Australia’s new car sales grew 5.1 per cent for the month of February, over the tally recorded in February 2020.

    VFACTS data published today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows that 83,977 new cars, SUVs and commercials were counted as sold.

    This takes the year-to-date (YTD) tally to 163,643 vehicles, up 7.9 per cent – a figure driven more by the stronger January result.

    Widespread stock shortfalls and a short COVID-19-related lockdown in Victoria were examples of headwinds. The February 2021 sales tally is still behind the Febraury 2019 (87,102) and February 2018 (95,999) tallies.

    The growth in February came principally from light commercial utes and vans, with that market up 24.3 per cent. SUVs also grew 8.6 per cent. Passenger cars declined 15.3 per cent.

    As we saw in January, it was the private buyer market doing the heavy lifting. Private sales leapt 15.8 per cent for the month to 43,429, while business fleet sales fell 4 per cent to 30,865. Government and rental-car sales dipped by double digits.

    February 2021 Australian new vehicle sales (VFACTS)


    Toyota’s market share in first sat at 21.9 per cent of the total. It more than doubled the sales of its nearest rival Mazda, which itself recorded strong 15 per cent monthly volume growth.

    Hyundai grabbed third spot on the podium, edging out a strong Mitsubishi. Kia outmuscled Ford to take fifth, with the Blue Oval brand next, ahead of Nissan.

    While VFACTS separate Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans, I combine them because every other brand is formatted that way. Ergo Mercedes finished eighth.

    February 2021 Australian new vehicle sales (VFACTS)

    The biggest news is the arrival of China’s MG into the coveted top 10 for the first time. It finished ninth, and grew its sales by almost 160 per cent – a staggering climb up the charts given it finished 17th in February 2020.

    It also edged out the likes of Volkswagen, Subaru, Isuzu Ute (nevertheless up a strong 61 per cent and hindered by short supply), and Honda, which made up the next positions on the chart. Honda had a hard time, plummeting 42.7 per cent.

    Rounding out the top 20 were BMW, Suzuki, Audi, LDV, GWM (formerly known as Great Wall, sales up 210 per cent), Skoda, and Volvo Car.

    February 2021 Australian new vehicle sales (VFACTS)

    Sales by brand, February 2021

    BrandSalesChange %
    Isuzu Ute251061.0%
    Volvo Car82228.6%
    Land Rover608-11.8%
    Alfa Romeo31-55.1%
    Aston Martin1110.0%
    Lamborghini11No change
    Rolls-Royce3No change
    February 2021 Australian new vehicle sales (VFACTS)


    The top 10 models list featured four utes (Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, and Mitsubishi Triton), three SUVs (Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, and Mitsubishi ASX), and three small cars (Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30, and Kia Cerato).

    VFACTS categorises all Toyota LandCruisers (meaning 70 Series and 200 Series) together, but I do not. They’re very different vehicles.

    Sales by model, February 2021

    Toyota HiLux480840.5%
    Ford Ranger2900-9.4%
    Toyota RAV42750-18.5%
    Toyota Corolla2427-3.7%
    Hyundai i3022102.7%
    Mazda CX-520484.0%
    Isuzu D-Max176568.6%
    Mitsubishi Triton17615.3%
    Mitsubishi ASX148910.2%
    Kia Cerato1468-21.6%
    Toyota Prado14076.9%
    Mazda CX-313793.1%
    Mazda 31373-4.3%
    Toyota LandCruiser wagon132616.0%
    Hyundai Kona132315.0%
    MG 31313111.8%
    MG ZS1302262.7%
    Toyota LandCruiser ute119571.7%
    Mazda BT-50118450.4%
    Mitsubishi Outlander11784.0%
    Nissan X-Trail1151-20.0%
    Kia Seltos106838.3%
    Hyundai Tucson1062-14.4%
    Nissan Qashqai10275.2%
    Subaru Forester1009-3.6%

    We can also identify the most popular models in each vehicle segment, as defined by the FCAI in its VFACTS data.

