Toyota Australia could break its own sales record if its rapid growth in 2024 continues, after passing two important markers last month.

    The 23,389 vehicles sold by the Japanese giant in Australia throughout May was its highest monthly sales total since December 2020, where even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic it shifted 23,470 cars to customers.

    Its year-to-date sales have also reached the 100,000 marker, with 100,398 vehicles sold between January and May.

    This represents a significant 40.8 per cent increase compared to the 71,287 cars it sold to the same point last year, but could also suggest it’s on track for a new industry record.

    Toyota last crossed over 100,000 sales to the five-month mark in 2008, when it managed to sell 101,816 vehicles from January to May that year.

    It then went on to set the record for new car sales in Australia, delivering 238,983 vehicles to customers throughout the year.

    It never reached those heights again, thanks in part to the Global Financial Crisis.

    Its momentum has been building globally, however, and Toyota set a new worldwide sales record last year with 11,233,039 vehicles sold in 2023.

    This year’s Australian sales surge is being driven by the Toyota HiLux ute (of which 22,885 have been sold so far, up nine per cent) and the RAV4 SUV, with the latter notching up 21,498 sales – an increase of 101.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2023.

    The RAV4 set its own monthly sales record in April with 5857 examples sold, which was backed up with last month’s strong result.

    Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia vice president for sales, marketing and franchise operations, said the carmaker’s deep order bank for the RAV4 and improved supply is driving the boom in deliveries which are expected to continue into June.

    “On RAV4 hybrid alone, the order bank at one stage was measured in tens of thousands,” Mr Hanley told Australian media earlier this morning.

    “I think you’re starting to see that in the results that we’re providing month on month, that expect we’ll be just as strong in June.

    “We knew the supply would come and that it would lead to a resurgence in sales figures for hybrid.”

    “The stock keeps coming and that the orders continue to remain strong. The RAV4 order bank is certainly diminishing, but the demand for that car is still, even as of last month, very healthy.”

    Earlier this year, the executive predicted the new vehicle industry could return to normal with around 1.05 million to 1.1 million vehicle sales for the calendar year.

    Despite admitting a post-end of financial year cooldown could still result in slower sales, Mr Hanley says the overall figure could be closer to 1.2 million or 1.3 million.

    “I’m still thinking 1.2 (million), but if you look at the raw numbers, it’s booming out to 1.3 (million) plus, right?” said Mr Hanley.

    “I don’t want to downplay the market because clearly I was conservative with my original thinking, but I’m still saying around that 1.2 (million) mark which will be very healthy.

    “I just think the second half [of 2024] is going to be a different dynamic to the first half.

    “I just can’t see it continuing at the momentum that we’re seeing in the first half. This month it’ll go again then I think it’ll taper off.”

    Toyota set another monthly record for hybrid sales in May, with the electrically assisted petrol models accounting for 11,440 deliveries or 48.9 per cent of its total.

    Year-to-date, it’s sold 46,821 hybrids, more than double the 21,266 it shifted across the same period in 2023.

    Earlier today, Toyota Australia announced it would no longer sell petrol-only versions of models available as a hybrid, meaning its entire passenger car and crossover lineup bar its performance vehicles are going hybrid-only.

    MORE: Toyota RAV4, Corolla, Camry, Corolla Cross, Kluger go hybrid-only in Australia

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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