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VFACTS: May biggest-selling month of 2021 so far

Slugfest: The Toyota HiLux (left) snatched top spot from the Ford Ranger last month while the Isuzu D-Max (below) claimed most improved.

New-vehicle sales on track to surpass one million in 2021 as bounce-back continues

7 Jun 2021

DESPITE a few COVID-19 resurgences here and there, Australia’s new car market continued to flourish in May with 100,809 vehicles sold nationally, making it the most successful month of 2021 so far and more growth expected to follow.


Compared to the COVID-ravaged May of 2020, new car sales were up 68.3 per cent last month to place the national tally at 456,804 for the year – 124,623 units more than at the same point of 2020.


Taking the pandemic largely out of the equation, the monthly total still marks an 8.9 per cent improvement on the 92,561 sales recorded in May 2019, continuing the run of success (over 2019) ignited in April.


As things stand, the market is on track to once again surpass one million annual sales, something it has not done since 2019.


Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive Tony Weber said the figures continued to reflect returning confidence in the national economy.


“While we cannot be certain about the future economic impacts of the COVID-19

situation, businesses and households are showing their confidence by purchasing new

vehicles,” he said.


“I expect this situation will continue to improve in the second half of this calendar year

as confidence continues to grow, coupled with incentives such as the extension of the

depreciation allowance for business which was announced in the Federal Budget during

the month.


“The result also highlights the outstanding efforts by all parties in the supply chain in

continuing to meet the demands of their customers in the face of ongoing

challenges such as the shortage of microprocessors and shipping delays.”


As usual it was Toyota that topped the charts with a commanding 21 per cent market share (21,156 units), occupying five of the top 10 positions when it came to individual models.


Mazda comfortably held onto second place with a 10.5 per cent share (10,554) and most of the heavy lifting done by its CX-5 mid-sized SUV.


After finishing April in sixth position, Kia had a particularly successful May, leapfrogging up to third place with a 7.1 per cent market share (7124), comfortably outselling Ford (6493/6.4 per cent) in fourth despite undying popularity of the Ranger pick-up truck.


Fifth went to Mitsubishi, which did the opposite of Kia, sliding down from third in April to post 6478 sales (6.4 per cent) last month, just 28 units clear of Hyundai in sixth (6450/6.4 per cent).


Nissan held onto seventh with a 4.3 per cent (4307) slice of the market while Volkswagen moved up from ninth in April to finish May in eighth (4005/4.0 per cent).


Breathing down the German brand’s neck in ninth was Isuzu Ute (3946/3.9 per cent), which returned to the top 10 due to an especially strong showing from its D-Max pick-up.


Subaru rounded out the top 10 with a 3.5 per cent share (3547 units).


While the order of the top 10 best-selling brands shuffled around and threw up the odd surprise, there was no such flow in terms of the market’s preferred vehicle classes with SUVs once again leading the way, accounting for more than 53 per cent (53,605) of all sales.


This unwavering dominance was not directly reflected in the best-selling model standings, the top 10 comprised of just four SUVs, four light commercial vehicles (utes) and two passenger vehicles.


For reference, 23,177 light commercial vehicles and 20,218 passenger cars were sold last month, accounting for 23 and 20 per cent of the total market respectively.


At the top of the tables, the ding-dong battle between the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger continues to wage, May going in favour of the Japanese brand, which sold 4402 examples of its refreshed pick-up compared to the Blue Oval’s 4254 Rangers.


Toyota’s RAV4 medium SUV finished the month in third with 4014 sales and fourth place went to the LandCruiser, the popularity of which continued with 3399 examples delivered, despite a new-generation model being just around the corner.


An abundance of newly fulfilled orders helped the Isuzu D-Max rocket up from tenth in April to fifth last month with 3058 sales, accounting for 77.5 per cent of all the brand’s volume for the month.


Sixth place went to the ever-popular Mazda CX-5 (2768) – the second of just two medium SUVs in the top 10 – which comfortably put it ahead of the Mitsubishi Triton in seventh (2317).


Much like its bigger LandCruiser cousin, the Toyota Prado is due to be replaced in the near – but not quite as near – future but that has not hampered its popularity with 2214 examples shifted last month.


While utes and SUVs ruled the top eight, ninth and tenth were fought out between the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30, with the Korean brand’s new strategy of encompassing what would have been the Elantra sedan under the i30 nameplate helping to close the gap on its Japanese rival, but not overtake it (2190 vs 2127).


May turned out to be a good month for battery-electric vehicle (BEV) sales with 436 units being sold compared to the 286 shifted in April, however electrified vehicle sales fell from 8117 to 7786.


Hybrids were still by far the preferred form of electrification with 7105 examples being sold compared to the 245 plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and a solitary fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV).


For those really into numbers, the FCAI figures reveal May 2021 and May 2020 to both have had 25.8 selling days, translating to an extra 1585.9 vehicles being sold per day.


Top 10 Brands May 2021

Ranking Brand Sales Share %
1 Toyota 21,156  21.0
2 Mazda 10,554 10.5
3 Kia 7124 7.1
4 Ford 6493 6.4
5 Mitsubishi 6478 6.4
6 Hyundai 6450 6.4
7 Nissan 4307 4.3
8 Volkswagen 4005 4.0
9 Isuzu Ute 3946 3.9
10 Subaru 3547 3.5


Top 10 Models May 2021

Ranking Model Sales
1 Toyota HiLux 4402
2 Ford Ranger 4254
3 Toyota RAV4 4014
4 Toyota LandCruiser  
5 Isuzu D-Max 3058
6 Mazda CX-5  2768
7 Mitsubishi Triton 2317
8 Toyota Prado 2214
9 Toyota Corolla 2190
10 Hyundai i30 2127


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