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VFACTS: 2021 bounce-back continues in February

Newcomer: MG cracked the top 10 for the first time, with the MG3 and ZS (left) proving popular for the Chinese brand.

Australian new-car market up 5.1 per cent in February, helping recovery from 2020

4 Mar 2021

AUSTRALIAN new-car sales appear to be showing steady signs of recovery with a fourth consecutive month of increased year-on-year growth recorded in February.


According to the latest round of VFacts figures published by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the local market was up 5.1 per cent for the month over February 2020, with a total of 83,997 vehicles sold across the country.


The growth was attributed primarily to private buyers whose purchases were up 15.3 per cent year-on-year, while sales to businesses fell four per cent and government sales were down 13.8 per cent.


Western Australia’s 8557 sales (+21.7%) and 18,276 units from Queensland (+14.8%) lead the way for sales growth, with NSW (27,302, +10.8%), South Australia (5337, +4.7%) and the Northern Territory (747, +32.7%) all experiencing increases.


Meanwhile, Victoria (21,027, -8.7%), Tasmania (1339, -3.9%) and the ACT (1392, -38.3%) all experienced sales retractions, the former of which was attributed by FCAI chief executive Tony Weber to a COVID-19 snap lockdown.


“During the past four months we have seen an increase of 10.6% in new vehicles and this has been reflected with strong growth in NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory in February 2021,” he said.


“The sales reduction in Victoria can be attributed to the COVID-19 restrictions that were put in place during the month.


“We remain confident that this trend of growth will continue in an environment where business operating conditions continue to normalise.”


SUVs made up more than half of overall sales at 50.8 per cent of the market, followed by light-commercial vehicles (LCVs) at 23.0 per cent, passenger cars with 22.9 per cent and heavy-commercial vehicles with the remaining 3.3 per cent.


The continuing decline in popularity of passenger cars was on show with a 15.3 per cent fall, compared to SUV sales and LCVs being up 8.6 per cent and 24.3 per cent respectively.


As usual, Toyota led the market with 18,375 sales for a generous 21.9 per cent share, with a number of models appearing in the top 10 starting with the HiLux pick-up, which was comfortably the country’s most popular model with 4808 sales – a 40.5 per cent lift compared to February 2020.


Toyota occupied four of the five top-selling spots with the RAV medium SUV placing third (2750 units, -18.5%), the LandCruiser 200/70 Series in fourth (2521, +37.1%) and Corolla small car finishing fifth (2427, -3.7%).


Mazda finished second with 8332 units for a 9.9 per cent share, represented in the top 10 by the ever-popular CX-5 medium SUV which placed seventh overall (2048, +4.0%).


The top three was rounded out by Hyundai with 6252 units (7.4% share), thanks primarily to the i30 small car which netted sixth place (221, +2.7%).


Trailing close behind Hyundai on 6202 units was Mitsubishi in fourth, with two top-10 finishers in the Triton pick-up (1761, +5.3%) and venerable ASX small SUV (1489, +10.2%) which placed ninth and tenth respectively.


Kia finished fifth on 5871 units (7.0% share) despite no top-10 models, while Ford’s volume-selling Ranger pick-up truck (2900, -9.4%) was the second-best selling model for the month, affording the Blue Oval a sixth-place finish with 4712 sales (5.6% share).


Nissan was seventh with 3824 sales (4.6% share) while Chinese brand MG cracked the Australian top 10 for the first time ever, with 3017 sales handing it eighth place and a 3.6 per cent share. 


MG Motor Australia CEO Peter Ciao said the brand’s value and customer-focused approach helped it achieve the new milestone.


“We’re humbled to make it into the top 10 automotive manufacturers by sales according to VFacts, but this is not through our efforts alone,” he said.


“This is a momentous milestone for MG in Australia – and it’s all because of our customers. MG is built on the premise of listening to our customers first and foremost.


“Whether it’s about value, or the technology they want in their new car, they are at the forefront of everything we do. Our whole focus is giving value to our customer.”


Rounding out the top 10 was Volkswagen in ninth (3009, 3.6% share) and Mercedes Benz Cars in tenth (2815, 3.4% share), which once again bested German rivals BMW (1941, 2.3%) and Audi (1181, 1.4%).


Despite the brand missing out on a top-10 finish, Isuzu Ute’s D-Max pick-up nabbed an eighth-place finish, with 1765 sales marking an improvement of 68.6 per cent.


Top 10 Brands February 2021

Ranking Brand Sales Share %
1 Toyota 18,375 21.9
2 Mazda 8332 9.9
3 Hyundai 6252 7.4
4 Mitsubishi 6202 7.4
5 Kia 5871 7.0
6 Ford 4712 5.6
7 Nissan 3824 4.6
8 MG 3017 3.6
9 Volkswagen 3009 3.6
10 Mercedes-Benz Cars 2815 3.4


Top 10 Models February 2021

Ranking Model Sales
1 Toyota HiLux 4808
2 Ford Ranger 2900
3 Toyota RAV4 2750
4 Toyota LandCruiser 2521
5 Toyota Corolla 2427
6 Hyundai i30 2210
7 Mazda CX-5 2048
8 Isuzu Ute D-Max 1765
9 Mitsubishi Triton 1761
10 Mitsubishi ASX 1489


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