Sports over $80k: Mercedes C-Class two-door (107), Lexus RC (28), BMW 4 Series (16)
    • Sports over $200k: Porsche 911 (39), McLaren (14), Ferrari (13)
    • Light SUV: Mazda CX-3 (1052), Holden Trax (815), Hyundai Venue (349)
    • Small SUV: Mitsubishi ASX (1643), Hyundai Kona (1006), Honda HR-V (946)
    • Small SUV over $40k: Mercedes GLA (339), Audi Q3 (254), BMW X1 (190)
    • Medium SUV: Toyota RAV4 (2991), Mazda CX-5 (1734), Nissan X-Trail (1323)
    • Medium SUV over $60k: Mercedes GLC (338), BMW X3 (329), Lexus NX (266)
    • Large SUV: Toyota Prado (1407), Toyota Kluger (833), Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (670)
    • Large SUV over $70k: Mercedes GLE (252), BMW X5 (189), Range Rover Sport (177)
    • Upper large SUV: Toyota LandCruiser (1264), Nissan Patrol (295), Mercedes GLS (79)
    • Light buses: Toyota HiAce (203), Mercedes Sprinter (11), Renault Master (10)
    • Vans under 2.5t: Volkswagen Caddy (100), Renault Kangoo (15), Peugeot Partner (15)
    • Vans 2.5-3.5t: Toyota HiAce (505), Hyundai iLoad (280), Ford Transit Custom (142)
    • 4×2 utes: Toyota HiLux (752), Isuzu D-Max (408), Mitsubishi Triton (231)
    • 4×4 utes: Ford Ranger (2947), Toyota HiLux (2804), Holden Colorado (2186)

    Want more detailed numbers, or figures for a specific brand? Let us know in the comments.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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