New car sales up 140 per cent in April

New April record set despite stock shortages, Ford Ranger beats HiLux and tops the charts with more than 5000 sales, four Chinese brands inside the top 20.

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
Comparisons Editor
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The Australian new vehicle market continues to recover with supply the only obvious constraint, industry VFACTS data shows.

There were 92,347 new vehicles counted as sold last month, up 137.2 per cent over April 2020. This takes the annualised tally to 355,995 units, up almost 31 per cent.

Last month’s sales results were in fact the highest of any April on record, and the sixth consecutive month of market sales growth.

This is not surprising, of course, given this time last year we were living under restrictions designed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

You can remind yourself of the precipitous decline we saw 12 months ago by clicking here.

Every State and Territory saw growth, with population centres New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia all up between 135 per cent and 144 per cent.

Brands

Toyota doubled its nearest competitor’s tally with 20,208 sales, about double what it managed last year, thanks in large part to bumper months for the HiLux 4×4, LandCruiser, and RAV4.

Mazda sales more than tripled thanks in large part to the CX-3 and CX-5, while Mitsubishi in third rebounded in a huge way to grow by 333 per cent thanks mostly to the ASX and Triton.

Making up the rest of the top 10 were Ford (up 217.5 per cent), Hyundai (up 156.9 per cent), Kia (up 129 per cent and a whisker off beating its bigger Korean sibling), Nissan (up 138.4 per cent), Subaru (up 169.2 per cent), Volkswagen (up 135.2 per cent), and finally MG (once again in the top 10, up 626.3 per cent!).

The next tier (11-20) were Isuzu Ute, Mercedes-Benz (including vans and passenger cars), BMW (which beat Mercedes-Benz by two units if you exclude commercial vehicles), Honda, GWM/Haval, Suzuki, Audi, LDV, Skoda, and Lexus.

This means that the market’s Chinese brands – MG, LDV, GWM, and Haval – all finished inside the top 20. Sales of cars from China (including certain Volvos) were up more than 600 per cent.

Full list of all brands below:

BrandSalesGrowth over April 2020
Toyota20,20895.7%
Mazda10,052232.6%
Mitsubishi7513333.3%
Ford7146217.5%
Hyundai5772156.9%
Kia5707129.0%
Nissan3500138.4%
Subaru3451169.2%
Volkswagen3123135.2%
MG3007626.3%
Isuzu Ute2849159.2%
Mercedes-Benz258491.4%
BMW215326.4%
Honda170862.4%
GWM1337672.8%
Suzuki1308114.1%
Audi1281243.4%
LDV1086417.1%
Skoda936774.8%
Lexus909121.2%
Volvo Car794176.7%
Jeep655265.9%
Land Rover645160.1%
Porsche35455.9%
Renault298-4.2%
Mini27680.4%
Ram25040.4%
SsangYong215298.1%
Peugeot189166.2%
Fiat13387.3%
Chevrolet111NA
Jaguar9449.2%
Alfa Romeo50284.6%
Maserati4795.8%
Genesis31342.9%
Ferrari23155.6%
Lamborghini18100.0%
Bentley12200.0%
Aston Martin9800.0%
McLaren7NA
Chrysler6-62.5%
Lotus6500.0%
Rolls-Royce5400.0%
Citroen3-50.0%

Models

The Ford Ranger took all before it with more than 5000 monthly sales, while its HiLux rival (4222) was relegated into third behind its Toyota RAV4 stablemate (4506).

Next was the venerable Mitsubishi Triton, ahead of the Toyota LandCruiser 70- and 200-Series wagon family. Stock of the 200 Series is getting thin on the ground but demand ain’t slowing as the 300 Series’s premiere nears…

Rounding out the top 10 were the Mazda CX-5, Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi ASX, Hyundai i30, and Isuzu D-Max.

If we take the 25 best-selling vehicles in the market, we find they made up about 53 per cent of the total pie for April. The make-up of this list comprised 13 SUVs, and six each of light commercial utes and passenger cars.

ModelSalesGrowth
Ford Ranger5021226.0%
Toyota RAV44506135.8%
Toyota HiLux422280.5%
Mitsubishi Triton2458424.0%
Toyota LandCruiser wagon2595180.8%
Mazda CX-52353263.1%
Toyota Corolla207373.5%
Mitsubishi ASX2028482.8%
Hyundai i302005188.5%
Isuzu D-Max1999163.0%
Mazda CX-31779351.5%
Hyundai Kona1529303.4%
Kia Cerato152777.6%
Nissan X-Trail1522224.5%
Mazda BT-501443209.7%
Toyota Prado137044.7%
MG ZS1350>999%
Mitsubishi Outlander1342192.4%
Subaru Forester1327160.2%
Toyota Camry119777.3%
MG 31150418.0%
Mazda 31072134.1%
Nissan Navara1072106.6%
Subaru Outback1041309.8%
Mazda CX-301035129.0%

