New car sales have continued their acceleration after a COVID-19 induced pit stop, in a positive sign the economy is rebounding.
Aussies bought almost 80,000 new cars in January – according to the latest new cars sales figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) – surging ahead of the previous January’s pre-pandemic levels by 11 per cent.
The head of the FCAI, Tony Weber, said this could just be the beginning of a positive run as new car sales increased for the third consecutive month.
“The January sales numbers are indicative of positive consumer confidence in the domestic economy. With attractive interest rates and a range of other economic indicators encouraging consumption, we hope to see this trend in new vehicle purchasing continue through 2021,” said Weber.
The resurrection of the new car market was led by booming SUV and ute sales – SUVs alone accounted for more than half of all new vehicles registered in January.
It wasn’t business or government investment driving the rebound, instead it was private buyers heading back to dealerships after a long hiatus with 25 per cent more Average Joe buyers than the previous January.
The Toyota HiLux was again the highest selling vehicle in the country with 3913 sales, almost 1000 more than in January 2020.
Ford’s Ranger ute continued its role as the HiLux’s bridesmaid filling the second spot with 3120 units moved, a rise of about 500.
The next three spots were dominated by family SUVs: the Toyota RAV4 (3066), Toyota LandCruiser (2388) and Mazda CX-5 (2081) all improving on their start to 2020.
Several new entrants to the top 10 sellers list include the new Isuzu D-Max ute, which experienced a sales rise of more than 160 per cent.
And the Nissan X-Trail SUV regained some of its former sales glory squeezing into the tenth position.
One of the biggest winners in January were Chinese cars. Brands such as MG, LDV and GWM (formerly Great Wall) more than doubled their sales.
China is now the fourth highest country of origin of vehicles sold in Australia, usurping some big name producers such as Germany and the US.
Hybrid and electric cars also had a top month in January. Sales of electric SUVs jumped by 475 per cent, and hybrids continued to gain popularity with an increase of 114 per cent.
British and French cars didn’t fare so well. Jaguar, Land Rover and Mini each had big falls, with Jaguar down by more than 50 per cent.
The business case for French cars got worse as Renault sales declined by 38 per cent and Peugeot was down by 21 per cent.
Top 10 selling cars in January
Toyota HiLux – 3913
Ford Ranger – 3120
Toyota RAV4 – 3066
Toyota LandCruiser – 2388
Mazda CX-5 – 2081
Toyota Corolla – 2062
Hyundai i30 – 1952
Mitsubishi Triton – 1908
Isuzu D-Max – 1822
Nissan X-Trail – 1593
Top 10 selling car brands in January
Toyota – 16,819
Mazda – 8508
Hyundai – 5951
Kia – 5500
Mitsubishi – 5179
Ford – 5099
Nissan – 3756
Subaru – 3223
Volkswagen – 2722
Mercedes-Benz – 2443