After showing some signs of recovery in June, Australia’s new vehicle sales took a bigger hit in July, declining 12.8 per cent.

    VFACTS data posted today shows 72,505 new vehicles were counted as sold during the year’s seventh month – 10,679 fewer cars than July last year.

    While sales have been battered by the pandemic – year-to-date down nearly 20 per cent – they were down ‘only’ 6.4 per cent in June by comparison, after a 35 per cent decline in May and 48.5 per cent fall in April.

    As you might expect, the biggest decline last month came from the heavily-populated state of Victoria, which is now in Stage 4 lockdown in response to community transmission of COVID-19.

    VFACTS: New vehicle sales tumbled 13 per cent in July
    Source: FCAI

    Sales there diminished by 27.8 per cent to 17,487 units, equivalent to 6743 fewer cars being sold compared to July 2019’s tally.

    That means more than 60 per cent of the national sales decline can be pinned on Victoria. With Victorian dealerships regulated to close their doors for six weeks, things won’t turn any time soon.

    Sales also declined heavily in New South Wales (down 7.8 per cent or 2046 cars), Queensland (down 9.1 per cent or 1526 cars), and Tasmania (down 22.6 per cent or 378 cars).

    By contrast, sales in South Australia fell 5.0 per cent (252 cars), in Western Australia just 1 per cent (74 cars), and in the Northern Territory 4.5 per cent (31 cars). Sales in the Australian capital Territory actually grew 30.6 per cent, equal to 371 cars.


    There were 19 car brands that recorded positive sales results in July, but only two were among the top 10 (Kia and Volkswagen).

    Market-leader Toyota owned 21.4 per cent market share, despite sales declining 13.2 per cent to 15,508. It made three of the top-four-selling vehicles.

    Mazda was clear in second thanks to strong sales growth from the CX-3, CX-8, runout BT-50, and all-new CX-30.

    A tight four-way race between Mitsubishi, Hyundai (down a whopping 33.6 per cent), Kia, and Ford accounted for the next four positions. More than two-thirds of Ford’s sales were Rangers.

    The new T-Cross helped Volkswagen to seventh, ahead of Mercedes-Benz’s combined car and van brands (MB passenger 2556, commercial 650). Rounding out the top 10 were Nissan and Subaru.

    Smaller-volume players that grew sales compared to July 2019 included (in finishing order): Suzuki (up 26.8 per cent), Audi (up 53.3 per cent), MG (up 58.8 per cent), LDV (up 22.4 per cent), Volvo Car (up 23.1 per cent), Jeep (up 19.5 per cent), and Haval (up 139.3 per cent).

    VFACTS: New vehicle sales tumbled 13 per cent in July
    BrandJuly sales% change
    Hyundai 4634-33.6
    Isuzu Ute1327-29.9
    Holden 1113-65.9
    Volvo Car692+23.1
    Lexus 527-29.5
    Land Rover306-40
    Great Wall170+41.7
    Alfa Romeo94+67.9
    Maserati 53+65.6
    Aston Martin8-46.7


    The Toyota RAV4 wasn’t just the most popular SUV, it was the most popular vehicle. Greater supply has enabled Toyota to at least partially clear its backlog.

    Number two in the market was the Ford Ranger, nudging ahead of the Toyota HiLux which was deep into runout mode, with an update set to launch next month. The Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30 completed the top five.

    From the top 20 list, there were 11 SUVs (three small, seven medium-sized, one large), four pickups/utes, and five passenger vehicles (four small cars, and one medium).

    ModelJuly sales% change
    Toyota RAV44309+78.1
    Ford Ranger 3104-2.1
    Toyota HiLux2947-12.3
    Toyota Corolla2192-32.4
    Hyundai i301745-22.5
    Mazda CX-51727-20
    Mitsubishi Triton1593+4.5
    Mazda CX-31355+5.4
    Toyota Camry1281-19.8
    Mazda 31224-35.4
    Kia Cerato 1207-29.9
    Nissan X-Trail1116-26.4
    Hyundai Tucson1087-26.5
    Toyota Kluger1057+29.5
    Mitsubishi ASX1053-33.7
    Mazda BT-501012+6.5
    Kia Sportage994-8.2
    Mazda CX-30990New
    Mitsubishi Outlander 989-16.5
    Subaru Forester967-33.8

