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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 March 2021.

A total of 100,005 vehicles were sold in March 2021, up 22.4 per cent on March 2020 sales when 81,690 vehicles were sold. This positive result was reflected across all states and territories other than the ACT (down 43.8%).  The Northern Territory (43.4%), Queensland (32.7%), Tasmania (30%) and Western Australia (30.5%) all recorded growth above 30 per cent for the month.

SUV sales were up 32 per cent and Light Commercial vehicles were up by 28 per cent.  Eight of the top ten selling vehicles for the month were SUVs or Light Commercials, driven by increasing demand from the Private buyers.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said new vehicle sales continued to show growth as the economy gradually emerged from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“This is the strongest March result in two years with Private buyers representing the largest proportion of new vehicle purchasers,” Mr Weber said.

“It is possible that the result could have been even stronger if some brands had not been impacted by delivery constraints in global factory supply chains. It is our expectation that these delivery issues will continue to be resolved during the coming months.”

As reported by AfMA last month, new vehicle shortages are forcing delays of up to 12 months.

COVID-19 altered vehicle replacement cycles in 2020 as initially the sale value of second hand vehicles plummeted in March, April and May which caused many fleets to defer replacement cycles for a year. This has doubled the demand in 2021 as organisation’s seek to replace two years of vehicles.

Sales of electric vehicles reached 411 in March, an increase of 248 compared with the same month in 2020.

Toyota was the leading brand in March with sales of 21,319 vehicles (21.3 per cent of the market), followed by Mazda with 10,785 (10.8 per cent), Hyundai with 6,852 (6.9 per cent), Mitsubishi with 6,430 (6.4 per cent) and Ford with 5,977 (6.0 per cent).

The Toyota Hilux was the best-selling vehicle in March 2021 with sales of 5,319 vehicles, followed by the Ford Ranger (3,983), the Toyota RAV4 (3,522), the Toyota Landcruiser (3,392) and the Mazda CX-5 (3,022).