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Lockdowns in three states fail to hinder new-car sales growth in Australia, with Ford’s ageing Ranger returning to top sales spot last month

- – Callum Hunter

Despite the prolonged lockdowns of New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, Australia’s new-car market has continued to grow in 2021 with sales up 20.8 percent in September compared with the same month last year, taking the yearly total to 816,140 vehicles.

Australian­s purchased 83,312 new vehicles across 25.6 selling days last month compared with the 68,985 delivered over the 25.9 selling days in September 2020, leaving the market 26.6 percent better off for the year.

Predictabl­y at a state and territory level, locked-down ACT and New South Wales failed to record any growth last month, with sales down 35.4 percent and 7.9 percent respective­ly.

Victoria, the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia all enjoyed growth of at least 16.6 percent – in that order – with the former posting a 96.2 percent improvemen­t compared with 12 months ago, despite still being in lockdown.

While the results are far from record breaking, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said the success was bitterswee­t for manufactur­ers.

“These are challengin­g times, but automotive manufactur­ers are rising to meet them,” he said.

“Brands are working across their supply chains to deal with microproce­ssor issues and consumers are embracing online purchasing through click and collect delivery options.

“In many respects these figures give the industry great encouragem­ent and excitement for what will be possible in 2022 when lockdowns will hopefully be a thing of the past.”

Not even a lockdown in three separate states and territorie­s could hinder Toyota’s success last month as it continued its run of total dominance with a 24.3 percent strangleho­ld on the market from 20,216 units.

Toyota was so far out in front that Mazda, which ranked second, sold less than a third as many vehicles, with the final margin being 13,661 deliveries.

Giving Mazda a vague run for its money was Ford, which was primarily kept in the game by another excellent month for its Ranger, while fourth and fifth were scrapped out by Korean sister brands Hyundai and Kia.

Sixth place went to Mitsubishi with its 4605 sales netting it a 5.5 percent share of the market, followed by Volkswagen in seventh and Isuzu Ute in eighth.

Subaru’s 3062-unit tally earned it a 3.6 percent slice of the market, narrowly besting the Chinese-owned MG, which posted 3010 sales for a near-enough equal 3.6 percent share.

In terms of the best-selling models last month, the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux again battled it out at the top – with the fight this time going the way of the Ranger on 4192 units versus 3635.

But, while Toyota might have missed out on taking the double last month, best-selling make and model, it still had the last laugh in occupying five of the top 10 spots.

Behind the Hilux in third, fourth and fifth were the Corolla, RAV4 and Prado respective­ly while the Camry nabbed eighth. Filling the gaps were the Hyundai i30 in sixth, Isuzu D-max in seventh, Mitsubishi ASX in ninth and Mazda BT-50 10th.

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