VFACTS: Monster August Sees Back-to-Back Record Months

Records tumbled once again in August, with new car sales in Australia reaching 109,966 across the month, which was revealed by the latest VFACTS data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries yesterday.

VFACTS: Monster August Sees Back-to-Back Record Months

Records tumbled once again in August, with new car sales in Australia reaching 109,966 across the month, which was revealed by the latest VFACTS data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries yesterday.

Last month’s haul obliterated the previous record August result of 96,662, which was set back in 2017, and stands 15.4% above the sales recorded over the corresponding period in 2022.

Notably, though, it follows the best-ever result in July of 96,859 to make it back-to-back record-breaking months, with May also joining in on the fun a few months prior with 105,694 (although this was backed by older orders being fulfilled).

A strong 2023 so far has also led to the year-to-date (YTD) numbers reaching 788,584 with four months to go, which is 9.9% ahead of these figures at the same stage of last year.

The surge in numbers in recent months is more indicative of the increased demand and, most importantly, supply around the country, with the pandemic having placed a stranglehold on overseas suppliers over the last few years.

SUVs once again dominated the market, with over 60,000 new models registered as sold across the month to place it 28.3% ahead of the numbers recorded in August last year and maintain its strong market share of 56.7%.

The light commercial (24,031, +6.9%) and heavy commercial (4,286, +1.7%) vehicle segments both saw modest growth on 2022, but passenger vehicle sales declined by 3.3% (19,336) over the same period.

Once again, all states and territories of Australia enjoyed notable increases in new car registrations, with all bar Queensland (+7.8%) reaching a percentage increase of greater than 13%. Western Australia was the biggest mover at 32.5%, while South Australia’s sales increased by 21.9%.

Market sales: August 2023

CategoryAugust sales% change vs 2022Market share %
Light commercial24,0316.921.9
Heavy commercial4,2861.73.9
Source: VFACTS, August 2023

Vehicle sales by state or territory: August 2023

State/territoryAugust sales% change vs 2022
New South Wales34,65513.6
Western Australia11,63732.5
South Australia6,95221.9
Australian Capital Territory1,71313.7
Northern Territory99121.4
Source: VFACTS, August 2023

Vehicle brands: August

For the first time since December 2022, Toyota’s sales figures surpassed those recorded in the previous year, with its massive 22,321 new registrations eclipsing last August’s result by 8.3%. This also represents the greatest total by a single manufacturer in August in Australian history.

Mazda stood firm in second place for the month with 8,458, although this was 4.1% lower than last year and sat just over 500 units ahead of Ford, who closed the gap with a strong month of 7,898 new sales (+35.3%).

Sister companies Hyundai and Kia were only separated by three units, with Hyundai eventually winning out (6,513 compared to 6,510). However, both were marginally lower than in 2022, with Hyundai seeing a 2.0% decrease and Kia 4.0%.

The only major change to the makeup of the top ten came as a result of Tesla’s slide to 12th after only recording 3,309 new sales. This is the first time the electric car manufacturer has experienced a decrease in its released numbers, sitting 2.6% lower than its August 2022 numbers.

Its fall from the best seller’s list can also be partially attributed to strong months by the companies sitting below it, with Isuzu Ute (4,712, +68.3%) and Subaru (4,706, +59.0%) both climbing one place and Nissan (4,233, +154.1%) leapfrogging a few into tenth spot.

In terms of YTD sales, there wasn’t much movement in the top ten from last month. However, the most notable difference was Ford edging ahead of Kia to move into third overall for 2023, sitting 37.0% ahead of where it was at the same stage last year.

The only other change was Isuzu Ute entering the fray after its strong performance, edging Volkswagen out of the list and moving into tenth. Toyota’s huge month also saw its lead at the top increase to almost as much as second-placed Mazda’s total, although its 133,747 still sits 17.2 short of where it was at this stage of last year.

Best-selling vehicle brands: August 2023

BrandAugust sales% change vs 2022
Isuzu Ute4,71268.3
Source: VFACTS, August 2023

Best-selling vehicle brands: YTD 2023

Brand2023 sales% change vs 2022
Isuzu Ute28,40916.7
Source: VFACTS, August 2023

Vehicle models: August

The race for top spot couldn’t have been much closer in August, with the Toyota HiLux claiming bragging rights by the barest of margins over the Ford Ranger. Just two units separated the two, although the HiLux’s 5,762 was 7.3% lower than last year and the Ranger’s 5,760 28.0% higher.

It was once again daylight between the two powerhouse utes and third place, which was claimed by Toyota’s RAV4 (3,317, +33.6%). A further two places in the top ten were occupied by the Japanese giant, with the Corolla (2,808, +33.9%) finishing in sixth and the Prado (1,969, +3.4%) in tenth.

Isuzu Ute’s strong August result was fuelled in part by the success of the D-Max, which finished fourth for the month among all models with 3,281 units sold at a significant increase of 70.0%. MG’s ZS rounded out the top five, continuing its impressive year with 3,193 registrations (+118.0%).

Tesla’s Model Y, which has also been one of the best performers of the year so far, slid to seventh overall (+127.6%), while the Hyundai Tucson (2,084, +21.1%) and Mitsubishi Outlander (2,030, +29.6%) finished eighth and ninth, respectively, to round out the top ten.

As expected, it’s a two-horse race in the YTD sales, with less than 1,000 separating the HiLux (38,525, -13.7%) and Ranger (37,644, +38.2%). However, only just over 2,000 units separate the ZS, Model Y, RAV4 and D-Max heading into the final third of the year, so plenty could change between now and December between third and sixth.

The bottom half of the list is also tight, with just over 600 units between the Outlander, Mazda’s CX-5 and Hyundai’s i30 and Tucson from seventh to tenth.

The only change to the top ten from last month was the Outlander leapfrogging the CX-5, which didn’t feature in the best-sellers’ list in August, into seventh.

Best-selling vehicle models: August 2023

ModelAugust sales% change vs 2022
Toyota HiLux5,762-7.3
Ford Ranger5,76028.0
Toyota RAV43,31733.6
Isuzu Ute D-Max3,28170.0
MG ZS3,193118.0
Toyota Corolla2,80833.9
Tesla Model Y2,314127.6
Hyundai Tucson2,08421.1
Mitsubishi Outlander2,03029.6
Toyota Prado1,9693.4
Source: VFACTS, August 2023

Best-selling vehicle models: YTD 2023

Brand2023 sales% change vs 2022
Toyota HiLux38,525-13.7
Ford Ranger37,64438.2
MG ZS20,62457.7
Tesla Model Y19,646>999.9
Toyota RAV419,590-22.7
Isuzu Ute D-Max18,5947.4
Mitsubishi Outlander15,15024.9
Mazda CX-515,007-19.6
Hyundai i3014,844-4.1
Hyundai Tucson14,49528.7
Source: VFACTS, August 2023

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