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New car sales on the up, but supply is under strain

By Louis Cordony, 03 Feb 2021 Car News

New car sales surge in January 2021 as industry revives

Positive year-on-year sales continue unabated as Australia emerges from COVID-ravaged 2020

Australia’s new car market continues to bounce back after opening the year with positive sales growth, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ latest VFACTS data.

Despite growing fears about microchip shortages restricting global car supply, Australia sold 79,666 cars in January, compared to 71,131 last year, continuing a trend where overall car sales have grown year-on-year since October 2020.

VFACTS january 2021 Australian car sales continue to surgeWhat were the top-selling brands?

Toyota took out the top spot in January’s new car sales, selling 16,819 vehicles that accounted for a 21.1 per cent share of the market.

Mazda came in second, selling 8508 vehicles to claim a 10.7 per cent share.

Hyundai, meanwhile, landed in third, selling 5951 to earn its 7.5 per cent share, followed by Kia in fourth (5500/6.9 per cent), Mitsubishi fifth (5179/6.5%), Ford sixth (5099/6.4 per cent) and Nissan seventh (3756/4.7 per cent).

Rounding out the bottom three in the top 10 are Subaru in the eighth spot, selling 3223 vehicles (up 4.0 per cent), trailed by Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.

MORE Microchip shortages slow down global car supply

Interestingly, the biggest improvement in year-on-year sales in the top 10 brands was Subaru, with January's figures representing a 43.2 per cent increase on last year.

The second biggest improvement year on year among the top 10 came from Mercedes Benz, who increased sales 31.5 per cent, while Mazda managed a 27.1 per cent jump compared to last year.

Volkswagen, meanwhile, was the only brand in the top 10 which managed to sell fewer cars than last year, registering a 16.1 per cent loss in overall sales.

vfacts january 2021 Australian car sales continue to surgeWhat were the best selling cars?

Toyota’s Hilux took out the honours as the best-selling nameplate over January, with the 3913 figure representing a massive 31.8 per cent increase on last year’s sales.

Meanwhile, the Ford Ranger was the second most popular model, selling 3120, ahead of the third-placed Toyota Rav4 which racked up 3066 sales.

It was yet again another Toyota in fourth after the evergreen LandCruiser logged 2388 sales across both 200 and 70, while the Mazda CX-5 took out fifth place with 2081 sales.

Toyota’s final model in the top 10 was the Corolla, which landed in sixth after achieving 2062 sales in January.

It’s followed by the recently updated Hyundai i30 which sold 1952 units to take seventh, while the Mitsubishi Triton posted 1908 sales in eighth, followed by the Isuzu D-Max in ninth (1822) and the Nissan X-Trail (1593) in tenth.

vfacts january 2021 Australian car sales continue to surge

Mover and shakers

Although a Subaru wasn’t represented in the top 10 selling cars this January, it has experienced a range of outstanding performances across its model range.

The Liberty, for instance, experienced a 289.4 per cent increase on last year’s monthly result after selling 183 cars, while the Forester registered a 52.1 per cent after selling 1231 cars, helping explain how the brand made it to eighth this month.

MG sales are up even more.

The SAIC-owned brand posted 2408 sales in January 2021, representing a 162 per cent increase over January 2020.

Its entry-level MG3 small hatch posted a 73 per cent improvement to sell almost twice as many units as Toyota's new but dearer Yaris.

The small ZS SUV - which includes the ZS, ZS T and ZS EV - came within a whisker of knocking the dominant Mitsubishi ASX off the top spot in the segment, too, with more than 1200 sales posted.

In commercial land, Isuzu’s D-Max 4x4 model also showed a surge in popularity, selling 1416 this January compared to 473 last year.

READ NEXT VFACTS sales December 2020