Sales of new cars dropped 20 per cent over the first six months (H1) of 2020, a year defined by challenge after challenge.

    While you can read our market wrap here for all that, here are the cars that lost the most sales, and gained the most sales, relative to the same period of 2019.

    The list below tracks overall numerical sales declines and growth, and also percentage declines and growth. The metrics are more or less useful depending on the volume we’re talking about.

    We’ll also mention models that launched after June 2019, since the incremental growth they recorded in H1 of 2020 will not be comparable to H1 2019.


    H1 2020 salesGain
    Toyota RAV415,5444085
    Audi Q318051592
    MG 329131262
    Mercedes-Benz GLE16671110
    Suzuki Baleno17671106
    RAM 15001710723
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class3342688
    Audi Q7824657
    BMW 3 Series1873494
    Haval H2814491

    The new-generation RAV4 has taken the market by storm as the new top-selling SUV. About half are hybrids too, and now that supply is less undercooked that it was at launch, sales should remain strong.

    The Audi Q3 has simply benefitted from being launched in new-generation form, with proper supply. Ditto the Mercedes-Benz GLE.

    The MG 3 has been heavily promoted and there are fewer cheap rivals these days, especially with the retirement of the Hyundai Accent. Same story explains the Baleno’s growth.

    The Australian-engineered right-hand drive Ram 1500 is addressing a market shortfall with its Hemi V8 towing ability, though foreign exchange rates might come to hurt its competitive $79,990 base price point.

    The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is getting traction among younger buyers, the Audi Q7 has been facelifted and supported by better supply, the new-generation BMW 3 Series has spiked based on its freshness, and Haval’s success with the H2 comes on the back of a much more obvious ad spend

    Other models that experienced sales growth included the new-generation Toyota HiAce (4388 sales this year, up by 387 units), new-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS (503 sales, up 366), Mercedes-Benz Vito (575, up by 320), BMW X1 (1597, up by 253), new-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA (844, up by 240), new-generation BMW X6 (344, up by 228), and LDV T60 (1819, up by 228).

    Two observations: new-generation products unsurprisingly do well early in their lifecycle, and certain Mercedes-Benz models are having quite the 2020.


    H1 2020 salesReduction
    Mazda 3 7235-7980
    Hyundai Accent61-6727
    Hyundai i3010,300-4076
    Toyota HiLux22,348-3784
    Mazda CX-510,219-3737
    Mitsubishi ASX6794-3641
    Mazda 2 1412-3605
    Mitsubishi Outlander5798-3576
    Mitsubishi Triton9617-3140
    Ford Ranger 18,466-3030

    Passenger cars as a whole are well down this year, ceding market share to ute and SUVs.

    The Mazda 3’s higher price point and internal competition from the new CX-30 has hurt, and it’s safe to say Hyundai’s big-volume i30 has similarly been cannibalised by the Venue SUV, and also been hurt by reduced rental sales for the base Go model. The Accent has been retired.

    The Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton have all fallen away, but that’s mostly because of the huge sales volumes they generate. They’re not tracking too badly on percentage terms.

    The Mazda CX-5 has clearly lost momentum next to the RAV4, which has relegated it to second spot in the class charts, the Mitsubishi ASX and Outlander were being pushed hard and posting huge numbers in 2019 compared to this year, and the Mazda 2 became more expensive after its recent late-life update.

    Other models that fell away this year so far include the ageing Nissan X-Trail (6853, down by 2839), retired Holden Colorado (6712, down by 2984), retired Holden Commodore (608, down by 2643), fleet-friendly Kia Cerato (8932, down by 2441), Kia Sportage (4984, down by 2224), soon-to-be-axed Honda Jazz (1290, down by 2127), and ageing Mercedes-Benz C-Class (1467, down 2127).

    Winners and losers by percentage


    H1 2020 sales% gained
    Nissan Leaf176826.3
    Audi Q31805747.4
    Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon CC72453.8
    BMW 6 Series GT94452.9
    Audi Q7824393.4
    Audi A672350.0
    Volvo V90 CC39333.3
    Mercedes-Benz GLS 503267.2
    BMW X6334196.6
    Peugeot Expert88183.9

    Percentage gains are usually more pronounced at low volumes, though the two Audi SUVs proved exceptions.

    The Nissan Leaf’s sales this year compare to an almost nonexistent 2019 figure, since the car only launched in the middle of 2019. So take that with a serious pinch of salt.


    H1 2020 sales% lost
    Volkswagen Arteon24-89.3
    Hyundai Sonata69-86.0
    Skoda Superb89-83.0
    Ford Mondeo79-82.8
    Holden Commodore608-81.3
    Alpine A1103-81.3
    Jaguar F-Type17-77.6
    Mercedes-AMG GT15-76.2
    Suzuki Ignis173-77.5
    Mazda 2 1412-71.9

    There are a number of vehicles that have been discontinued not counted here, with the rule I’ve set being that stocks can’t still be being cleared. That’s why I didn’t include the Accent, but did include the Commodore and Mondeo.

    I also didn’t include the Renault Clio as the brand new one is due soon, and the handful it sold this year were old stock.

    The drop in Arteon sales comes down to a gap between the pre-facelift model and the updated car due in Australia early next year. These are vehicles that tend to come in small batches, too.

    There’s a brand new Hyundai Sonata on the way by year’s end, and an updated Superb is nigh and stock of the current car has dwindled.

    The Alpine A110, Jaguar F-Type and Mercedes-AMG GT are all sports cars that are prone to spike at the start of their life cycles, and the Ingis was just given an update, and supplies of the MY19 car were basically gone.

    That’s not to provide easy outs for OEMs, but supply is clearly a factor.

    Vehicles that have been retired inside the past 12 months and posted 100 per cent decline this year include the: Mitsubishi Lancer, Volkswagen Jetta, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Kia Rondo and Soul, Peugeot 208, and of course all Holden and Infiniti products are also on the way out.

    Successful new nameplates

    These cars were not available during the first half of 2019. They’re either new nameplates, or ones that returned after an absence.

    Kia Seltos3668
    Mazda CX-303484
    Hyundai Venue1677
    MG HS1124
    BMW 2 Series GC671
    SsangYong Musso378
    Hyundai Veloster260
    Mercedes-Benz GLB213
    Renault Kadjar165
    Jeep Gladiator161
    Mitsubishi Express150
    Toyota Granvia 134
    SsangYong Rexton108
    Peugeot 50898
    Ford Fiesta ST94
    Volvo S6092
    SsangYong Tivoli91
    Volvo V6085
    Toyota Supra83
    SsangYong Korando 79
    Peugeot Partner75
    BMW 8 Series GC64
    Mercedes-Benz EQC57

    If you have any questions – perhaps you want to know how your car did – ask in the comments and a member of the CarExpert team will respond.

    MORE: H1 2020 market wrap
    MORE: VFACTS June wrap
    MORE: Most popular Medium SUVs
    MORE: Luxury market wrap
    MORE: Most popular utes

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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