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The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the peak body for the automotive industry in Australia, has released new vehicle sales figures for calendar year 2020.

A total of 916,968 vehicles were sold across the period, down 13.7 per cent on calendar year 2019 when 1,062,867 vehicles were sold.  The decline of 13.7 per cent was not unexpected and is attributed to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the new vehicle market in Australia is now showing positive signs of growth. December 2020 recorded 95,652 sales, a 13.5 per cent increase over the same period in December 2019 when 84,239 were sold.  This result follows a similar upturn in November 2020, when sales of 95,205 vehicles, a 12.4 per cent gain over November 2019, were recorded.

FCAI chief executive, Tony Weber, said signs of the recovery of the new vehicle market were welcomed by automotive brands.

“COVID-19 has brought a health crisis and a corresponding economic crisis to the world during 2020,” Mr 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.”

2020 Snapshot 

During the year, Australia’s love of the SUV and the great Aussie ute continued, with yet another increase in share for these two popular segments.

SUVs claimed 49.6 per cent of the market during 2020, an increase from 45.5 per cent market share in 2019.  A total of 454,701 SUVs were sold during the year, down 5.9 per cent on full year 2019.  

Light Commercial Vehicles continued to enjoy strong popularity in 2020, claiming 22.4 per cent market share.  A total of 205,597 vehicles sold, down 8.9 per cent on full year 2019.

Passenger vehicle numbers totalled 222,103 vehicles, for 24.2 per cent of the market in 2020.  Total Passenger vehicles sold were down 29.7 per cent on full year 2019.

The highest selling brand for the year was Toyota, with an impressive 204,801 vehicles sold for 22.3 per cent market share.  In second place was Mazda (85,640 sales for 9.3 per cent market share), Hyundai (64,807 sales for 7.1 per cent market share), Ford (59,601 sales for 6.5 per cent market share), and Mitsubishi (58,335 sales for 6.4 per cent market share).

It’s interesting to note that out of the top ten vehicles for the year, seven of them were either SUVs or LCVs.  The top 10 selling vehicles are listed below:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 45,176 sales
  2. Ford Ranger – 40,973 sales
  3. Toyota RAV4 – 38,537 sales
  4. Toyota Corolla – 25,882 sales
  5. Toyota Landcruiser – 25,142 sales
  6. Mazda CX-5 – 21,979 sales
  7. Hyundai i30 – 20,734 sales
  8. Mitsubishi Triton – 18,136 sales
  9. Toyota Prado – 18,034 sales
  10. Kia Cerato – 17,559 sales