Our love affair with utes shows no signs of slowing as Aussies prepare to holiday at home in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
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The Toyota HiLux posted its strongest March result of all time last month, as it got a head-start on its run to becoming the nation’s favourite vehicle for a sixth year in a row.

The strong ute result comes as sales of Light Commercial Vehicles (the industry term for utes and vans) outsold traditional passenger cars for the first time in Australian automotive history, in March 2021, with 23,255 LCVs reported as sold (up 28 per cent compared to the same month last year) versus 21,360 passenger cars (down 1.9 per cent).

Toyota reported 5319 examples of the HiLux ute as sold in March 2021 – defeating the the Ford Ranger in both the 4x4 and 4x2 tallies as it enjoyed good supply of the recently facelifted model – which was comfortably higher than the previous HiLux March record of 4527 set in 2019.

However, it was not the best month of all time for the Toyota HiLux. That record of 6500 vehicles set in June 2020 still stands.

The Ford Ranger finished a strong second, though the handbrake was held on by patchy stock of key models, notably the flagship Wildtrak and Raptor.

The Mitsubishi Triton saw a return to form, of sorts, finishing seventh after falling outside the Top 10 due to stock shortages.

The Triton has previously finished higher in Top 10 rankings but last month was the first time in almost half a year it has performed relatively well.

The new Isuzu D-Max continues to soldier on, finishing ninth in the March 2021 sales race. Dealers are taking more orders than they have cars to deliver, so chances are the D-Max will post even stronger results in the coming months.

Meanwhile the Isuzu’s twin under the skin, the Mazda BT-50, has posted its fifth month in a row of sales growth.

All brands are reporting severe stock shortages in the wake of parts disruptions due to the coronavirus crisis. Some dealers are reporting delays of popular models of three to six months.