Australian vehicle sales for October 2020 (VFACTS)

The new car market is showing signs of recovery, with October 2020 VFACTS figures, released today, revealing a year-to-date (YTD) increase of 0.7 per cent compared with September.

Australian consumers purchased (VFACTS counts new vehicle registrations, not sales, but we’ll call them sales) 81,220 vehicles in October. That’s down only 1.5 per cent on October last year. But more promising, the YTD rate has gone from -20.5 per cent through September, to -18.8 percent through October. This is a sign the market is recovering following a very difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

October sales were made up of 27,759 units in NSW (down 15.3% YTD), 18,012 units in QLD (down 14.1% YTD), and 17,594 sales in Victoria (down 32.2% YTD). Once again, the ACT is the only region to report a positive across YTD, with its 1433 units in October contributing to a 22.3 per cent increase year-to-date.

Remaining as the most popular vehicle brand, Toyota sold 19,505 vehicles during the month. That’s down only 7.8 per cent YTD, but up 14.8 per cent on October last year. Mazda sits in second place, reporting 7457 sales, down 20.4 per cent YTD but up an impressive 17.1 per cent for the month.  Hyundai rounds out the top three with 5951 sales, with YTD figures down 30.8 per cent and October numbers down 20.2 per cent.

Top 10 best-selling car brands in Australia

See below for the top 10 best-selling car brands in Australia during October 2020. The figures in brackets are from the previous month and not YTD, so we can see how models are tracking throughout the year.

  1. Toyota – 19,505 (up from 12,936 in September 2020)
  2. Mazda – 7457 (up from 7000)
  3. Hyundai – 5951 (up from 5273)
  4. Ford – 5744 (up from 4816)
  5. Kia – 5304 (up from 5092)
  6. Mitsubishi – 4510 (up from 4179)
  7. Nissan – 3539 (up from 2588)
  8. Volkswagen – 3112 (down from 3493)
  9. Subaru – 2902 (up from 2121)
  10. Honda – 2033 (up from 1678)

Top 10 best-selling vehicles in Australia

As for the best-selling vehicle model? This is turning out to be a pretty tight race this year. Well, tighter than usual. The Ford Ranger has been very strong, and the Toyota RAV4 has had a taste in top position in the monthly stats. The Toyota HiLux looks set to retain the crown, though, positing another month at the top.

During October both the Ranger and RAV4 are right at the heels of the HiLux, as shown below. But more interesting is how close they all are for YTD figures. The HiLux has racked up 34,566 sales so far this year, compared with 32,448 Ford Rangers, and 31,195 RAV4s.

Further down the rankings for October, the Toyota Prado has pounced into fourth spot. This could be led by the fact many city residents are starting to move to more rural areas following the coronavirus outbreak, and in turn switching to more rugged vehicles. The LandCruiser also jumped into ninth spot, and it’s not like it’s a new model. In fact, the all-new 300 Series is expected to debut some time in the next 12 months. The top 10 best-selling vehicles in Australia during October 2020 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4444 (up from 3610 in September 2020)
  2. Ford Ranger – 4217 (up from 3726)
  3. Toyota RAV4 – 4084 (up from 2433)
  4. Toyota Prado – 2207 (up from 820)
  5. Toyota Corolla – 1943 (up from 1462)
  6. Isuzu D-Max – 1932 (up from 1118)
  7. Mazda CX-5 – 1912 (up from 1765)
  8. Hyundai Tucson – 1678 (up from 1199)
  9. Toyota LandCruiser – 1640 (up from 990)
  10. Kia Cerato – 1619 (up from 1599)

Small Cars under $40,000

Following a stella effort in September, topping the category, the Hyundai i30 has dropped back to third spot for October. The Kia Cerato shifted to second place, while further down we see the Subaru WRX moved up to eighth position for the month.

