Stock shortages, price increases, and continual COVID chaos weren’t enough to halt the growth in new car sales across Australia for the month of September.

VFACTS industry data compiled by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows 83,312 new cars were recorded as sold last month – up 20.8 per cent on September 2020.

However to put this into context, the September 2021 tally is lower than the September 2019 tally of 88,181, let alone the September 2018 total of 94,711.

Year-to-date sales for 2021 to the end of September sit at 816,140 units, up 26.6 per cent on 2020’s record low total. It’s the best live YTD result since 2018 (881,005).

  • September 2021 sales – 83,312, up 20.8 per cent
  • YTD 2021 sales – 816,140, up 26.6 per cent

Brands

The good news for Toyota is it posted an all-time September record of 20,216 sales, up 56.3 per cent. The YTD tally is its best since 2008.

The bad news is the market leader’s stock is now limited and wait lists apply to most of its cars, meaning we’d expect to see sales taper over the final quarter.

Mazda held onto second despite being the sole top-10 brand to go backwards, edging out Ford and Hyundai in close succession. Kia completed the top five.

Rounding out the 10 were Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Isuzu Ute (up a huge 102.5 per cent), Subaru (up 44.4 per cent), and MG (up 93.7 per cent). Nissan and Mercedes-Benz sat 11th and 12th.

Brands that grew sales above the market average included: Great Wall Motor (branded GWM and Haval) up 196.7 per cent and 13th overall, LDV up 50.8 per cent, Jeep up 65.3 per cent, Lexus up 90.3 per cent, Peugeot up 198.2 per cent, and SsangYong up 138.8 per cent.

Those that went backwards included: Honda down 44.8 per cent in the third month of its new business model), Porsche down 34.2 per cent, BMW down 27.0 per cent, Renault down 17.9 per cent, Mercedes-Benz down 17.1 per cent, and Audi down 12.2 per cent.

Car brands by sales for September 2021

Brand Sales Change*
Toyota 20,216 Up 56.3%
Mazda 6555 Down 6.4%
Ford 5759 Up 19.6%
Hyundai 5457 Up 3.5%
Kia 5155 Up 1.2%
Mitsubishi 4605 Up 10.2%
Volkswagen 3791 Up 8.5%
Isuzu Ute 3130 Up 102.5%
Subaru 3062 Up 44.4%
MG 3010 Up 93.7%
Nissan 2817 Up 8.8%
Mercedes-Benz 2460 Down 17.1%
GWM/Haval 1801 Up 196.7%
BMW 1465 Down 27.0%
Suzuki 1457 Up 14.8%
LDV 1372 Up 50.8%
Audi 1124 Down 12.2%
Honda 926 Down 44.8%
Jeep 795 Up 65.3%
Lexus 689 Up 90.3%
Volvo Car 615 Down 7.0%
Skoda 612 Down 2.4%
Renault 524 Down 17.9%
Peugeot 486 Up 198.2%
Land Rover 433 Up 27.7%
Mini 300 Up 1.7%
Porsche 300 Down 34.2%
Ram 299 Up 4.5%
SsangYong 234 Up 138.8%
Chevrolet 227
Fiat 191 Up 51.6%
Jaguar 104 Up 70.5%
Alfa Romeo 79 Down 16.8%
Genesis 48 Up 71.4%
Maserati 39 Down 26.4%
Bentley 21 Up 40.0%
Ferrari 19 Down 24.0%
Chrysler 16 Up 14.3%
Aston Martin 13 Up 44.4%
Lotus 12 Up 100.0%
Lamborghini 11 Up 83.3%
Citroen 7 Down 72.0%
McLaren 6 Up 100.0%
Rolls-Royce 2
* Change over September 2020 tally

Models

As we’ve come to expect, the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux topped the charts for the month to extend their leads YTD.

Further reinforcing Toyota’s utter dominance, four of the top five sellers were one of its cars: HiLux, Corolla, RAV4 and Prado.

The bottom half of the top 10 were the Hyundai i30, Isuzu D-Max, Toyota Camry, Mitsubishi ASX, and Mazda BT-50 (twin-under-the-skin to the D-Max, and posting even greater growth).

