It’s official: the Australian new vehicle market yielded an all-time annual sales record in 2023 as it recovered from years of stock shortages, passing 1.2 million units for the first time.

    A grand total of 1,216,780 new passenger and commercial vehicles were counted as sold in 2023, up 12.5 per cent year-over-year, besting the previous all-time record of 1,189,116 from 2017.

    We also have a new sales champion on our hands, with the Australian-developed Ford Ranger storming home to pass the Toyota HiLux near the finishing line – ending a seven-year unbroken run from the Toyota.

    There were also a few other unusual results at the pointy end of the charts, with Kia toppling ‘big brother’ Hyundai for the second straight year; and brands like Tesla, MG and Isuzu Ute sitting in the top 10 list.

    Battery EVs took 7.2 per cent market share, nearly three times what they had in 2022, and if you add hybrids the share of sales for electrified vehicles jumped to 16.2 per cent.

    There are, however, signs that 2024 will produce a leaner result as cost-of-living pressures mount and COVID-era waiting lists dissipate. Forward-orders in the dealer network aren’t as strong as they have been previously.

    “As we celebrate this historic achievement, we recognise that the automotive sector will face challenges in the coming months. Cost-of-living pressures and increased interest rates will impact the market, and we anticipate a challenging 2024,” conceded Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief Tony Weber.

    Brands

    Toyota sat top of the charts as per usual, though ongoing shortages on key models such as Camry, RAV4 and LandCruiser meant it failed to break even with 2022, dropping 6.8 per cent. Its overall market share of 17.7 per cent was well below the 20 per cent benchmark which it typically owns.

    Perennial silver medallist Mazda broke through six figures again thanks to 4.5 per cent annual growth, while Ford stormed into third place on the back of a 31.8 per cent spike in sales due to big growth from Ranger 4×4 (up 35.1 per cent) and Everest (up 46.1 per cent).

    Kia saw its sales decline 2.8 per cent yet it held onto fourth place ahead of Hyundai, its biggest shareholder, with the latter’s 2.5 per cent sales increase insufficient to take back its expected place.

    Completing the top 10 were Mitsubishi (down 17.5 per cent with the all-new new Triton just around the corner and the old one deep into its runout phase), MG (up 17.7 per cent), Tesla (up 135.4 per cent, and by far the dominant EV player), Subaru (up a healthy 28 per cent), and Isuzu Ute (up 28.4 per cent).

    The next trio of brands – Volkswagen, Nissan and GWM – all enjoyed more than 40 per cent sales growth year-over-year on the back of better supply for the first two and more models for the latter.

    Mercedes-Benz edged its BMW arch nemesis overall, but if you remove vans from the former’s result to make it a more even playing field, BMW (26,184, up 15.4 per cent) actually conquered Benz (24,315, down 9.3 per cent).

    Fellow luxury brands Audi (up 29.2 per cent) and Lexus (up 114.3 per cent for a new record) made the three-pointed star marque’s negative result look even worse in context.

    Some other brands that outperformed the overall market were LDV (up 30.9 per cent), BYD (up a staggering 488.6 per cent and easily Tesla’s closest EV competitor now), Land Rover (up 93.8 per cent), Skoda (up 23 per cent), SsangYong (up 51.3 per cent), Mini (up 42.9 per cent), Cupra (up 238.9 per cent), and Chevrolet (up 41.7 per cent).

    Brands that finished 2023 in the proverbial ‘red’ included Kia, Mitsubishi and Mercedes-Benz as mentioned, as well as Suzuki (down 20.9 per cent), Honda (down 3.4 per cent), Renault (down 9.4 per cent), Jeep (down 30.4 per cent), Jaguar (down 17 per cent), and Citroen (down 23 per cent).

