Australia's new car sales up 16 per cent in July - VFACTS

VFACTS data records the best July tally since 2018, light commercial vehicles and electric cars post big growth, Kia beat Hyundai, and Chinese brands remain ascendant. More below...

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
Comparisons Editor
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New vehicle sales in Australia grew 16.1 per cent in July 2021 over the same month last year, to 84,161 units. It’s the highest July tally since 2018.

As such the year-to-date (YTD) sales total now sits 26.5 per cent higher than the same point in 2020, at 651,629 units – also the best YTD tally since 2018.

Monthly growth tallies in the states of Victoria (up 34.1 per cent), Queensland (up 26.1 per cent), and Western Australia (up 22.4 per cent) more than countered a drop-off of 1.7 per cent in New South Wales – a less severe hit than expected given the current COVID-19 lockdowns there.

The result was greeted by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) lobby group with open arms, considering the two-fold challenges of COVID-19 and huge stock shortages due to global semiconductor supply issues.

“The growth of 16.1 per cent shows the underlying strength, confidence and resilience in the market in spite of the challenges being presented due to lockdowns and ongoing delivery issues caused by microprocessor shortages and shipping delays,” contended FCAI chief executive Tony Weber.

Toyota, Mazda and Ford occupied the podium, Kia outsold Hyundai for the third successive month, rugged brands Isuzu Ute and Land Rover posted massive gains on the back of new models and evident stock; and so too did Chinese brands MG, GWM, and LDV on the back of strong supply as detailed here.

Sales of light commercials boomed, up 40.9 per cent for the month with 20,994 sales – equal to 24.9 per cent overall market share. Three of the top four vehicles were utes: the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, and Isuzu D-Max.

Furthermore, electric vehicle (EV) sales hit new highs. Excluding clear leader Tesla (which stubbornly refuses to disclose Australian sales data for unclear reasons), there were 515 EVs sold, up 273.2 per cent. PHEV sales hit 325, up 146.2 per cent.

EV grants and tax waivers were introduced in NSW and Victoria in July, which can’t have hurt on this front.

Brands

Toyota led the charge with 17,643 sales, up 13.8 per cent, and made four of the top 10-selling nameplates. Joining it on the podium were Mazda (8919, up 14.3 per cent) and Ford (5569, up 21.8 per cent).

Rounding out the top 10 were Mitsubishi (5302, up 13.2 per cent), Kia (5202, up 12.5 per cent), Hyundai (5062, up 9.2 per cent), Volkswagen (3840, up 3.5 per cent), Isuzu Ute (3403, up 156.4 per cent to an all-time high), MG (3313, up 197.1 per cent), and Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans combined (2897, down 9.6 per cent).

Nissan (2691, down 7.4 per cent) and Subaru (2376, down 17.0 per cent) were left banging on the door of the top 10 in 11th and 12th spots respectively, ahead of a red-hot GWM/Haval (up nearly 300 per cent to 2011 sales).

Others that recorded above-average growth in July included, in sales order: BMW (up 79.4 per cent), LDV (up 66.5 per cent), Land Rover (up 178.4 per cent), Skoda (up 23.8 per cent), Lexus (up 47.1 per cent), Mini (up 68.0 per cent), SsangYong (up 38.8 per cent), Fiat (up 63.2 per cent), and Genesis (up 281.8 per cent).

Other manufacturers that recorded worse sales results in July 2021 than they did during July 2020, included: Honda (822, down 62.6 per cent), Peugeot (187, down 35.5 per cent), and Alfa Romeo (54, down 42.6 per cent).

Honda Australia claims the sales results were reflective of its new fixed-price business model in Australia that commenced at the start of the month, in which it owns all stock until sold to customers, rather than wholesaling to dealers.

The company said it started July with no carryover orders, meaning it was always going to be a very quiet month as it built up an order bank. It’s worth noting Honda Australia’s monthly sales target from here averages out to about 1650.