Therefore the make-up of the top 10 comprised four utes, two small cars, one large SUV, one medium SUV, one small SUV, and one medium sedan.

Car models by sales for September 2021

Model Sales Change*
Ford Ranger 4192 Up 12.5%
Toyota HiLux 3635 Up 0.7%
Toyota Corolla 3487 Up 138.5%
Toyota RAV4 3390 Up 39.3%
Toyota Prado 2173 Up 165.0%
Hyundai i30 2034 Up 13.9%
Isuzu D-Max 1833 Up 64.0%
Toyota Camry 1610 Up 35.1%
Mitsubishi ASX 1489 Up 58.4%
Mazda BT-50 1444 Up 176.2%
Hyundai Tucson 1416 Up 18.1%
Mazda CX-5 1415 Down 19.8%
Kia Cerato 1317 Down 17.6%
Toyota L’Cruiser CC 1314 Up 115.8%
Toyota HiAce 1307 Up 140.7%
Isuzu MU-X 1297 Up 203.0%
Toyota Kluger 1266 Up 126.9%
Subaru Outback 1162 Up 286.0%
MG ZS 1161 Up 147.5%
MG 3 1147 Up 41.8%
* Change over September 2020 tally

Pushing the top 10 were the Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5, Kia Cerato, Toyota LandCruiser 70 ute and troop-carrier, Toyota HiAce van and bus, Isuzu MU-X (an all-time record), Toyota Kluger, Subaru Outback, MG ZS, and MG 3.

Segments

We can also identify the most popular models in each vehicle segment.

  • Micro Cars: Kia Picanto (547), Mitsubishi Mirage (78), Fiat 500 (72)
  • Light Cars under $25,000: MG 3 (1147), Kia Rio (567), Suzuki Baleno (561)
  • Light Cars over $25,000: Mini Hatch (182), Audi A1 (44), Citroen C3 (5)
  • Small Cars under $40,000: Toyota Corolla (3487), Hyundai i30 (2034), Kia Cerato (1317)
  • Small Cars over $40,000: Mercedes-Benz A-Class (356), BMW 1 Series (198), BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (176)
  • Medium Cars under $60,000: Toyota Camry (1610), Skoda Octavia (110), Mazda 6 (106)
  • Medium Cars over $60,000: Mercedes-Benz CLA (206), BMW 3 Series (195), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (80)
  • Large Cars under $70,000: Kia Stinger (117), Skoda Superb (21)
  • Large Cars over $70,000: Mercedes-Benz E-Class (59), BMW 5 Series (35), Porsche Taycan (17)
  • Upper Large Cars: Chrysler 300 (16), Mercedes-Benz S-Class (11), Porsche Panamera (9)
  • People Movers: Kia Carnival (475), Hyundai Staria (79), LDV G10 (65)
  • Sports Cars under $80,000: Ford Mustang (215), Nissan 370Z (54), Mazda MX-5 (37)
  • Sports Cars over $80,000: BMW 4 Series (72), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (57), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (16)
  • Sports Cars over $200,000: Porsche 911 (23), Ferrari range (15), Bentley Continental (15)
  • Light SUVs: Toyota Yaris Cross (737), Kia Stonic (721), Mazda CX-3 (571)
  • Small SUVs under $40,000: Mitsubishi ASX (1489), MG ZS (1161), Mazda CX-30 (1078)
  • Small SUVs over $40,000: Audi Q3 (492), Volvo XC40 (360), Mercedes-Benz GLA (171)
  • Medium SUVs under $60,000: Toyota RAV4 (3390), Hyundai Tucson (1416), Mazda CX-5 (1415)
  • Medium SUVs over $60,000: Mercedes-Benz GLC (342), BMW X3 (312), Lexus NX (255)
  • Large SUVs under $70,000: Toyota Prado (2173), Isuzu MU-X (1297), Toyota Kluger (1266)
  • Large SUVs over $70,000: Mercedes-Benz GLE (253), Lexus RX (167), Land Rover Defender (150)
  • Upper Large SUVs under $100,000: Nissan Patrol (700), Toyota LandCruiser Wagon (227)
  • Upper Large SUVs over $100,000: Mercedes-Benz GLS (67), Land Rover Discovery (54), Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen (53)
  • Light Vans: Renault Kangoo (60), Volkswagen Caddy (54), Peugeot Partner (36)
  • Medium Vans: Toyota HiAce (1079), LDV G10/G10+ (316), Mitsubishi Express (215)
  • Large Vans: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (254), LDV Deliver 9 (239), Renault Master (130)
  • Light Buses: Toyota HiAce (228), Toyota Coaster (27), Ford Transit (14)
  • 4×2 Utes: Toyota HiLux (1253), Isuzu D-Max (470), Ford Ranger (341)
  • 4×4 Utes: Ford Ranger (3851), Toyota HiLux (2382), Isuzu D-Max (1363)
  • Light Vans: Renault Kangoo (60), Volkswagen Caddy (54), Peugeot Partner (36)
  • Medium Vans: Toyota HiAce (1079), LDV G10/G10+ (316), Mitsubishi Express (215)
  • Large Vans: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (254), LDV Deliver 9 (239), Renault Master (130)
  • Light Buses: Toyota HiAce (228), Toyota Coaster (27), Ford Transit (14)
  • 4×2 Utes: Toyota HiLux (1253), Isuzu D-Max (470), Ford Ranger (341)
  • 4×4 Utes: Ford Ranger (3851), Toyota HiLux (2382), Isuzu D-Max (1363)