    2023 sales results by brand:

    BrandSalesOver 2022
    Toyota215,240-6.8%
    Mazda100,0084.5%
    Ford87,80031.8%
    Kia76,120-2.8%
    Hyundai75,1832.5%
    Mitsubishi63,511-17.5%
    MG58,34617.7%
    Tesla46,116135.4%
    Subaru46,11428.0%
    Isuzu Ute45,34128.4%
    Volkswagen43,82141.6%
    Nissan39,37648.6%
    GWM36,39745.3%
    Mercedes-Benz28,853-7.8%
    BMW26,18415.4%
    LDV21,29830.9%
    Audi19,03929.2%
    Suzuki17,078-20.9%
    Lexus15,192114.3%
    Honda13,734-3.4%
    BYD12,438488.6%
    Volvo Car11,1283.9%
    Land Rover842593.8%
    Renault8024-9.4%
    Skoda799923.0%
    Ram683311.1%
    Porsche60527.9%
    SsangYong596651.3%
    Chery5890
    Jeep4634-30.4%
    Mini428942.9%
    Cupra3765238.9%
    Chevrolet370341.7%
    Peugeot251620.6%
    Polestar246361.6%
    Fiat206277.6%
    Genesis191684.4%
    Alfa Romeo71625.4%
    Maserati6387.4%
    Jaguar581-17.0%
    Lamborghini24136.9%
    Bentley22912.8%
    Citroen228-23.0%
    Ferrari2155.9%
    Lotus183195.2%
    Aston Martin15718.9%
    McLaren8539.3%
    Rolls-Royce49-18.3%

    Models

    The top 20 nameplates list comprised five pickups (including the top three outright), seven mid-sized SUVs, two small SUVs, two large SUVs, and just four traditional passenger cars (i30, Corolla, Model 3, MG 3).

    Top 20 models in 2023:

    1. Ford Ranger: 63,356
    2. Toyota HiLux: 61,111
    3. Isuzu D-Max: 31,202
    4. Toyota RAV4: 29,627
    5. MG ZS: 29,258
    6. Tesla Model Y: 28,769
    7. Mitsubishi Outlander: 24,263
    8. Mazda CX-5: 23,083
    9. Hyundai Tucson: 21,224
    10. Toyota Prado: 20,710
    11. Hyundai i30: 20,626
    12. Toyota Corolla: 19,986
    13. Mazda BT-50: 17,526
    14. Tesla Model 3: 17,347
    15. Mitsubishi Triton: 16,641
    16. Subaru Forester: 16,381
    17. Mazda CX-3: 15,776
    18. MG 3: 15,430
    19. Kia Sportage: 15,747
    20. Ford Everest: 15,071

    Segments

    • Micro Cars: Kia Picanto (7706), Fiat 500 (755), Mitsubishi Mirage (1)
    • Light Cars under $30,000: MG 3 (15,430), Suzuki Swift (6914), Mazda 2 (5181)
    • Light Cars over $30,000: Mini (2011), Audi A1 (462), Skoda Fabia (433)
    • Small Cars under $40,000: Hyundai i30 (20,626), Toyota Corolla (19,986), Mazda 3 (9079)
    • Small Cars over $40,000: Volkswagen Golf (3592), Audi A3 (3319), MG 4 (3134)
    • Medium Cars under $60,000: Toyota Camry (10,581), Mazda 6 (1528), Skoda Octavia (1395)
    • Medium Cars over $60,000: Tesla Model 3 (17,347), BMW 3 Series (3147), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2625)
    • Large Cars under $70,000: Kia Stinger (1806), Skoda Superb (278), Citroen C5 X (68)
    • Large Cars over $70,000: Porsche Taycan (535), BMW 5 Series (507), Mercedes-Benz EQE (437)
    • Upper Large Cars: Mercedes-Benz S-Class (108), BMW 7 Series (84), Porsche Panamera (70)
    • People Movers: Kia Carnival (11,312), Hyundai Staria (1141), Volkswagen Multivan (711)
    • Sports Cars under $80,000: Subaru BRZ (1573), Ford Mustang (1475), BMW 2 Series (1164)
    • Sports Cars over $80,000: BMW 4 Series (858), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (808), Chevrolet Corvette (338)
    • Sports Cars over $200,000: Porsche 911 (558), Ferrari range (215), Lamborghini 2-door range (159)
    • Light SUVs: Mazda CX-3 (15,775), Kia Stonic (6983), Toyota Yaris Cross (6514)
    • Small SUVs under $45,000: MG ZS (29,258), Mazda CX-30 (13,115), GWM Haval Jolion (11,252)
    • Small SUVs over $45,000: Volvo XC40 (5837), BMW X1 (4644), Audi Q3 (4457)
    • Medium SUVs under $60,000: Toyota RAV4 (29,627), Mitsubishi Outlander (24,263), Mazda CX-5 (23,083)
    • Medium SUVs over $60,000: Tesla Model Y (28,769), Lexus NX (6875), Audi Q5 (4210)
    • Large SUVs under $70,000: Toyota Prado (20,710), Ford Everest (15,071), Isuzu MU-X (14,139)
    • Large SUVs over $70,000: Land Rover Defender (3846), BMW X5 (3682), Lexus RX (2743)
    • Upper Large SUVs under $120,000: Toyota LandCruiser (15,035), Nissan Patrol (7812), Land Rover Discovery (533)
    • Upper Large SUVs over $120,000: BMW X7 (1012), Lexus LX (982), Range Rover (713)
    • Light Vans: Volkswagen Caddy (628), Peugeot Partner (552), Renault Kangoo (18)
    • Medium Vans: Toyota HiAce (7133), LDV G10 (3638), Ford Transit Custom (2843)
    • Large Vans: LDV Deliver 9 (3865), Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (3113), Renault Master (1351)
    • Light Buses: Toyota HiAce (2366), Toyota Coaster (337), LDV Deliver 9 (284)
    • 4×2 Utes: Toyota HiLux (12,116), Isuzu D-Max (5759), Ford Ranger (5095)
    • 4×4 Utes: Ford Ranger (58,261), Toyota HiLux (48,995), Isuzu D-Max (24,443)
    • Utes above $100,000: Ram 1500 (5922), Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (2260), Chevrolet Silverado HD (1105)

