VFACTS: Annual New Vehicle Sales Pass One Million in December

Despite a year characterised by significant stock shortages and delays in the automotive market, December’s sales result brought the total number of new vehicles purchased in 2022 to 1,081,429.

This overall figure, as reported in the latest VFACTS data, represents a 3.0% increase on the units shifted throughout 2021 (1,049,831) and the highest annual sales in Australia since 2018, but still fell short of the five-year pre-COVID-19 average by 5.8%.

It was yet another month of growth for the industry, with December’s total of 87,920 new cars sold 12.1% and almost 10,000 more than the corresponding month in 2021 (78,402). This follows the notable boost in numbers seen in August (+17.3%), September (+12.3%), October (+16.9%) and November (+17.9%).

Electric vehicles made up 3.2% of light vehicles sales last year (33,410), which is an increase on the 0.5% market share they held across 2021, while hybrid vehicles accounted for 7.9% (81,786) and PHEVs 0.6% (5,937). This means that more than one in every ten vehicles sold in 2022 was at least partially battery-powered.

SUVs maintained more than half of the total market share across the year, finishing at 53.1% (574,632). In December, 49,095 SUVs were sold, which is an increase of 21.7% compared to December 2021.

Light commercial vehicles were the second-largest sellers at 23.7% market share for the year despite recording a 1.9% decrease (19,545) across the month in contrast to the year prior, while passenger vehicles made up 18.8% of the total and saw a 3.1% comparative rise (14,941).

Heavy commercial vehicles maintained a total market share of 4.4% across the year, with last month representing a 19.2% increase compared to the previous December (4,339).

All states and territories experienced an increase in comparative sales last month with the exception of the ACT (-0.4%), with Queensland (+22.8%), South Australia (+15.5%) and Tasmania (+14.8%) seeing the greatest proportional rises.

Market sales: December 2022

CategoryDecember sales% change vs 2021Market share %
Light commercial19,545-1.922.2
Heavy commercial4,33919.24.9
Source: VFACTS, December 2022

Total market sales: 2022

Category2022 sales% change vs 2021Market share %
Light commercial256,3821.223.7
Heavy commercial47,3599.34.4
Source: VFACTS, December 2022

Vehicle sales by state or territory: December 2022

State/territoryDecember sales% change vs 2021
New South Wales25,7984.3
Western Australia8,63512.3
South Australia5,64915.5
Australian Capital Territory1,254-0.4
Northern Territory7075.7
Source: VFACTS, December 2022

Total vehicle sales by state or territory: 2022

State/territory2022 sales% change vs 2021
New South Wales338,0123.0
Western Australia105,905-0.2
South Australia69,3731.1
Australian Capital Territory16,2281.4
Northern Territory9,8490.2
Source: VFACTS, December 2022

Vehicle brands: December

Toyota celebrated its 20th consecutive year as Australia’s highest-selling manufacturer, with its 16,274 units shifted across December (+0.2%) propelling its overall sales to 231,050 (+3.3%), over 135,000 vehicles more than the next-best seller.

Mazda ended the month and year in second place, with 8,500 cars sold (+20.1%) in the final month of the year setting its tally at 95,718 (-5.3%). The Japanese manufacturer was unable to crack 100,000 sales as it did in 2021.

While Ford continued its strong back half of 2022 to finish in third place for the month (6,165, +13.5%) and Kia ended in fourth (5,630, +15.4%), the biggest talking point was Chinese manufacturer MG, which registered 5,194 vehicles (+58.9%) in a strong month to outsell household names Mitsubishi (4,927, -12.9%) and Hyundai (4,434, -22.7%).

Despite this, however, they both ended the year in the top five, with Mitsubishi selling 76,991 vehicles (+13.7%) and Hyundai 73,345 (+0.6%) to only be outsold by Toyota, Mazda and Kia (78,330, +15.3%).

There were no new additions to the top ten best sellers in December, with the only further change being GWM leapfrogging Volkswagen into ninth (3,295 to 3,059). The former enjoyed a significant boost on last December’s numbers, with a massive 116.8% increase on 2021.

Despite not appearing in the ten highest-selling brands for the last few months of the year, Isuzu Ute ended 2022 in ninth overall (35,323, -1.2%), with GWM the only one of the top ten of December to not feature among the top manufacturers in YTD sales.

Best-selling vehicle brands: December 2022

BrandDecember sales% change vs 2021
Isuzu Ute2,505-10.7
Source: VFACTS, December 2022

Best-selling vehicle brands: 2022

Brand2022 sales% change vs 2021
Isuzu Ute35,323-1.2
Source: VFACTS, December 2022

Vehicle models: December

While the Toyota HiLux enjoyed its victory lap as Australia’s most popular car for yet another year, the Ford Ranger ended 2022 on a high as the best-selling model of December, with 4,663 units sold overall (+11.9%) compared to the Japanese supergiant’s leading ute (+11.8%).

The MG ZS climbed further up the ladder to finish the month in third place, with its 3,056 individual sales representing a massive 54.3% increase compared to 2021.

Toyota’s RAV4 hung around the top of the list with 2,193 vehicles sold (-26.9%) placing it in fourth for December, while the Corolla finished a few places further back in seventh (1,843, +45.0%).

Mazda also had multiple models featured in the top ten, with the CX-3 coming in just behind the RAV4 with 2,068 (+191.7%) and the CX-5 sneaking into tenth with 1,637 (-23.8%).

It was all about the HiLux in the overall numbers, however, with a strong annual total of 64,391 cars sold marking the highest number of sales for any model in Australia in almost 20 years. This pushed it almost 17,000 units ahead of the second-placed Ranger (47,479, -5.6%) and represented a notable 22.0% increase compared to its numbers for last year.

Toyota held four places in the top ten sellers for the year, with the RAV4 in third (34,835, -2.6%), Corolla in sixth (25,284, -12.1%) and Prado in tenth (21,102, -0.9%).

Meanwhile, the Mitsubishi Triton (27,436, +42.7%) and Mazda CX-5 (27,062, +8.4%) rounded out the top five best-sellers for the year. The ZS recorded its best annual total of 22,466 (+21.9%), finishing in eighth just behind the Isuzu D-Max (24,336, -3.1%) and ahead of the Hyundai i30 (21,166, -17.2%).

Best-selling vehicle models: December 2022

ModelDecember sales% change vs 2021
Ford Ranger4,66311.9
Toyota HiLux4,27111.8
MG ZS3,05654.3
Toyota RAV42,193-26.9
Mazda CX-32,068191.7
Mitsubishi Outlander2,05252.9
Toyota Corolla1,84345.0
Tesla Model 31,806N/A
Hyundai Tucson1,64357.2
Mazda CX-51,637-23.8
Source: VFACTS, December 2022

Best-selling vehicle models: 2022

Model2022 sales% change vs 2021
Toyota HiLux64,39122.0
Ford Ranger47,479-5.6
Toyota RAV434,835-2.6
Mitsubishi Triton27,43642.7
Mazda CX-527,0628.4
Toyota Corolla25,284-12.1
Isuzu D-Max24,336-3.1
MG ZS22,46621.9
Hyundai i3021,166-17.2
Toyota Prado21,102-0.9
Source: VFACTS, December 2022


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