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Australian car sales continue to grow, fears remain on global car supply

By Louis Cordony, 04 Mar 2021 Car News

Australian new car sales grow again in February

February's figures reveal new car sales continue their strong return to positive growth

Australian new car sales continued to surge in February according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ latest VFACTs data.

February marked the country’s fourth straight month of year-on-year sales growth since a COVID-induced slowdown in 2020, with the 83,977 cars sold representing a 5.1 per cent increase on monthly sales in 2020.

It lags behind February's result in 2019, when 87,102 cars sold, but represents a 5.1 per cent month-on-month increase over January 2021's result that registered 79,666 sales.

vfacts february 2021Global fears about microchip shortages affecting car supply remain, with brands like Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford and Honda reportedly caught up in the debacle.

However, other brands such as Subaru and Hyundai that stockpiled supply continue unfazed, holding positions in the top-10 brands.

What were the top-selling brands?

Toyota took out the top spot in February’s sales results like it did the month before in January, selling 18,375 vehicles that accounted for a 21.9 per cent share of the market.

Mazda again finished second, selling 8322 vehicles to claim a 9.9 per cent share.

vfacts february 2021

Hyundai just managed to hold on to third place again this month, selling 6252 to earn a 7.4 per cent share in the market while Mitsubishi’s 6202 sales earned it an equal 7.4 per cent share and saw it leapfrog Kia in fifth.

Kia’s 5871 sales accounted for a 7.0 per cent share in the market, followed by Ford in sixth (4712 sales/5.6 per cent) and Nissan in seventh (3824 sales/4.6 per cent).

Our bottom three welcomed a new top-10 contender, with Chinese-owned brand MG (3017/3.6 per cent) knocking out Mercedes-Benz from the top-10 and landing in eighth.

Volkswagen maintained its place in ninth (3009 sales/3.6 per cent) while Subaru dropped from eighth to 10th with 2639 cars sold, earning a 3.1 per cent share.

vfacts february 2021

It was also MG that claimed the honour of improving its year-on-year sales more than any other brand in the top 10, with February’s 3017 sales equalling a 160 per cent increase on last year’s numbers.

Other big improvements within the top brands include Mazda that upped sales by 20.9 per cent in February compared to last year, and also Subaru, which registered a 20.8 per cent uptick.

What were the best selling cars?

Toyota’s Hilux continues to be the best-selling nameplate in 2021, with the 3718 sold in February up 36.8 per cent on last year’s sales – and that’s not even including the 4x2 model, that registered 1090 sales.

Meanwhile, Toyota’s RAV4 sold 2750 units in February, claiming second place from the Ford Ranger 4x4 that was relegated to third place with 2603 sales, while the 4x2 Ranger accounted for another 297 sales.

vfacts february 2021

Rounding out the top five cars in February were the Toyota Corolla, which generated 2427 sales in fourth, as well as the Hyundai i30 in fifth, selling 2210.

Mazda’s CX-5 took sixth position with 2048 sales, followed by the Mitsubishi ASX with 1489 sales in seventh, the Kia Cerato with 1468 in eighth, and then Toyota Prado with 1407 sales in ninth.

The Mazda CX-3 took 10th place with 1379 sales.

Climbers and sliders

Some light city cars have bucked a declining trend in their segment this February, with the Fiesta ST selling more than seven times the cars it did this month last year with 42 finding homes.

vfacts february 2021

On a larger scale, the MG3’s 1313 sales represent a 111.8 per cent increase on February 2020’s 620, and the Volkswagen Polo’s 485 sales are 49.2 per cent up on last year’s results.

Elsewhere, the new Lexus IS sold 147 units to register a 182.7 per cent increase compared to last February, while the new Kia Carnival’s arrival spikes sales by 57.8 per cent.

It wasn't all good news for Toyota, however, with the Camry’s 1001 sales in February down 30.3 per cent on last year. BMW 3 Series’ 124 sales also undercut last year’s 278 sales result by 55.4 per cent.