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The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the peak body for the automotive industry in Australia, has released the new vehicle sales figures for February 2021.

A total of 83,977 vehicles were sold in February 2021, across the period, up 5.1 per cent on February 2020 sales when 79,940 vehicles were sold. This positive result was reflected across all states and territories other than Victoria (down 8.7%), Tasmania (down 3.9%) and the ACT (down 38.3%) compared to February 2020. Year to date sales of 163,643 vehicles is up 7.9 per cent on the same period in 2020.

SUV sales continued to dominate the market with sales of 42,651 vehicles and representing 50.8 per cent of the total market for February 2021. Light commercial vehicle sales represented 23 per cent (19,326) and passenger vehicles 22.9% (19,194).

February sales reflected the continued shift in preference by consumers away from passenger vehicles with sales falling 15.3% in February 2021 compared to sales in February 2020. Sales of SUVs were up 8.6 per cent and sales of light commercials were up 24.3 per cent.

The growth in the market in February was driven by purchasers classified as private buyers within the VFACTS system, with sales in February to private buyers up 15.8 per cent over February 2020. Business purchasers were down 4 per cent and government down 13.8%.

FCAI chief executive, Tony Weber, said the result showed that confidence was continuing to grow in the market.

“During the past four months we have seen an increase of 10.6% in new vehicles and this has been reflected with strong growth in NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory in February 2021. The sales reduction in Victoria can be attributed to the COVID 19 restrictions that were put in place during the month.

“We remain confident that this trend of growth will continue in an environment where business operating conditions continue to normalise,” he said.

Toyota was the leading brand in February with sales of 18,375 vehicles (21.9 per cent of the market), followed by Mazda with 8,322 (9.9 per cent), Hyundai with 6,252 (7.4 per cent), Mitsubishi with 6,202 (7.4 per cent) and Kia with 5,871 (7 per cent).

The Toyota Hilux was the best-selling vehicle in February 2021 with sales of 4,808 vehicles, followed by the Ford Ranger (2,900), the Toyota RAV4 (2,750), the Toyota Landcruiser (2,521) and the Toyota Corolla (2,427).