Toyota, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Mercedes-Benz and Kia were the brands that shed the most sales last year, relative to 2022, with larger declines than any other car brands in Australia.

    Australian new car sales data for 2023 – covered in our full wrap here – shows over 1.2 million cars were sold, with the market climbing 12.5 per cent year-on-year and beating the previous all-time record set in 2017.

    Despite this, we’re expanding on the biggest losers in this particular story. If you want to read which five brands were the biggest winners of 2023, click here.

    We’re focusing on total sales changes rather than percentage changes as the latter tends to skew less mainstream brands.

    Toyota – down 15,810 units

    Although Toyota was technically the biggest loser in terms of year-to-date sales in Australia last year due to supply constraints early in the year, it experienced a record second half of 2023. The brand also expects this momentum to continue into 2024.

    The Japanese carmaker sold a total of 215,240 vehicles during 2023, down 6.8 per cent year-on-year.

    Toyota’s top-selling vehicle, the HiLux, was also dethroned as Australia’s best-selling car by the Ford Ranger. The HiLux had held this position for seven consecutive years.

    Nevertheless, the HiLux 4×4 was still Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in 2023 with 48,995 units sold, up 3.5 per cent year-on-year.

    This was followed by the RAV4 (29,627 units, down 15.0 per cent), Prado (20,710 units, down 1.9 per cent), Corolla (19,986 units, down 21.0 per cent), and the LandCruiser wagon (15,035 units, up 14.3 per cent).

    Looking to 2024, Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley told CarExpert it has momentum entering the new year plus a healthy order bank.

    “Our supply is strong particularly in the first quarter, and as a result we expect to increase our sales volume in 2024,” said Mr Hanley.

    “This will see our market share increase, and we still aspire to get back to 20 per cent market share in the Australian market.”

    Mitsubishi – down 13,480 units

    Mitsubishi was the second biggest loser in terms of sales volume in Australia during 2023. Overall the brand sold a total of 63,511 vehicles last year, down 17.5 per cent year-on-year.

    The Japanese carmaker’s top seller is also its newest in the line-up. 24,263 examples of the Outlander were sold during 2023, an increase of 24.1 per cent year-on-year.

    This was followed by the Triton 4×4 (13,732 units, down 42.7 per cent), ASX (9176 units, down 28.0 per cent), Eclipse Cross (7786 units, up 30.4 per cent), and Pajero Sport (5547 units, down 37.2 per cent).

    In 2024 Mitsubishi is planning to launch a new-generation version of its Triton ute, which will likely bring back some sales volume for the brand. Pickup variants are due in February, but cab-chassis variants won’t launch locally until the second half of 2024.

    Suzuki – down 4500 units

    Suzuki sold a total of 17,078 vehicles in Australia during 2023, down 20.9 per cent year-on-year.

    The Swift was the Japanese carmaker’s best-selling car in Australia last year, with a total of 6914 examples sold, up 57 per cent year-on-year.

    This was followed by the Jimny (5002 units, down 12.2 per cent), Ignis (2280 units, up 21.4 per cent), Vitara (2016 units, down 35.3 per cent), and S-Cross (598 units, up 66.1 per cent).

    Looking to 2024, Suzuki Australia is launching a new-generation version of its Swift in the third quarter. Hybrid versions of the S-Cross and Vitara are also due in late 2024.

    Suzuki Australia has previously confirmed the Fronx small SUV will fill the Baleno-shaped void in the company’s local line-up, though timing remains unconfirmed.

    Mercedes-Benz – down 2486 units

    Mercedes-Benz sold a total of 28,853 vehicles during 2023 across both its car and van businesses, down 7.8 per cent.

    The German carmaker’s top-selling vehicle last year was the GLC wagon with a total of 3631 examples sold, down 16 per cent year-on-year.

    This was followed by the C-Class (2625 units, down 26.4 per cent), GLE wagon (2535 units, down 18.0 per cent), A-Class (2392 units, down 15.8 per cent), and GLA (1881 units, down 38.5 per cent).

    In 2024 Mercedes-Benz has a plethora of new vehicles arriving on local shores. You can read all the Mercedes-Benz vehicles set to launch in Australia during 2024 here.

    Kia – down 2210 units

    Kia sold a total of 76,210 vehicles last year in Australia, which was down 2.8 per cent on 2022’s tally.

    The Korean carmaker’s best-selling car last year was the Sportage with a total of 15,747 examples sold, down 16.2 per cent.

    This was followed by the Carnival (11,312 units, up 40.5 per cent), Seltos (10,473 units, up 23.2 per cent), Sorento (8366 units, up 6.0 per cent), and Picanto (7706 units, up 48.3 per cent).

    Kia only just launched the EV9 and a mid-life update of the Picanto locally, and during 2024 it will launch the updated Sorento, Sportage hybrid, and updated Carnival.

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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