    February 2021 Australian new vehicle sales (VFACTS)
    • Micro Cars: Kia Picanto (645), Mitsubishi Mirage (53), Fiat 500 (36)
    • Light Cars under $25,000: MG 3 (1313), Toyota Yaris (492), Volkswagen Polo (485)
    • Light Cars over $25,000: Mini (140), Audi A1 (64), Citroen C3 (5)
    • Small Cars under $40,000: Toyota Corolla (2427), Hyundai i30 (2210), Kia Cerato (1468)
    • Small Cars over $40,000: Mercedes-Benz A-Class (421), BMW 1 Series (239), BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (148)
    • Medium Cars under $60,000: Toyota Camry (1001), Mazda 6 (101), Skoda Octavia (89)
    • Medium Cars over $60,000: Mercedes-Benz C-Class (343), Lexus IS (147), BMW 3 Series (124)
    • Large Cars under $70,000: Kia Stinger (191), Skoda Superb (54)
    • Large Cars over $70,000: Mercedes-Benz E-Class (99), BMW 5 Series (62), Porsche Taycan (51)
    • Upper Large Cars: Chrysler 300 (16), BMW 6 Series GT (12), Mercedes-Benz S-Class (7)
    • People Movers: Kia Carnival (606), Honda Odyssey (127), Volkswagen Multivan (83)
    • Sports Cars under $80,000: Ford Mustang (221), BMW 2 Series (62), Toyota 86 (51)
    • Sports Cars over $80,000: Mercedes-Benz C-Class (130), BMW 4 Series (52), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (34)
    • Sports Cars over $200,000: Porsche 911 (23), Ferrari and McLaren ranges (13), Bentley Continental (11)
    February 2021 Australian new vehicle sales (VFACTS)
    • Light SUVs: Mazda CX-3 (1379), Toyota Yaris Cross (653), Volkswagen T-Cross (563)
    • Small SUVs under $40,000: Mitsubishi ASX (1489), Hyundai Kona (1323), MG ZS (1302)
    • Small SUVs over $40,000: Mercedes-Benz GLA (372), Audi Q3 (353), Volvo XC40 (334)
    • Medium SUVs under $60,000: Toyota RAV4 (2750), Mazda CX-5 (2048), Mitsubishi Outlander 91178)
    • Medium SUVs over $60,000: BMW X3/4 (496), Mercedes-Benz GLC/Coupe (453), Volvo XC60 (340)
    • Large SUVs under $70,000: Toyota Prado (1407), Isuzu MU-X (745), Subaru Outback (608)
    • Large SUVs over $70,000: Mercedes-Benz GLE/Coupe (365), BMW X5/6 (326), Land Rover Defender (186)
    • Upper Large SUVs under $100,000: Toyota LandCruiser (1326), Nissan Patrol (332)
    • Upper Large SUVs over $100,000: Mercedes-Benz G-Class (73), BMW X7 (54), Mercedes-Benz GLS (51)
    February 2021 Australian new vehicle sales (VFACTS)
    • Light Vans: Volkswagen Caddy (67), Renault Kangoo (44), Peugeot Partner (24)
    • Medium Vans: Toyota HiAce (795), Hyundai iLoad (418), Ford Transit Custom (357)
    • Large Vans: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (181), Ford Transit Heavy (163), Volkswagen Crafter (98)
    • Light Buses: Toyota HiAce (212), Toyota Coaster (17), Ford Transit (11)
    • 4×2 Utes: Toyota HiLux (1090), Isuzu D-Max (485), Ford Ranger (297)
    • 4×4 Utes: Toyota HiLux (3718), Ford Ranger (2603), Mitsubishi Triton (1560)


    Sales by fuel type and segment

    • Petrol: 49,129 (16,033 passenger, 31,492 SUV, 1614 light commercial)
    • Diesel: 26,559 (703 passenger, 8138 SUV, 17,718 light commercial)
    • Hybrid: 5016 (2303 passenger, 2713 SUV)
    • Electric: 262 (119 passenger, 139 SUV, 4 light commercial)
    • Plug-in hybrid: 185 (36 passenger, 149 SUV)
    • Hydrogen FCEV: 20 (all Hyundai Nexo SUVs)
    February 2021 Australian new vehicle sales (VFACTS)

    Top sources of new vehicles

    • Japan: 29,438 (up 12 per cent)
    • Thailand: 17,458 (down 9.5 per cent)
    • South Korea: 12,305 (up 11.1 per cent)
    • China: 5013 (up 149.2 per cent)
    • Germany: 3370 (down 41.7 per cent)

    Sales by Australian region

    Australian Capital Territory1392-38.3%
    New South Wales27,30210.8%
    Northern Territory74732.7%
    South Australia53374.7%
    Western Australia855721.7%

    Quote from the FCAI

    “During the past four months we have seen an increase of 10.6% in new vehicles and this has been reflected with strong growth in NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory in February 2021.

    “The sales reduction in Victoria can be attributed to the COVID 19 restrictions that were put in place during the month.

    “We remain confident that this trend of growth will continue in an environment where business operating conditions continue to normalise.”

    Previous monthly reports

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

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers