2024 is off to a strong start, with 89,782 new vehicles delivered throughout January, but the industry has cautioned economic conditions could dampen the mood.

    January’s tally was up 5.8 per cent on the year prior, fuelled by greater demand for hybrid vehicles, and surpassed the previous January record of 88,551 vehicles set in 2018.

    Sales of electric passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles were essentially flat: 4893 examples were delivered, up just 0.8 per cent on January 2023 – likely due to delivery setbacks for segment leader Tesla, which was outsold by BYD for the first time.

    Hybrids, in contrast, had a great month, likely helped by improved supply from market-leading Toyota. There were 9821 sold, a significant 91.2 per cent improvement over last January.

    Petrol vehicle sales were down 5.8 per cent to 42,247 units, diesel vehicle sales were up 8.8 per cent to 28,923 units, and plug-in hybrids saw triple-digit growth, albeit from a very low base, rising 123.7 per cent to 980 sales.

    All up, electric vehicles accounted for 5.4 per cent of the market, while hybrids accounted for 10.9 per cent.

    SUVs accounted for 55.5 per cent of total sales, with light commercial vehicles sitting at 22.9 per cent and passenger vehicles accounting for 18.3 per cent of sales.

    The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the peak body for car brands in Australia, argued the continued strength of SUVs and utes in Australia poses a challenge for the Australian Government in implementing its recently announced New Vehicle Efficiency Standard.

    “The continuing preference for SUVs and utes demonstrates the challenges the Commonwealth Government is facing as it works to introduce a New Vehicle Emissions [sic] Standard,” said FCAI chief executive Tony Weber in a statement.

    “Industry wants an emissions standard that is ambitious without limiting the choice and increasing the cost of the vehicles Australians need and want.

    “Even with the current incentives offered by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments, sales of battery electric vehicles appear to have plateaued during recent months.

    “For more than a year the industry has been sharing information with the Government about what is happening in the suburbs and regions around the country and the preferences and challenges facing families and businesses.

    “Good policy must reflect reality rather than a desktop exercise that makes assumptions about what the world can look like, and we strongly urge the Government to share its modelling with us.”

    MORE: Car industry cautious about Australia’s proposed vehicle efficiency standards

    Brands

    Toyota continued as the top-seller, with its 17,903 sales tally – up 34 per cent on the back of stronger supply – more than double that of second-place Mazda, which was down 13.2 per cent.

    Ford sold the same number of vehicles as it did in January 2023, with its 6624 sales enough to put it in third place.

    Kia may have bested Hyundai in 2023, but so far Hyundai is in the lead. It sat in fourth place with 6162 sales, up 6.1 per cent, while Kia was in sixth with 5707 sales, down 5.0 per cent.

    Mitsubishi saw a bump in sales, rising 12 per cent to 5911 sales.

    The top 10 was rounded out by MG in seventh, followed by Isuzu Ute, GWM and Subaru.

    Brands with strong growth include BYD (up 390.6 per cent), Alfa Romeo (up 224.1 per cent) and Land Rover (up 190 per cent). After a record year last year, Lexus also entered 2024 with a bang, with sales up 73.9 per cent.

    Tesla sales sunk 66.6 per cent year over year, likely the result of shipping issues with the Model Y and a stop-sale for the Model 3. Neither Tesla model was in the top 20 best-selling vehicles list.

    Other brands to have a rough January include Renault (down 42.6 per cent YoY), Mercedes-Benz (down 35.3 per cent), Skoda (down 28.6 per cent), and Audi (down 25.4 per cent).

    BrandSalesChange YoY
    Toyota17,903+34%
    Mazda8165-13.2%
    Ford66240.0%
    Hyundai6162+6.1%
    Mitsubishi5911+12.0%
    Kia5707-5.0%
    MG4006-0.2%
    Isuzu Ute3758+40.7%
    GWM3124+24.8%
    Subaru3068-14.8%
    Volkswagen2717+6.9%
    Nissan2700+10.3%
    LDV1812+27.3%
    BMW1602+8.2%
    Suzuki1527+8.3%
    Mercedes-Benz1365-35.3%
    Honda1346+22.0%
    BYD1310+390.6%
    Tesla1107-66.6%
    Audi 1009-25.4%
    Lexus873+73.9%
    Chery729N/A
    Volvo Car644-25.3%
    Land Rover522+190.0%
    Porsche496+29.8%
    Skoda485-28.6%
    SsangYong468+0.9%
    Renault411-42.6%
    Ram340-16.9%
    Chevrolet286+18.7%
    Jeep276-10.1%
    Mini217-19.3%
    Polestar151-7.9%
    Cupra147-0.7%
    Peugeot147+30.1%
    Fiat138-15.9%
    Genesis130+22.6%
    Alfa Romeo94+224.1%
    Jaguar63+90.9%
    Maserati24+84.6%
    Bentley19N/A
    Ferrari14-17.6%
    Lamborghini9-10.0%
    Lotus9-10.0%
    Aston Martin8+166.7%
    Citroen7-12.5%
    Dodge6N/A
    McLaren3-70.0%
    Rolls-Royce3+50.0%

    Models

    After dethroning the HiLux in 2023, the Ford Ranger is still sitting atop the sales charts, buoyed by much stronger sales for its 4×4 variants. In 4×2 sales, however, the HiLux is still ahead.

    The podium looks the same as it did for full-year 2023 results with the Isuzu D-Max getting the bronze.

    Of the top 20 best-selling vehicles, only three are passenger cars, with four utes. The rest consists of SUVs.

    1. Ford Ranger: 4747
    2. Toyota HiLux: 4092
    3. Isuzu D-Max: 2541
    4. Toyota RAV4: 2211
    5. Mitsubishi Outlander: 2077
    6. MG ZS: 1888
    7. Toyota Corolla: 1843
    8. Toyota LandCruiser Prado: 1746
    9. Hyundai i30: 1727
    10. Mazda CX-5: 1720
    11. Kia Sportage: 1665
    12. Mazda CX-3: 1524
    13. Hyundai Tucson: 1506
    14. Toyota LandCruiser Wagon: 1463
    15. Mitsubishi Triton: 1383
    16. Hyundai Kona: 1368
    17. Toyota Kluger: 1256
    18. Isuzu MU-X: 1217
    19. Toyota Camry: 1192
    20. Ford Everest: 1176

