Looking into the details of the annual VFACTS data provides some interesting insights beyond the headlines for Fleet Managers. Overall there was a decline in total vehicle sales in 2020 due to economic uncertainty, COVID restrictions, and an extended lockdown in Victoria. Some manufacturers found joy in the detail and a few changes in the rankings pointing to some future trends.
Toyota claimed overall victory with an increased market share and the Hilux was the number one selling vehicle. Having so many variants, plus being in the hottest new car segment, has kept the Hilux in the top spot since 2015. The Corolla was the last non-4X4 to win the gold medal.
Last year the RAV-4 almost doubled it’s sales volume compared to previous years. The average over the previous five years was 21,000. In 2020 Toyota sold 38,537. Where did all the cars, and buyers, come from? The new model looks great. And the hybrid option certainly got the attention of fleet and private buyers. FAN drove it and loved it.
The RAV-4 smashed the CX-5 who was has been the title holder in the SUV Medium category since it’s launch in 2012. The segment was down 11% on 2019; without the RAV-4 success it would have been down 20%.
The table below shows the segment rankings in 2020 compared to 2019. Small cars held their spot in third and SUV Medium took a hit as 4X4 Utes continued to increase their attractiveness to fleet and private buyers. This change provides Fleet Managers with an indication of future residual values because popular new cars become popular used cars.
|1||4X4 Utes||SUV Medium|
|2||SUV Medium||4X4 Utes|
|3||Small Cars||Small Cars|
|4||SUV Small||SUV Large|
|5||SUV Large||SUV Medium|
Looking at the table below, the top sellers in each segment are familiar names and many are popular novated lease vehicles.
|Rank||4X4 Utes||SUV Medium||Small Cars||SUV Small||SUV Large|
|1||Ford Ranger||Toyota RAV-4||Toyota Corolla||Mitsubishi ASX||Toyota Prado|
|2||Toyota Hilux||Maxda CX-5||Hyundai i30||Hyundai Kona||Toyota Kluger|
|3||Mitsubishi Triton||Hyundai Tucson||Kia Cerato||Kia Seltos||Isuzu MU-X|
|4||Isuzu D-MAX||Nissan X-Trail||Mazda3||Mazda CX-30||Mazda CX-9|
|5||Toyota Landcrusier||Subaru Forester||VW Golf||Toyota C-HR||Mitsubishi Pajero Sport|
The success of the RAV4 also introduced a new audience to hybrid vehicles. Sales of hybrid powered vehicles were up 93.7% across all segments in 2020 compared to 2019 with hybrid SUVs gaining the most. Electric and PHEV also had increases of 16.2% and 18.2% although from a lower starting point.
In the future we may look back on 2020 as the tipping point for alternative fuels. Though because there are many factors that can influence new car sales and consumer preferences, we may be waiting a bit longer for the electrification of the Australian carparc.