July 2021: Sales by brand

BrandSalesAgainst July 2020
Toyota17,643Up 13.8%
Mazda8919Up 14.3%
Ford5569Up 21.8%
Mitsubishi5302Up 13.2%
Kia5202Up 12.5%
Hyundai5062Up 9.2%
Volkswagen3840Up 3.5%
Isuzu Ute3403Up 156.4%
MG3313Up 197.1%
Mercedes-Benz2897Down 9.6%
Nissan2691Down 7.4%
Subaru2376Down 17.0%
GWM2011Up 298.2%
BMW1814Up 79.4%
Suzuki1528Up 3.6%
Audi1371Up 4.3%
LDV1202Up 66.5%
Land Rover852Up 178.4%
Honda822Down 62.6%
Skoda806Up 23.8%
Lexus775Up 47.1%
Volvo Car736Up 6.4%
Jeep631Up 24.0%
Renault564Up 0.9%
Mini336Up 68.0%
Ram Trucks325Up 16.1%
SsangYong272Up 38.8%
Porsche247Up 7.4%
Chevrolet205N/A
Fiat204Up 63.2%
Peugeot187Down 35.5%
Jaguar132Up 65.0%
Genesis84Up 281.8%
Alfa Romeo54Down 42.6%
Maserati44Down 17.0%
Bentley25Up 212.5%
Chrysler19Down 17.4%
Ferrari13Up 8.3%
Citroen12Up 20.0%
Lamborghini9Down 25.0%
Aston Martin7Down 12.5%
McLaren5Down 37.5%
Lotus4Up 33.3%
Rolls-Royce4Down 50.0%
Morgan3N/A
Alpine2N/A

Models

The top 20 models list comprised six utes, four mid-sized SUVs, three small SUVs, two large SUVs, one light car, and four small cars.

July 2021: Sales by model

ModelSalesAgainst July 2020
Toyota HiLux4610Up 56.4%
Ford Ranger4064Up 30.9%
Toyota Corolla2535Up 15.6%
Isuzu D-Max2427Up 244.2%
Mazda CX-52389Up 38.3%
Toyota RAV42345Down 45.6%
Toyota Prado2251Up 189.0%
Hyundai i301914Up 9.7%
Mitsubishi Outlander1792Up 81.2%
MG ZS1786Up 446.2%
Mitsubishi Triton1580Down 0.8%
Kia Cerato1524Up 26.3%
Hyundai Tucson1265Uop 16.4%
Mazda BT-501224Up 20.9%
Nissan Navara1209Up 38.8%
Mazda 31186Down 3.1%
Mazda CX-31160Down 14.4%
Mazda CX-301126Up 13.7%
MG 31113Up 94.9%
Toyota Kluger1078Up 2.0%

Segments

We can also identify the most popular models in each vehicle segment.