    Segments

    • Micro cars: Kia Picanto (178), Fiat 500 (71)
    • Light cars under $30,000: MG 3 (896), Suzuki Swift (546), Mazda 2 (424)
    • Light cars over $30,000: Mini Hatch (142), Volkswagen Polo (129), Hyundai i20 (69)
    • Small cars under $40,000: Toyota Corolla (1889), Hyundai i30 (1727), Mazda 3 (1040)
    • Small cars over $40,000: MG 4 (537), Volkswagen Golf (203), Audi A3 (198)
    • Medium cars under $60,000: Toyota Camry (1192), BYD Seal (589), Mazda 6 (144)
    • Medium cars over $60,000: Tesla Model 3 (723), BMW 3 Series (208), Polestar 2 (151)
    • Large cars under $70,000: Skoda Superb (18), Citroen C5 X (2)
    • Large cars over $70,000: BMW 5 Series (52), Porsche Taycan (40), Genesis G80 (13)
    • Upper large cars over $100,000: Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door (4), Porsche Panamera (3), Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2)
    • People movers under $70,000: Kia Carnival (651), Hyundai Staria (78), LDV MIFA (43)
    • People movers over $70,000: Volkswagen Multivan (33), Lexus LM (32), Volkswagen California (12)
    • Sports cars under $80,000: Subaru BRZ (96), Toyota GR86 (89), Mazda MX-5 (49)
    • Sports cars over $80,000: BMW 2 Series two-door (140), BMW 4 Series two-door (56), Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (22)
    • Sports cars over $200,000: Porsche 911 (45), Ferrari coupe/convertible range (11), Bentley Continental GT/GTC (9)
    • Light SUVs: Mazda CX-3 (1524), Toyota Yaris Cross (742), Suzuki Jimny (597)
    • Small SUVs under $45,000: MG ZS (1888), Hyundai Kona (1368), GWM Haval Jolion (1055)
    • Small SUVs over $45,000: Audi Q3 (355), Volvo XC40 (341), BMW X1 (285)
    • Medium SUVs under $60,000: Toyota RAV4 (2211), Mitsubishi Outlander (2077), Mazda CX-5 (1720)
    • Medium SUVs over $60,000: Lexus NX (399), Tesla Model Y (384), Mazda CX-60 (290)
    • Large SUVs under $80,000: Toyota LandCruiser Prado (1746), Toyota Kluger (1256), Isuzu MU-X (1217)
    • Large SUVs over $80,000: Kia EV6 (199), BMW X5 (184), Range Rover Sport (180)
    • Upper large SUVs under $120,000: Toyota LandCruiser (1463), Nissan Patrol (509), Kia EV9 (47)
    • Upper large SUVs over $120,000: BMW X7 (72), Lexus LX (56), Mercedes-Benz G-Class (31)
    • Light vans: Volkswagen Caddy (61), Peugeot Partner (46)
    • Medium vans: Toyota HiAce (647), LDV G10 (261), Hyundai Staria Load (227)
    • Large vans: LDV Deliver 9 (217), Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (196), Renault Master (112)
    • 4×2 utes: Toyota HiLux (614), Isuzu D-Max (423), Ford Ranger (413)
    • 4×4 utes: Ford Ranger (4334), Toyota HiLux (3478), Isuzu D-Max (2118)
    • Large pickups: Ram 1500 (290), Chevrolet Silverado (193), Ford F-150 (123)

    Sales by category

    • SUVs: 49,830 sales, 55.5 per cent market share
    • Light commercial vehicles: 20,601 sales, 22.9 per cent market share
    • Passenger cars: 16,434 sales, 18.3 per cent market share
    • Heavy commercial vehicles: 2917 sales, 3.2 per cent market share

    Top segments by market share

    • Medium SUVs: 17,523 sales, down 0.7 per cent
    • 4×4 utes: 15,966 sales, up 12.9 per cent
    • Small SUVs: 13,183 sales, up 19.8 per cent
    • Large SUVs: 12,177 sales, up 11.5 per cent
    • Small cars: 8203 sales, up 49.5 per cent

    Sales by region

    • New South Wales: 26,791 sales, up 1.2 per cent
    • Victoria: 23,770 sales, up 6.3 per cent
    • Queensland: 19,786 sales, up 5.4 per cent
    • Western Australia: 9911 sales, up 25.4 per cent
    • South Australia: 5999 sales, up 3.7 per cent
    • Tasmania: 1493 sales, down 1.1 per cent
    • Australian Capital Territory: 1290 sales, down 7.5 per cent
    • Northern Territory: 742 sales, up 11.6 per cent

    Sales by buyer type

    • Private buyers: 47,400, up 2.6 per cent
    • Businesses: 32,309, up 11.7 per cent
    • Rental fleets: 4394, down 4.6 per cent
    • Government: 2762, up 31.3 per cent

    Sales by propulsion or fuel type

    Hybrid vehicles saw the greatest growth across the combined passenger car, SUV and light commercial market, while EVs were essentially flat.

    • Petrol: 42,247, down 5.8 per cent
    • Diesel: 28,923, up 8.8 per cent
    • Hybrid: 9821, up 91.2 per cent
    • Electric: 4893, up 0.8 per cent
    • Plug-in hybrid: 980, up 123.7 per cent

    Sales by country of origin

    • Japan: 28,224, up 19.9 per cent
    • Thailand: 20,153, down 1.4 per cent
    • China: 12,902, up 3.3 per cent
    • Korea: 12,476, down 1.0 per cent
    • Germany: 3380, down 9.9 per cent

    MORE: VFACTS 2023: All-time Australian sales record, Ford Ranger tops charts

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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