Overall sales in this segment topped 8258 units. Sales are down 32.3 per cent across YTD, and down 22.6 per cent for the month. See below for the top 10 best-selling small cars in Australia during October 2020:

  1. Toyota Corolla – 1943 (up from 1462 in September 2020)
  2. Kia Cerato – 1619 (up from 1599)
  3. Hyundai i30 – 1431 (down from 1786)
  4. Mazda3 – 1273 (up from 1134)
  5. Volkswagen Golf – 569 (down from 924)
  6. Honda Civic – 547 (up from 529)
  7. Subaru Impreza – 311 (down from 361)
  8. Subaru WRX – 248 (up from 107)
  9. Ford Focus – 109 (down from 119)
  10. Hyundai Elantra –  69 (down from 127)

Small Cars over $40,000

Into the opening premium class, the Mercedes A-Class continues at the front, with Audi A3 sales pushing quite closely behind. While the BMW 1 Series seems to have dropped back since the launch of the new model, which switched from rear- to front-wheel drive, its sleeker sister, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is catching up.

Segment sales hit 966 units overall. It’s seeing a 14.3 per cent increase in units across YTD, with sales up 2.4 per cent for the month of October compared with last October. The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during October 2020 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz A-Class – 350 (down from 460)
  2. Audi A3 – 338 (up from 262)
  3. BMW 1 Series – 110 (down from 235)
  4. BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe – 85 (down from 186)
  5. Mercedes-Benz B-Class – 38 (down from 44)

Medium Cars under $60,000

The mid-size class is reporting a 24 per cent drop in YTD figures, with its October performance down 21.4 per cent. Overall segment sales topped 1810 during the month, led by the Toyota Camry, as usual. The new Hyundai Sonata N-Line will soon step into this class, which could see a slight boost for the segment. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment during October 2020 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 1263 (up from 1192 in September)
  2. Skoda Octavia – 230 (up from 227)
  3. Mazda6 – 146 (down from 152)
  4. Subaru Liberty – 68 (down from 119)
  5. Volkswagen Passat – 40 (up from 28)

Medium Cars over $60,000

The premium version of above isn’t doing any better. In fact, it is reporting bigger drops. In October it saw 1037 sales, down 29.7 per cent on last October. Meanwhile its YTD figure of 9878 is down 30.5 per cent. The BMW 3 Series is currently in the lead for the year, with 2643 sales against arch rival Mercedes C-Class, and its 2516 sales. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class during October were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 312 (up from 283)
  2. BMW 3 Series – 272 (up from 241)
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLA – 172 (down from 213)
  4. Audi A4 – 65 (up from 59)
  5. Lexus ES – 59 (up from 34)

Large Cars under $70,000

Holden Commodore sales are still hanging in there, some how. However, this segment is looking very grim overall. Year-to-date numbers are down 63.7 per cent. With just 248 sales during October, that’s down 61.1 per cent on last October. The only vehicles on sale in this segment reported the following:

  1. Kia Stinger – 137 (down from 179 in September)
  2. Holden Commodore – 81 (up from 78)
  3. Skoda Superb – 30 (up from 28)

Large Cars over $70,000

The large luxury cars seem to be doing okay, with an October tally of 215 units up 2.4 per cent on October last year. Although, YTD figures are down 28.7 per cent. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is currently in the lead so far this year, with 633 sales, against 555 BMW 5 Series units. The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment during October 2020 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 58 (down from 93)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 48 (down from 51)
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class – 41 (up from 7)
  4. Audi A6 – 29 (up from 23)
  5. Audi A7 – 16 (down from 20)

Sports Car under $80,000

Over in the fun categories, the entry sports car class is reporting a 25.1 per cent drop in YTD figures, with the month of October seeing a mild decrease of only 7.2 per cent. The Ford Mustang leads the way, as usual. The Subaru BRZ, interestingly, jumps to second spot for the month, followed by the Hyundai Veloster. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class during October 2020 were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 185 (up from 145 in September 2020)
  2. Subaru BRZ – 62 (up from 19)
  3. Hyundai Veloster – 60 (up from 49)
  4. BMW 2 Series – 53 (up from 47)
  5. Mazda MX-5 – 44 (down from 54)

Sport Cars over $80,000

It seems the Mercedes C-Class two-door and E-Class two-door have some sort of tag-team thing going on. Every month the two seem to alternate, almost perfectly. During October it was the C-Class’s turn. The Audi A5 moved up to fifth position, followed by the the Toyota Supra.