Segments

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

  • Micro Cars: Kia Picanto (605), Mitsubishi Mirage (113), Fiat 500 (28)
  • Light Cars under $25,000: MG 3 (1150), Toyota Yaris (604), Mazda 2 (541)
  • Light Cars over $25,000: Mini Hatch (100), Audi A1 (56), Citroen C3 (1)
  • Small Cars under $40,000: Toyota Corolla (2073), Hyundai i30 (2005), Kia Cerato (1527)
  • Small Cars over $40,000: BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (219), Mercedes-Benz A-Class (215), BMW 1 Series (214)
  • Medium Cars under $60,000: Toyota Camry (1197), Skoda Octavia (176), Mazda 6 (162)
  • Medium Cars over $60,000: BMW 3 Series (373), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (289), Lexus IS (115)
  • Large Cars under $70,000: Kia Stinger (104), Skoda Superb (80)
  • Large Cars over $70,000: Mercedes-Benz E-Class (106), BMW 5 Series (69), Porsche Taycan (48)
  • Upper Large Cars: Mercedes-Benz S-Class (32), Chrysler 300 (6), BMW 7 Series (5)
  • People Movers: Kia Carnival (657), Honda Odyssey (109), Volkswagen Multivan (98)
  • Sports Cars under $80,000: Ford Mustang (202), Mazda MX-5 (80), Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 (42)
  • Sports Cars over $80,000: Mercedes-Benz C-Class (104), BMW 4 Series (95), Toyota Supra (39)
  • Sports Cars over $200,000: Porsche 911 (37), Ferrari range (23), Mercedes-AMG GT (8)
  • Light SUVs: Mazda CX-3 (1779), Kia Stonic (769), Toyota Yaris Cross (730)
  • Small SUVs under $40,000: Mitsubishi ASX (2028), Hyundai Kona (1529), MG ZS (1350)
  • Small SUVs over $40,000: Audi Q3 (553), Volvo XC40 (307), BMW X1 (270)
  • Medium SUVs under $60,000: Toyota RAV4 (4506), Mazda CX-5 (2353), Nissan X-Trail (1522)
  • Medium SUVs over $60,000: BMW X3 (364), Lexus NX (332), Volvo XC60 (322)
  • Large SUVs under $70,000: Toyota Prado (1370), Subaru Outback (1041), Ford Everest (958)
  • Large SUVs over $70,000: Mercedes-Benz GLE (375), BMW X5 (263), Range Rover Sport (210)
  • Upper Large SUVs under $100,000: Toyota LandCruiser (2595), Nissan Patrol (193)
  • Upper Large SUVs over $100,000: Mercedes-Benz GLS (93), BMW X7 (63), Lexus LX (42)
  • Light Vans: Volkswagen Caddy (28), Peugeot Partner (26), Renault Kangoo (22)
  • Medium Vans: Toyota HiAce (733), Hyundai iLoad (389), LDV G10 (226)
  • Large Vans: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (291), Ford Transit Heavy (187), LDV Deliver 9 (163)
  • Light Buses: Toyota HiAce (188), Toyota Coaster (17), LDV Deliver 9 (10)
  • 4×2 Utes: Toyota HiLux (907), Isuzu D-Max (423), Ford Ranger (350)
  • 4×4 Utes: Ford Ranger (4671), Toyota HiLux (3315), Mitsubishi Triton (2256)

Miscellaneous

Category breakdown:

  • SUV – 49,176 units, up 172.9 per cent
  • Light commercials – 21,714 units, up 130.1 per cent
  • Passenger cars – 18,064 units, up 97.2 per cent

Top segments by market share:

  • 4×4 Utes – 18.5 per cent
  • Medium SUV – 18.1 per cent
  • Small SUV – 14.3 per cent
  • Large SUV – 12.0 per cent
  • Small Car – 9.0 per cent

Sales by buyer type:

  • Private buyers – 47,436 units, up 177 per cent
  • Business fleets – 32,963 units, up 109.6 per cent
  • Rental fleets – 6249 units, up 411.8 per cent
  • Government fleets – 2306 units, down 9.3 per cent

Sales by propulsion or fuel type:

  • Petrol – 49,828 units, up 146 per cent
  • Diesel – 31,003 units, up 131 per cent
  • Hybrid – 7583 units, up 170.7 per cent
  • Electric (*excluding Tesla) – 286 units, up 401.8 per cent
  • Plug-in hybrid – 248 units, up 213.9 per cent
  • Hydrogen FCEV – 6 units

* Tesla refuses to supply sales information

Sales by country of origin:

  • Japan – 34,861 units, up 166.6 per cent
  • Thailand – 21,094 units, up 119 per cent
  • Korea – 11,872 units, up 148.5 per cent
  • China – 5634 units, up 604.3 per cent
  • Germany – 31123, up 22.9 per cent

Quotes

“New vehicles sales are a direct reflection of the performance of the broader economy in terms of consumer and business confidence,” said Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber.

“This time last year we were seeing significant impacts from COVID-19 with less customer activity and inquiries to dealerships.

“Historically the April result is between 70,000 and 80,000 vehicles, so the 2021 result is very significant. This sales trend is expected to continue as we enter the final two months of the financial year.

“It also was pleasing to see increases in sales for rental vehicles across all segments. Growth in rental fleets will be an important building block supporting the recovery of the tourism industry across the country.”

Mr Weber added that supply chain constraints such as a shortage of semiconductors and shipping issues related to delays through the Suez Canal were impacting the delivery of new vehicles to Australian customers.

“Every vehicle company is focused on solving the issues caused by these impacts and they are working with customers to keep them fully informed regarding supply issues and delivery dates.

“It is possible there is pent-up market demand which may be reflected in sales figures in the second half of 2021 as solutions are found to these issues.”

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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