Australia’s new car sales were unsurprisingly down in 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions around the country hit dealers and customers alike. But the biggest selling new model was no surprise, with the Toyota HiLux once again topping the charts as Australia’s love-affair with utes continues.
The HiLux notched up 45,176 sales to beat its arch-rival, the Ford Ranger, by 4203 units. The Mitsubishi Triton was the eighth best-seller to make it three utes in the top 10 on the sales charts, proving the continued success of load-luggers with the local audience.
Overall sales were down 13.7 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019, with a total of 916,968 vehicles sold, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).
SUVs accounted for almost half of all sales (49.6 per cent) while passenger car sales continue to decline rapidly, with another 29.7 per decline in 2020.
Here are the other notable numbers from the 2020 sales charts.
Turnaround likely in 2021
While the sales were down across the year, December was a positive sign for the industry, with a 13.5 per cent increase on December 2019. It followed a positive November too, where sales were up 12.4 per cent on the same month the year prior.
FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said the results in November and December bode well for a bounceback this year.
“COVID-19 has brought a health crisis and a corresponding economic crisis to the world during 2020,” Weber said.
“And along with the rest of Australia, automotive brands and their dealer networks have found the last twelve months an extremely challenging period.
“The automotive industry in Australia accounts for more than 60,000 employees, with over 4,000 dealerships across the country. The contribution made by these businesses is critically important to the economic wellbeing of communities across Australia.
“It is therefore with great relief that the industry, along with the general economy, is finally noting some positive signs within the market.”
Amid the difficulties of 2020 Toyota continued its domination at the top of the sales charts. Despite the market being down 13.7 per cent, the Japanese giant ended the year only 0.5 per cent off its 2019 numbers.
In 2020 Toyota captured 22.3 per cent market share and had four of the top five sellers. Being the HiLux and Ranger came the RAV4, Corolla and LandCruiser; plus the Prado was the ninth biggest seller to further underline its widespread popularity.
Holden’s final tally
General Motors announced it would axe the Holden brand in February which forced the brand’s dealers into a firesale to clear all remaining stock as quickly as possible.
In the end Holden’s final official year on sale recorded 16,688 sales, a massive 61.3 per cent decline on 2019. While most stock has been exhausted, December saw 28 sales as 27 Colorado utes and a single Commodore managed to find buyers.
A sad end to a once mighty brand.
Top 5 brands in 2020
1. Toyota – 204,801
2. Mazda – 85,640 sales
3. Hyundai – 64,807 sales
4. Ford – 59,601
5. Mitsubishi – 58,335 sales
Top 5 models in 2020
1. Toyota HiLux – 45,176
2. Ford Ranger – 40,973
3. Toyota RAV4 – 38,537
4. Toyota Corolla – 25,882
5. Toyota Landcruiser – 25,142