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VFACTS: New record set for April sales

Lone Ranger: Ford’s Ranger pick-up got one back on the Toyota HiLux by being the most popular vehicle in April.

Consumer confidence results in blockbuster April sales, continuing 2020 recovery

6 May 2021

THE strongest sign yet that the new-car selling woes of 2020 are in the rearview mirror has materialised with a record-breaking month in April that saw a massive 137.2 per cent increase over the same period last year, when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic first began to be felt.


According to the latest round of VFacts figures, a total of 92,347 new cars were sold in April – the best April result on record – well above the 38,926 from April 2020. For reference, it also represents a 22 per cent increase over April 2019, where 75,550 new cars were sold.


Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said the hot selling conditions were a sign that Australians are showing renewed confidence in the state of the economy.


“New vehicles sales are a direct reflection of the performance of the broader economy in terms of consumer and business confidence,” he said. “This time last year we were seeing significant impacts from COVID-19 with less customer activity and inquiries to dealerships.


“Historically the April result is between 70,000 and 80,000 vehicles, so the 2021 result is very significant. This sales trend is expected to continue as we enter the final two months of the financial year.


“It also was pleasing to see increases in sales for rental vehicles across all segments. Growth in rental fleets will be an important building block supporting the recovery of the tourism industry across the country.”


Mr Weber also acknowledged that despite the barnstorming resurgence in sales, there were still issues around supply constraints, with factory closures, a semiconductor shortage and the blockage in the Suez Canal all contributing factors.


Leading the resurgence were SUVs, up 172.9 per cent for the month with 49,176 sales, representing 53.3 per cent of April’s total sales.


Light-commercial vehicles (LCVs) were next with 21,714 units for an improvement of 130.1 per cent and a 23.5 per cent share, while passenger cars tallied 18,064 units – a 97.2 per cent improvement for a 19.6 per cent share. 


Aside from the huge overall sales improvement, the other big news to come out of the latest VFacts figures was the performance of the Ford Ranger pick-up, which trumped its main rival, the Toyota HiLux, to become the best-selling model in the country for April.


Ford’s venerable pick-up recorded 5021 sales for the month, representing a massive 226.0 per cent improvement over April 2020.


Less surprising were the overall brand results, with Toyota again topping the tables with a total of 20,208 sales, up 95.7 per cent on April 2020 and enough for a generous 21.9 per cent overall market share.


Its total was helped by strong performances from the likes of the RAV4 medium SUV in second place (4506 sales, up 135.8 per cent), the HiLux in third (4222, +80.5%), the LandCruiser wagon and pick-up range in fourth (3177, +98.2%), and the Corolla small car in seventh (2073, +73.5%).


As usual, Toyota’s dominance was followed by Mazda in second, with the Japanese brand cracking five-figure sales with 10,052 units for the month for a 10.9 per cent share, and a huge improvement of 232.6 per cent.


Mazda was represented in the top 10 by the ever-popular CX-5 medium SUV, which chalked up 2353 sales to finish in sixth place, marking a 263.1 per cent year-on-year improvement.


Rounding out the podium was Mitsubishi, usurping usual third-place-getter Hyundai with 7513 sales, enough for an improvement of 156.9 per cent and an 8.1 per cent share.


Two Triple Diamond models found their way into the top 10 – the Triton pick-up in fifth (2458, +424.1%) and the evergreen ASX light SUV (2028, +482.8%).


The strong performance of the Ranger helped Ford into fourth place, with the Blue Oval brand chalking up 7146 sales, for a 7.7 per cent share and an improvement of 217.5 per cent.


Strong performances elsewhere saw Hyundai slip to fifth with 5772 sales and a 6.3 per cent share, despite the brand recording a year-on-year increase of 156.9 per cent.


The only top 10 entrant for Hyundai in April was the i30 small car, which finished ninth on 2005 sales – an improvement of 188.5 per cent.


Hot on the heels of Hyundai was sister company Kia in sixth with 5707 units (6.2 per cent share), followed by Nissan in seventh (3500, 3.8% share).


Eighth place belonged to Subaru (3451, 3.7% share), followed by Volkswagen in ninth (3123, 3.4% share) with Chinese upstart MG rounding out the top 10 (3007, 3.3% share).


While just missing out on a top-10 finish, Isuzu Ute had its D-Max pick-up finish tenth overall for models with 1999 sales, up 163.0 per cent year-on-year.


Among the luxury brands, BMW pipped primary rival Mercedes-Benz Cars by just two units in April (2153 vs 2151), while Audi climbed 243.4 per cent over April 2020 to finish with 1281 sales.


As mentioned by Mr Weber, rental sales saw a big lift with a 411.8 per cent improvement (6249 units), while private buyer interest was also strong with a 177.0 per cent lift (47,436 units).



Top 10 Brands April 2021

Ranking Brand Sales Share %
1 Toyota 20,208 21.9
2 Mazda 10,052 10.9
3 Mitsubishi 7513 8.1
4 Ford 7146 7.7
5 Hyundai 5772 6.3
6 Kia 5707 5.2
7 Nissan 3500 3.8
8 Subaru 3451 4.7
9 Volkswagen 3123 3.4
10 MG 3007 3.3


Top 10 Models March 2021

Ranking Model Sales
1 Ford Ranger 5021
2 Toyota RAV4 4506
3 Toyota HiLux 4222
4 Toyota LandCruiser 3177
5 Mistubishi Triton 2458
6 Mazda CX-5 2353
7 Toyota Corolla 2073
8 Mitsubishi ASX 2028
9 Hyundai i30 2005
10 Isuzu D-Max 1999

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