  • Micro Cars: Kia Picanto (404), Fiat 500 (64), Mitsubishi Mirage (50)
  • Light Cars under $25,000: MG 3 (1113), Kia Rio (618), Volkswagen Polo (534)
  • Light Cars over $25,000: Mini Hatch (194), Audi A1 (82), Citroen C3 (8)
  • Small Cars under $40,000: Toyota Corolla (2535), Hyundai i30 (1914), Kia Cerato (1524)
  • Small Cars over $40,000: Mercedes-Benz A-Class (375), BMW 1 Series (213), BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (149)
  • Medium Cars under $60,000: Toyota Camry (921), Volkswagen Passat (158), Mazda 6 (156)
  • Medium Cars over $60,000: BMW 3 Series (235), Lexus IS (162), Mercedes-Benz CLA (158)
  • Large Cars under $70,000: Kia Stinger (58), Skoda Superb (44)
  • Large Cars over $70,000: BMW 5 Series (56), Porsche Taycan (45), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (37),
  • Upper Large Cars: Chrysler 300 (19), Mercedes-Benz S-Class (14), Porsche Panamera and BMW 7 Series (8)
  • People Movers: Kia Carnival (402), Volkswagen Multivan (77), LDV G10 (76)
  • Sports Cars under $80,000: Ford Mustang (142), Mazda MX-5 (63), Mini Cabrio (26)
  • Sports Cars over $80,000: BMW 4 Series (96), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (85), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (24)
  • Sports Cars over $200,000: Porsche 911 (44), Ferrari range (13), Bentley Continental (8)
  • Light SUVs: Mazda CX-3 (1160), Kia Stonic (849), Toyota Yaris Cross (472)
  • Small SUVs under $40,000: MG ZS (1786), Mazda CX-30 (1126), Subaru XV (895)
  • Small SUVs over $40,000: Audi Q3 (550), Volvo XC40 (421), Mercedes-Benz GLA (280)
  • Medium SUVs under $60,000: Mazda CX-5 (2389), Toyota RAV4 (2345), Mitsubishi Outlander (1792)
  • Medium SUVs over $60,000: Mercedes-Benz GLB (300), BMW X3 (262), Volvo XC60 (207)
  • Large SUVs under $70,000: Toyota Prado (2251), Toyota Kluger (1078), Isuzu MU-X (976)
  • Large SUVs over $70,000: Mercedes-Benz GLE (345), Land Rover Defender (321), BMW X5 (269)
  • Upper Large SUVs under $100,000: Toyota LandCruiser (538), Nissan Patrol (292)
  • Upper Large SUVs over $100,000: Mercedes-Benz GLS (93), Land Rover Discovery (90), BMW X7 (68)
  • Light Vans: Volkswagen Caddy (58), Renault Kangoo (42), Peugeot Partner (14)
  • Medium Vans: Toyota HiAce (625), Ford Transit Custom (243), Renault Trafic (203)
  • Large Vans: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (376), LDV Deliver 9 (160), Fiat Ducato (14)
  • Light Buses: Toyota HiAce (214), Toyota Coaster (22), LDV Deliver 9 (18)
  • 4×2 Utes: Toyota HiLux (820), Isuzu D-Max (632), Ford Ranger (381)
  • 4×4 Utes: Toyota HiLux (3790), Ford Ranger (3683), Isuzu D-Max (1795)

Miscellaneous

Sales by region

  • NSW: 23,923, down 1.7 per cent
  • Victoria: 23,445, up 34.1 per cent
  • Queensland: 19,107, up 26.1 per cent
  • WA: 8860, up 22.4 per cent
  • SA: 4986, up 4.9 per cent
  • Tasmania: 1528, up 17.7 per cent
  • ACT: 1406, down 11.2 peer cent
  • NT: 906, up 39.0 per cent

Category breakdown

  • SUV: 42,020
  • Light commercials: 20,994
  • Passenger cars: 17,619

Top segments by market share

  • 4×4 Utes: 19.2 per cent
  • Medium SUV: 15.9 per cent
  • Large SUV: 14.1 per cent
  • Small SUV: 13.1 per cent
  • Small Car: 10.7 per cent

Sales by buyer type

  • Private buyers: 43,770, up 16.7 per cent
  • Business fleets: 30,147, up 7.2 per cent
  • Rental fleets: 4461, up 231.4 per cent
  • Government fleets: 2255, down 14.4 per cent
  • Heavy Trucks: 3528, up 21.7 per cent

Sales by propulsion or fuel type

  • Petrol: 45,985, up 7.6 per cent
  • Diesel: 28,649, up 43.6 per cent
  • Hybrid: 5512, down 22.7 per cent
  • Electric minus Tesla*: 515, up 273.3 per cent
  • Plug-in hybrid: 325, up 146.2 per cent

* Tesla refuses to supply sales information

Sales by country of origin

  • Japan: 26,790 units, up 9.5 per cent
  • Thailand: 19,015 units, up 17.7 per cent
  • Korea: 10,529 units, up 11.0 per cent
  • China: 6789 units, up 188.0 per cent
  • Germany: 4065, down 13.0 per cent

Previous monthly reports

Got any questions about car sales? Ask away in the comments and I’ll jump in!

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
Mike Costello is the Comparisons Editor at CarExpert.
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