Miscellaneous

Sales by region

  • NSW: 23965, down 7.9 per cent
  • Victoria: 20,495, up 96.2 per cent
  • Queensland: 20,062, up 24.2 per cent
  • WA: 9191, up 16.6 per cent
  • SA: 6139, up 18.6 per cent
  • Tasmania: 1645, up 29.7 per cent
  • ACT: 893, down 35.4 peer cent
  • NT: 922, up 38.4 per cent

Category breakdown

  • SUV: 40,832 sales, 49.0 per cent market share
  • Light commercials: 20,035 sales, 24.0 per cent market share
  • Passenger cars: 18,531 sales, 22.2 per cent market share
  • Heavy commercials: 3914 sales, 4.7 per cent market share

Top segments by market share

  • 4×4 Utes: 17.4 per cent
  • Medium SUV: 16.8 per cent
  • Large SUV: 13.4 per cent
  • Small SUV: 12.9 per cent
  • Small Car: 11.4 per cent

Sales by buyer type

  • Private buyers: 41,140, up 20.2 per cent
  • Business fleets: 29,753, up 7.9 per cent
  • Rental fleets: 5862, up 159.6 per cent
  • Government fleets: 2643, up 27.9 per cent

Sales by propulsion or fuel type

  • Petrol: 44,872, up 12.2 per cent
  • Diesel: 26,800, up 24.4 per cent
  • Hybrid: 6959, up 60.8 per cent
  • EV minus Tesla*: 466, up 189.4 per cent
  • PHEV: 301, up 142.7 per cent
  • FCEV: Nil

* Tesla refuses to supply sales information

Sales by country of origin

  • Japan: 28,874 units, up 40.7 per cent
  • Thailand: 16,926 units, up 6.7 per cent
  • Korea: 10,837 units, up 3.4 per cent
  • China: 6560 units, up 103.7 per cent
  • Germany: 3459, down 31.9 per cent

Quotes

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said the global microprocessor shortage, compounded by local COVID-19 restrictions, was continuing to impact sales across Australia.

“To see an increase of 21 percent on 2020 figures is definitely encouraging news. For many manufacturers it is bittersweet with the knowledge of what could have been achieved in a normal trading environment,” Mr Weber said.

“These are challenging times, but automotive manufacturers are rising to meet them. Brands are working across their supply chains to deal with microprocessor issues and consumers are embracing online purchasing through click and collect delivery options.

“In many respects these figures give the industry great encouragement and excitement for what will be possible in 2022 when lockdowns will hopefully be a thing of the past.”

Previous monthly reports

Got any questions about car sales? Ask away in the comments and I’ll jump in!

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