VFACTS: January Sales Record Broken, But Sales Tipped to Slide

2024 started off on a high for the motor industry with 89,782 new cars registered as sold across January, breaking the all-time record for the month.

The first month of the new year picked up where 2023 left off with a strong overall performance, reaching a record-breaking 89,782 new vehicle registrations, according to the latest VFACTS release from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

This beat out the previous January record of 88,551, which was set back in 2018, and represented an increase of 5.8% compared to the numbers seen in January 2023.

January’s result also sees the continuation of a stretch of seven out of the last nine months being record-breaking, with November (112,141) and October (106,809) being the two most recent prior to last month.

However, industry experts predict that deliveries are closer to catching up with demand, which has been declining amid inflation and cost of living increases since last year, meaning new car registrations could start to drop in the coming months.

Once again, there has been greater interest in low-emission cars, with battery electric vehicles accounting for 5.4% of all sales and electric, hybrid and PHEVs adding up to 17.4%.

The dominance of SUVs over passenger vehicles also continued into 2024, with the former racking up just shy of 50,000 units (+6.7% vs January 2023) sold to consolidate its market share of 55.5% compared to the 16,434 (-1.0%) passenger cars sold, which adds up to just 18.3% of all monthly sales.

Around the country, Western Australia saw the most substantial growth in car sales of all the states and territories, with its 9,911 new car sales representing an increase of 25.4% compared to the same period last year.

The Northern Territory was the only other area with growth in the double figures (742, +11.6%), while Tasmania (1,493, -1.1%) and the ACT (1,290, -7.5%) both saw sales drop last month.

Market sales: January 2024

CategoryJanuary sales% change vs 2023Market share %
Light commercial20,60111.122.9
Heavy commercial2,917-3.63.2
Source: VFACTS, January 2024

Vehicle sales by state or territory: January 2024

State/territoryJanuary sales% change vs 2023
New South Wales26,7911.2
Western Australia9,91125.4
South Australia5,9993.7
Australian Capital Territory1,290-7.5
Northern Territory74211.6
Source: VFACTS, January 2024

Vehicle brands: January

It was a case of new year, same Toyota dominance in January, with the Japanese manufacturing giant recording 17,903 new car sales at an increase of 34.0% compared to the same period in 2023.

That total was almost 10,000 more than the second best-selling car brand, Mazda, which recorded 8,165 registrations for the month, which was 13.2% lower than last January.

Third-placed Ford managed to record exactly the same number of units this January compared to last (6,624, 0.0%), which pushed it clear of Hyundai in fourth (6,162, +6.1%) and Mitsubishi in fifth (5,911, 12.0%).

Kia fell out of the top five once again, its 5,707 sales (-5.0%) only good enough for sixth place but well ahead of the rest of the chasing pack, with MG the next best-seller with 4,006 (-0.2%).

Isuzu Ute (3,758, +40.7%) finished eighth, while GWM recorded a second successive top-ten appearance in the monthly standings off the back of 3,124 sales (24.8%).

Subaru claimed the final spot in the top ten, despite its 3,068 new car sales being 14.8% lower than January 2023’s numbers, ahead of Volkswagen and Nissan.

Perhaps most notable was Tesla’s absence from the list, having fallen away completely after only managing 1,107 vehicle deliveries (-66.6%) in the face of supply challenges.

Best-selling vehicle brands: January 2024

BrandJanuary sales% change vs 2023
Isuzu Ute3,75840.7
Source: VFACTS, January 2024

Vehicle models: January

Fresh off its big annual victory last year, the Ford Ranger took out top honours among all vehicle models in January with 4,747 registrations, which was just two fewer than it managed over the same period last year.

Its long-time rival, the Toyota HiLux, also recorded slightly fewer sales than last year, with its 4,092 sitting at a decrease of 0.9% despite being over 1,500 units ahead of the next best-selling model.

Toyota managed four models in the top ten for the month, with the RAV4 (2,211, +12.9%) finishing fourth, Corolla (1,889, +69.3%) sixth and Prado (1,746, +47.7%) eighth.

Third place belonged to the Isuzu Ute D-Max, with a strong run of deliveries towards the end of 2023 continuing into 2024 with 2,541 in January, 37.9% higher than last year.

The Mitsubishi Outlander rounded out the top five with 2,077 new car sales (+24.1%), while the MG ZS, which finished fifth in annual sales last year, ended the month as the seventh highest-selling model after falling just one unit short of the Corolla (1,888, +2.5%).

Rounding out the top ten were the Hyundai i30 (1,727, +10.4%) and the Mazda CX-5 (1,720, -21.4%).

Best-selling vehicle models: January 2024

ModelJanuary sales% change vs 2023
Ford Ranger4,747-0.1
Toyota HiLux4,092-0.9
Isuzu Ute D-Max2,54137.9
Toyota RAV42,21112.9
Mitsubishi Outlander2,07724.1
Toyota Corolla1,88969.3
MG ZS1,8882.5
Toyota Prado1,74647.7
Hyundai i301,72710.4
Mazda CX-51,720-21.4
Source: VFACTS, January 2024


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