VFACTS: Winners and losers in May

Italian supercars tumble as Kia, Toyota and Isuzu notch up some big wins...

Winners and losers May 2021 VFACTs

With 2021 in full swing, the latest round of VFACTs data continues to show how well the Australian market is recovering after yet another record month for sales.

Given the general good news story, there are plenty of positives to take home compared to 2020, but some winners have bounced back better than others.

Here we’ll break down the brands, models and segments that were hot or not in May 2021.

BMW 4 series side

BMW 4 Series – Winner

The new BMW 4 Series could well be the most controversial vehicle design anyone has put to production in recent years, but it hasn’t hurt the nameplate in the sales yard.

The 4 Series clocked up 124 sales in May as it welcomes the convertible to its range, outselling the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Convertible for the month and closing the gap in Year-to-Date sales (which stands at 436 versus 557 respectively).

Kia Cerato front quarter

Kia Cerato – Winner

Although small hatches lost market share – in May 2021, they accounted for 8.7 per cent of sales whereas last year it was 11.4 – one model improved on both its 2020 and 2019 results.

Kia sold 2052 of its Cerato in May 2021. That was only 75 cars short of the top 10 and 28 more than the 2024 cars sold in May 2019. It’s an aggressive V-shaped recovery after selling only 842 in May in 2020, proving demand has remained consistent despite supply shortages.

Lamborghini badge

Italian supercars – Losers

It was a quiet month for Italy’s finest, with Ferrari and Lamborghini posting significantly lower sales in May 2021 and selling 11 supercars between them.

While nine of those sales belong to Ferrari, Lamborghini equalised the sales score thanks to its Urus SUV finding seven homes in May.

Although single-digit supercars sales are the norm for Lamborghini, it’s a meagre result for Ferrari, which has sold 74 coupes and convertibles year to date.

2020 Kia Sorento

Kia – Winner

Although Hyundai beat the Kia Cerato into the top 10 nameplates of May with its new i30, Kia has the last laugh on monthly brand sales.

Kia sold 7124 cars in May, thanks in part to the strong-selling Cerato, beating Hyundai by 674. It’s the first time Kia has beat Hyundai since March 2020. Hyundai still holds the lead in year-to-date sales (31,277 versus 30,004).

2018 Bentley Continental GT

Bentley – Winner

Bentley made an impact in May after its Continental outstripped not only its own Bentayga for sales but the usual king-hitting supercar brands in the sports $200K-plus category as well.

With 17 sales chalked up to its Continental, Bentley’s overall May result was bolstered further by the sale of one sedan and five Bentagyas.

The Porsche 911 was the only sportscar more popular than the Continental in May, selling 46.


Ford Mustang – Winner

May was a good month for the Ford Mustang. It managed to sell 441 cars, registering a better monthly result than 2020 and 2019.

It’s hard to pin down exactly why - the Mustang is now in its sixth year on sale in Australia since launching in 2015 - but the recent arrival of the Mach 1 has put the spotlight back on the retro hero.

Subaru Forester vs Mitsubishi Outlander vs Kia Sorento

Medium SUVs – Losers

With re-instated production allowing SUV sales to almost double on their May 2020 result, it was strange to see the medium SUV category contract in market share.

Its share of total segment sales dropped from 19.2 per cent in May 2020 to 16.9 per cent in May 2021, a fall of 2.3 percentage points. However, during this time, overall sales grew from 11,477 to 17,012, suggesting buyers moved to other areas of the SUV market.

2021 toyota yaris

Toyota and Isuzu – Winners

While Toyota topped the brand charts yet again, the brand says this was actually its best ever May. Toyota sold 21,156 cars.

Isuzu has enjoyed a meteoric rise on the back of demand for its D-Max ute, which has entered the Top 10 list for models Year-to-Date sales.

The 3058 D-max utes sold in May 2021 made it the fourth most popular nameplate for the month and helped it achieve ninth for YTD.

2020 Isuzu D-Max front


How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at feedback@whichcar.com.au.


Subscribe to Australian car magazines

Subscribe to any of our motoring magazines and save up to 49%



We recommend


Land Rover Defender

Land Rover to begin testing hydrogen Defender

The project is part of the company's goal of achieving zero tailpipe emissions by 2036

3 hours ago
Kathryn Fisk
Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.