New-car sales continue to show signs of a strong recovery as the Australian economy bounces back from coronavirus lockdowns and border restrictions imposed through much of last year.
Official new-car sales figures for May 2021 released today show demand for new motor vehicles has returned to pre-COVID19 levels, but it was the second-best May result rather than a record.
A total of 100,809 new vehicles were reported as sold in May 2021, an increase of 68.3 per cent compared to the disastrous May 2020 result posted in the grip of the coronavirus crisis.
May was only the second month this year to eclipse 100,000 new-car sales, and it was the third time in three years May has been in six-figure territory.
The new-car sales record for May stands at 102,901 set in 2017, however the May 2021 result was 3.7 per cent higher than the five-year average for May prior to the lockdown.
As had been the case each month so far this year, new-car sales results have shown sharp increases following historic declines last year.
May 2021 was the seventh month in a row in positive territory after 31 months of decline in the lead-up to and during the peak of the global pandemic.
While the Toyota HiLux maintains its lead in the year-to-date tally and is on-track for its sixth annual win in a row, there was some consolation for the Ranger, which knocked off the HiLux in the 4x4-only tally.
Utes filled four of the first seven places in the Top 10 sales rankings.
As has been the case since the start of the year, the industry says most of the new cars delivered in May 2021 were ordered months ago and it is now struggling to secure enough new vehicles amid production slowdowns due to semiconductor shortages.
Hyundai, Kia and Nissan have all advised dealers of lengthy delivery delays of new cars due to semiconductor shortages (read more here and here), with many popular models pushed back until later this year or early next year.
The Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) has repeated its advice to consumers, to “get in the queue now because the stock situation changes daily.”
“Dealers are doing the best they can to keep customers up to date but unfortunately delivery times of a lot off vehicle are repeatedly being pushed back,” said the CEO of the AADA James Voortman.
As CarAdvice has previously reported, most new cars have up to 300 semiconductors or computer chips – to power vehicle safety systems and infotainment technology – while electric cars can have up to 3500 of the devices.
In an attempt to keep production lines moving, luxury brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz have temporarily deleted some of their most advanced safety systems on certain models.
French car maker Peugeot has reverted to old school analogue instrument dials rather than digital displays in some of its cars.
For now, mainstream brands including market leader Toyota have vowed to not remove technology from their vehicles, instead opting to run their assembly lines with a reduced output.
Despite the ongoing challenges, automotive industry executives believe the Australian new-car market will return to 1 million-plus sales for calendar year 2021, pending any further supply constraints.
There were 456,804 new cars reported as sold across Australia in the first five months of 2021, an increase of 37.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.
At this sales rate, the industry is on track to eclipse 1 million new-car deliveries in calendar year 2021.
Market leader Toyota maintained its dominance at the top of the charts (with 21,156 deliveries), ahead of Mazda (10,554), and Kia (7124), which made it into the Top Three for only the second time in its history.
The May 2021 figures show Australians continued to favour SUVs and utes over traditional passenger cars (such as sedans and hatches).
Sales of passenger cars represented just 20 per cent of the sales mix.
A detailed list of categories and tables, compiled by CarAdvice News Team reporters William Davis and Alex Misoyannis are included below.
