Vehicle sales recovering

VEHICLE sales in Australia dropped almost 14 per cent last year but a late flourish is a positive sign for the industry, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).
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Toyota's Hilux was the most popular vehicle sold in Australia last year. Image courtesy Toyota.

Mark Saunders

A total of 916,968 vehicles were sold in 2020, down 13.7 per cent on 2019 when 1,062,867 vehicles were sold.

The FCAI says the sales decline was not unexpected and is attributed to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, December 2020 saw 95,652 sales, a 13.5 per cent increase over December 2019 when 84,239 were sold. This result follows a similar upturn in November 2020, when sales of 95,205 vehicles, a 12.4 per cent gain over November 2019, were recorded.

FCAI chief executive, Tony Weber, said signs of the recovery of the new vehicle market were welcomed by automotive brands.

"COVID-19 has brought a health crisis and a corresponding economic crisis to the world during 2020," Weber said.

During the year, Australia's love of the Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and utes continued, with yet another increase in share for these two popular segments.

SUVs claimed 49.6 per cent of the market during 2020, an increase from 45.5 per cent market share in 2019. A total of 454,701 SUVs were sold during the year, down 5.9 per cent on full year 2019.  

Light Commercial Vehicles continued to enjoy strong popularity in 2020, claiming 22.4 per cent market share. A total of 205,597 vehicles sold, down 8.9 per cent on 2019.

The top selling vehicle for the year was the Toyota HiLux with 45,176 sales. Ford Ranger was next with 40,973 sales, then the Toyota RAV4 with 38,537 sales. There were 25,142 Toyota Landcruiser sales and 18,136 Mitsubishi Tritons sold.

Passenger vehicle numbers totalled 222,103 vehicles, for 24.2 per cent of the market in 2020.  Total Passenger vehicles sold were down 29.7 per cent on full year 2019.

The highest-selling brand was Toyota, with 204,801 vehicles sold for a 22.3 per cent market share. In second place was Mazda (85,640 sales), then Hyundai (64,807 sales), Ford (59,601 sales) and Mitsubishi (58,335 sales).

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