    Top sellers per segment

    Passenger vehicles (swipe to see whole table)

    Micro Kia Picanto: 337Mitsubishi Mirage: 113Fiat 500: 44
    Light MG3: 571Suzuki Swift: 369Volkswagen Polo: 365
    Light LuxMini: 102Audi A1: 47Citroen C3: 4
    SmallToyota Corolla: 2192Hyundai i30: 1745Mazda3: 1224
    Small LuxMercedes A-Class: 588Audi A3: 331BMW 1 Series: 98
    MediumToyota Camry: 1281Skoda Octavia: 192Mazda6: 122
    Medium LuxMercedes C-Class: 299Mercedes CLA: 236BMW 3 Series: 84
    LargeKia Stinger: 197Holden Commodore: 103Skoda Superb: 40
    Large LuxMercedes E-Class: 67BMW 5 Series: 40Audi A6: 17
    Upper Chrysler 300: 23Mercedes S-Class: 20BMW 8 Series GC: 14
    MPVsKia Carnival: 369Honda Odyssey: 86LDV G10: 62
    Sports < $200kFord Mustang: 279Mercedes C-Class: 92Hyundai Veloster: 72
    Sports > $200kPorsche 911: 32BMW 8 Series coupe: 14Ferrari range: 12

    SUVs (swipe to see whole table)

    LightMazda CX-3: 1355Volkswagen T-Cross: 344Hyundai Venue: 282
    SmallMitsubishi ASX: 1053Mazda CX-30: 990Kia Seltos: 930
    Small LuxAudi Q3: 226Volvo XC40: 215Audi Q2: 137
    MediumToyota RAV4: 4309Mazda CX-5: 1727Nissan X-Trail: 1116
    Medium LuxMercedes GLC/Coupe: 562BMW X3/X4: 299Audi Q5: 297
    LargeToyota Kluger: 1057Toyota Prado: 779Isuzu MU-X: 622
    Large LuxMercedes GLE/Coupe: 276BMW X5/X6: 125Volkswagen Touareg: 113
    Upper Toyota L’Cruiser: 479Nissan Patrol: 105
    Upper Lux BMW X7: 65Mercedes GLS: 64Land Rover Discovery: 39

    Light commercial vehicles (swipe to see whole table)

    Buses Toyota HiAce: 165Toyota Coaster: 21Mercedes Sprinter: 6
    Small vans Volkswagen Caddy: 151Renault Kangoo: 68peugeot Partner: 32
    Mid vans Toyota HiAce: 353Ford Transit Custom: 200Renault Trafic: 139
    Big vansMercedes Sprinter: 214Volkswagen Crafter: 124Renault Master: 121
    4×2 utesToyota HiLux: 896Ford Ranger: 305Mazda BT-50: 272
    4×4 utesFord Ranger: 2799Toyota HiLux: 2051Mitsubishi Triton: 1392
    VFACTS: New vehicle sales tumbled 13 per cent in July


    More than 50 per cent of the total market (50.4 per cent) were SUVs. Passenger vehicles made up a mere 25 per cent of the market, light commercials 20.5 per cent, and heavy commercials 4 per cent.

    Private buyers accounted for 37,501 sales, business fleets 28,127, government departments 2633, and rentals just 1356 (down an unsurprising 53.4 per cent).

    From the total sales mix, there were 42,728 petrol vehicles sold, 19,944 diesels, 6665 hybrids (up 115.5 per cent, with 80 per cent of RAV4s sold being petrol-electric), 138 EVs excluding Tesla that doesn’t submit sales data, and 132 PHEVs.

    The main sources of vehicles were Japan (24,456, down 12.9 per cent), Thailand (16,150, down 19.2 per cent), Korea (9489, down 18.6 per cent), Germany (4671, down 25.6 per cent), the USA (2933, down 5.8 per cent), and China (2357, up 51.9 per cent).

    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: Jan-Jun sales
    MORE: June sales
    MORE: May sales
    MORE: April sales

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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