TOP 10 CARS IN MAY 2021
|Rank||Model||Volume May 2021||Change year-on-year|
|1||Toyota HiLux||4402||up 24.8 per cent|
|2||Ford Ranger||4254||up 59.7 per cent|
|3||Toyota RAV4||4014||up 71.2 per cent|
|4||Isuzu D-Max||3058||up 202.8 per cent|
|5||Toyota LandCruiser||2795||up 121.8 per cent|
|6||Mazda CX-5||2768||up 87.2 per cent|
|7||Mitsubishi Triton||2317||up 167.6 per cent|
|8||Toyota Prado||2214||up 63.0 per cent|
|9||Toyota Corolla||2190||up 34.7 per cent|
|10||Hyundai i30||2127||up 78.6 per cent|
TOP 10 CAR BRANDS IN MAY 2021
|Rank||Brand||Volume May 2021||Change year-on-year|
|1||Toyota||21,156||up 46.2 per cent|
|2||Mazda||10,554||up 86.4 per cent|
|3||Kia||7124||up 158.1 per cent|
|4||Ford||6493||up 66.7 per cent|
|5||Mitsubishi||6478||up 15.2 per cent|
|6||Hyundai||6450||up 57.0 per cent|
|7||Nissan||4307||up 94.4 per cent|
|8||Volkswagen||4005||up 44.0 per cent|
|9||Isuzu||3946||up 174.2 per cent|
|10||Subaru||3547||up 75.3 per cent|
Passenger cars: Top Three in each segment in MAY 2021
|Micro||Kia Picanto (609)||Mitsubishi Mirage (95)||Fiat 500 (31)|
|Light < $25k||MG 3 (1194)||Toyota Yaris (546)||Kia Rio (543)|
|Light > $25k||Mini (224)||Audi A1 (49)||Citroen C3 (7)|
|Small < $40k||Toyota Corolla (2190)||Hyundai i30 (2127)||Kia Cerato (2052)|
|Small > $40k||Mercedes–Benz A-Class (321)||BMW 1 Series (220)||BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (195)|
|Medium < $60k||Toyota Camry (1369)||Mazda 6 (164)||Skoda Octavia (126)|
|Medium > $60k||BMW 3 Series (483)||Mercedes-Benz C-Class (384)||Lexus IS (105)|
|Large < $70k||Kia Stinger (163)||Skoda Superb (56)|
|Large > $70k||Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series (75)||Porsche Taycan (53)||Audi A6 (31)|
|Upper Large < $100k||Chrysler 300 (6)|
|Upper Large > $100k||Mercedes-Benz S-Class (18)||BMW 7 Series (13)||Lexus LS, BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe (5)|
|People Movers||Kia Carnival (550)||Volkswagen Multivan (138)||Honda Odyssey (116)|
|Sports < $80k||Ford Mustang (441)||Mazda MX-5 (88)||BMW 2 Series coupe/convertible (46)|
|Sports > $80k||BMW 4 Series coupe/convertible (124)||Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe/convertible (211)||Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe/convertible (25)|
|Sports > $200k||Porsche 911 (46)||Bentley coupe/convertible (17)||Ferrari coupe/convertible (9)|
SUVs: Top Three in each segment in MAY 2021
|Light SUV||Mazda CX-3 (1533)||Kia Stonic (986)||Toyota Yaris Cross (757)|
|Small SUV < $40k||MG ZS (1605)||Mazda CX-30 (1471)||Hyundai Kona (1400)|
|Small SUV > $40k||Audi Q3 (473)||Volvo XC40 (457)||BMW X1 (432)|
|Medium SUV < $60k||Toyota RAV4 (4014)||Mazda CX-5 (2768)||Nissan X-Trail (1535)|
|Medium SUV > $60k||Audi Q5 (552)||Lexus NX (395)||BMW X3 (370)|
|SUV Large < $70k||Toyota Prado (2214)||Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (1003)||Subaru Outback (931)|
|SUV Large > $70k||Mercedes–Benz GLE (471)||BMW X5 (401)||Land Rover Range Rover Sport (208)|
|SUV Upper Large < $100k||Toyota Landcruiser Wagon (2795)||Nissan Patrol Wagon (234)|
|SUV Upper Large > $100k||Mercedes-Benz GLS (139)||BMW X7 (88)||Land Rover Discovery (55)|
Utes and vans: Top Three in each segment in MAY 2021
|Vans < 2.5t||Renault Kangoo (82)||Peugeot Partner (36)||Volkswagen Caddy Van (12)|
|Vans 2.5t-3.5t||Toyota HiAce Van (929)||Hyundai iLoad (279)||Ford Transit Custom (323)|
|4x2 Utes||Toyota Hilux 4X2 (911)||Isuzu Ute D-Max 4X2 (525)||Ford Ranger 4X2 (343)|
|4x4 Utes||Ford Ranger 4X4 (3911)||Toyota Hilux 4X4 (3491)||Isuzu Ute D-Max 4X2 (3058)|
The tally of 100,809 new cars reported as sold across Australia during May 2021 represents a 68.3 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.
Toyota remained market leader throughout May 2021 with 21,156 vehicles reported as sold, comfortably ahead of its nearest rivals Mazda (10,554), Kia (7124), and Ford (6493).
Dual cab utes once again dominated nationwide, representing four of the seven best-selling vehicles in May.
The Toyota RAV4 was the best-selling SUV, and third best selling vehicle outright.
Just two passenger cars broke into the top 10, these being the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30.