    Miscellaneous

    EV-specific model top-sellers*:

    1. Tesla Model Y: 28,769
    2. Tesla Model 3: 17,347
    3. BYD Atto 3: 11,042
    4. MG 4: 3134
    5. Polestar 2: 2463
    6. Kia EV6: 1831
    7. Mercedes-Benz EQA: 1196
    8. Volvo C40: 1103
    9. Hyundai Ioniq 5: 947
    10. BYD Dolphin: 925

    Doesn’t include models with both ICE and EV options e.g. MG ZS or Hyundai Kona. We will run a full EV breakdown when we get more data

    Sales by region

    • New South Wales: 374,432, up 10.8 per cent
    • Victoria: 327,229, up 13.9 per cent
    • Queensland: 261,532, up 11.0 per cent
    • Western Australia: 124,630, up 17.7 per cent
    • South Australia: 79,009, up 13.9 per cent
    • Tasmania: 21,150, up 10.4 per cent
    • Australian Capital Territory: 18,531, up 14.2 per cent
    • Northern Territory: 10,267, up 4.2 per cent

    Category breakdown

    • SUV: 679,462 sales, 55.8 per cent market share
    • Light commercials: 274,185 sales, 22.5 per cent market share
    • Passenger cars: 211,361 sales, 17.4 per cent market share
    • Heavy commercials: 51,772 sales, 4.3 per cent market share

    Top segments by market share

    • Medium SUV: 22.1 per cent market share
    • 4×4 Utes: 17.2 per cent market share
    • Small SUV: 14.3 per cent market share
    • Large SUV: 12.8 per cent share
    • Small Car: 6.9 per cent share

    Sales by buyer type

    • Private buyers: 630,297 sales, up 8.6 per cent
    • Business fleets: 429,634 sales, up 18.7 per cent
    • Rental fleets: 71,274 sales, up 10.8 per cent
    • Government fleets: 33,803 sales, up 24.3 per cent

    Sales by propulsion or fuel type

    • Petrol: 588,622 sales, up 6.7 per cent
    • Diesel: 379,512 sales, up 5.0 per cent
    • Hybrid: 98,439 sales, up 20.3 per cent
    • Electric: 87,217 sales, up 161.1 per cent
    • PHEV: 11,212 sales, up 8.8 per cent

    Sales by country of origin

    • Japan: 345,071 sales, up 4.5 per cent
    • Thailand: 264,253 sales, up 7.6 per cent
    • China: 193,433 sales, up 57.5 per cent
    • Korea: 161,614 sales, up 1.5 per cent
    • Germany: 56,850 sales, up 35.6 per cent

    Some previous monthly reports

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

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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