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Australia January 2021: Third straight double-digit market gain (+11.1%), Chinese up 156.4%

MG ZS sales are up 327.6% year-on-year in January.

Now updated with the Top 272 All-models.

The Australian new vehicle market registers a third consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year gains in January at +11.1% to 79.666 units as dealers continue to fulfil back orders accumulated during the pandemic, customers are spending the money they’ve saved by not travelling overseas and despite stock shortages due to supply chain lags. Showing the Australian market still have growth potential, January 2021 figures remain almost 20% off the January record of 98.763 established in 2017. Private buyers are single-handedly driving the market surge this year with sales up 25.4% to 43.402 just as business fleet sales drop -1.3% to 28.591, rental fleets sink -12.4% to 3.120 and government fleets dive -11.2% to 2.146. The SUV segment holds 52.1% share vs. 49.3% a year ago in January 2020, passenger cars are down to 23.3% share vs. 28.6% and light commercials up to 21.9% share vs. 19.6% a year ago.

If a year ago every single State and territory was in negative, this time its the total opposite as they are all in positive. New South Wales is up 9.1% to 25.527, Victoria up 1.9% to 20.722, Queensland up 18.1% to 16.633, Western Australia up 24.9% to 8.218, South Australia up 17% to 5.284, ACT is up 16.6% to 1.301, Tasmania up 6.6% to 1.272 and Northern Territory up 38.7% to 709. Looking at sales by production source, Japan is up 29.6% to 29.275, Thailand down -6.1% to 16.903, South Korea up 11.5% to 10.332 and China up a surreal 156.4% to 4.198 units vs. just 1.637 a year ago, for the first time ranking 4th market source in Australia. Below are Germany at 3.078 (-42.1%) and the U.S. at 2.056 (-38.3%).

In the brands ranking, Toyota (+13.6%) manages to outpace the market to improve its share to 21.1%, slightly less than double the #2 Mazda up a fantastic 27.1% to 10.7% share. Hyundai (+9.3%) remains at #3 while sister brand Kia (+16.9%) continues to kick goals and advances two spots on both December and FY2020 to 4th place. Kia pushes Mitsubishi (+1.4%) and Ford (+22.3%) down to #5 and #6 respectively, meaning the Top 5 brands are 100% Asian this month. Subaru (+43.2%) and Mercedes (+20.8%) also shine in the Top 10 but the hero of the month is Chinese MG, up 162% year-on-year – that’s almost 3-fold – to reach the 11th place overall with a record 2.408 sales and 3% share. These are never-seen before levels for a Chinese carmaker in Australia. Further down, Isuzu Ute (+111%) is also in fantastic shape thanks to the new D-Max, Skoda (+66.9%) posts a new all-time record volume while other impressive gainers include Volvo (+45.2%) LDV (+100.5%) and GWM (formerly Great Wall) now combing Great Wall and Haval and hitting its highest volume since early 2013.

Model-wise, the Toyota Hilux (+31.8%) almost triples the market growth rate to remain the best-selling vehicle in the country above the Ford Ranger (+18.9%), Toyota RAV4 (+33.9%) and Mazda CX-5 (+11.9%) also all beating the market. Note the Hilux 4×4 (3.090) is above the Ranger 4×4 (2.802) for the third month in a row. The Toyota Corolla (-13%) is pushed down to 5th place, ahead of the Hyundai i30 (-4.2%) and Mitsubishi Triton (-8.5%). The Isuzu D-Max (+167.9%) is taking root in the Top 10 at #8 thanks to a much improved new generation, the Mazda3 (+12.9%) posts a third year-on-year gain in a row after 13 months of double-digit declines linked to the dearer new generation. The Toyota Land Cruiser (+99.6%) continues to fly, bolstered by the “holiday at home” trend triggered by the Covid-19 international border closure. For the first time in Australian history, there are two MGs in the Top 25: the ZS (+327.6%) is up to a record #16 which is the highest ranking ever reached by a Chinese model in Australia and the MG3 (+73.5%) is up to #25.

Previous post: Australia Full Year 2020: Toyota Hilux #1 for 5th year, RAV4 up 58.8% to #3, Holden out in weakest market in 17 years

One year ago: Australia January 2020: Kia sole gainer in Top 12 in 22nd straight market decline (-12.5%)

Full January 2021 Top 46 All-brands and Top 272 All-models below.

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