Class sales are down 41.4 per cent YTD, and down 48.5 per cent for the month alone. The segment reported 228 units during the month. The top five best-selling models in this segment during October 2020 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 69 (down from 94)
  2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 52 (down from 97)
  3. Toyota Supra – 20 (up from 11)
  4. Audi A5 – 19 (up from 12)
  5. Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class – 10 (up from 3)

Sport Cars over $200,000

At the top end of the sports car scene, the Porsche 911 remains the king. It posted 39 sales in October, up an impressive 18.2 per cent on last October. Ferrari is also continuing to show great success, even in these tough times. It sold 22 vehicles during the month, up 4.8 per cent on last October.

This segment reported 113 sales overall, up 3.7 per cent on last October. Across YTD, there’s been 1058 units sold, down 22.6 per cent. See below for the top five best-selling vehicles in this category:

  1. Porsche 911 – 39 (down from 62)
  2. Ferrari Coupe/Convertible (not specified) – 22 (down from 25)
  3. Lamborghini Coupe/Convertible (not specified) – 11 (down from 25)
  4. Mercedes-AMG GT – 10 (up from 7)
  5. BMW 8 Series – 7 (up from 4)

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute

The Toyota HiLux is back into top spot after losing out in September to the Ford Ranger. But the biggest mover is the Isuzu D-Max. It jumps into third spot, ahead of the Triton and Navara. This is no doubt thanks to the arrival of the all-new model. The platform-sharing Mazda BT-50 will probably see a spike this month after hitting the market later in October. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined – excludes LandCruiser, LDV T60, RAM 1500 etc.) for October were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux –  4444 (up from 3610 in September 2020)
  2. Ford Ranger – 4217 (up from 3710)
  3. Isuzu D-Max – 1932 (up from 1118)
  4. Nissan Navara – 1044 (down from 1072)
  5. Mitsubishi Triton – 964 (down from 1446)
  6. Volkswagen Amarok – 484 (down from 533)
  7. Mazda BT-50 – 449 (down from 522)
  8. Mercedes-Benz X-Class – 236 (up from 187)
  9. Great Wall Steed – 127 (down from 249)
  10. Holden Colorado – 60 (down from 111)

Over with the 4×4-exclusive utes, the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series saw a decent spike. All of the standings remain unchanged except the SsangYong Musso moved up to fourth spot. The top five best-selling 4×4 utes during October 2020 were as follows:

  1. Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series – 789 (up from 609 in September 2020)
  2. LDV T60 – 606 (up from 582)
  3. RAM 1500 Express, Laramie and Warlock – 292 (up from 286)
  4. SsangYong Musso – 105 (up from 64)
  5. Jeep Gladiator – 79 (up from 70)

As for the very popular SUVs, the ‘Medium below $60k’ class remains the most popular. It saw 14,258 sales in October, helping to improve its YTD score of -17.4 per cent in September, to -15 per cent through October. For the month, sales are up 8.7 per cent in this class.

The ‘Small below $40k’ SUV category returned 8575 sales during the month, with YTD figures down 7.9 per cent and monthly figures up 11.6 per cent. Rounding out the top three classes is the ‘Large below $70k’ segment. It reported 8188 sales, down 19.5 per cent YTD and down 7.4 per cent for the month.

Best-selling SUVs in all segments

The Toyota RAV4 kept its position as the best-selling SUV overall for the month, while the BMW X3 remained as the best-selling premium SUV for the month. The top three best-selling SUVs in all segments during October 2020 were as follows:

SUV Light (new segment for 2020, no price range):

SUV Small under $40,000:

SUV Small above $40,000:

  • Audi Q3 – 346 (down from 362)
  • Mercedes-Benz GLA – 319 (up from 253)
  • Volvo XC40 – 273 (down from 293)

SUV Medium under $60,000:

SUV Medium above $60,000:

  • BMW X3 – 447 (up from 407)
  • Volvo XC60 – 309 (up from 273)
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC – 275 (down from 295)

SUV Large under $70,000:

SUV Large above $70,000:

  • BMW X5 – 293 (up from 212)
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE – 185 (down from 190)
  • Audi Q7 – 136 (down from 137)

SUV Upper Large under $100,000:

SUV Upper Large above $100,000:

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in October were up on September 2020 figures. During October, Australian consumers bought 81,220 vehicles according to VFACTS, compared with 68,985 in September. Overall sales for the month were down just 1.5 per cent compared with October 2019, yet down 18.8 per cent year-to-date.