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Australia February 2021: MG cracks Top 10, outsells Volkswagen in market up 5.1%

MG breaks its volume, share and ranking records in February. Picture

The rapid growth the Australian new vehicle market has seen over the past few months is slowing down in February partly due to stock shortages with sales up 5.1% year-on-year to 83.977. It’s nevertheless the fourth month of year-on-year gains after 31 months of decline. The year-to-date tally is up 7.9% to 163.643. Like last month, private sales lift the market up at +15.8% to 43.429 and 51.7% share vs. 46.7% a year ago whereas fleet sales drop -4% to 30.865 and 36.7% vs. 40.4% and both government and rental sales record double digit falls. SUV sales are up 8.6% to 42.651 and 50.8% share vs. 49.2% in February 2020. For the first time, sales of light commercial vehicles (pickups and vans) overtake passenger cars: LCV are up 24.3% to 19.326 and 23% share vs. 19.4% a year ago whereas passenger cars drop -15.3% to 19.194 and 22.8% vs. 28.3% in February 2020.

Looking at sales by state and territory we have very varied evolutions. New South Wales is up 10.8% to 27.302, Victoria dips -8.7% to 21.027 party due to the 5-day lockdown imposed in early February, Queensland soars 14.8% to 18.276, Western Australia surges 21.7% to 8.557, South Australia edges up 4.7% to 5.337, ACT sinks -38.3% to 1.392, Tasmania drops -3.9% to 1.339 and Northern Territory shoots up 32.7% to 747. In terms of production location, new vehicles bought by Australian customers come from Japan at 29.438 (+12%), Thailand at 17.458 (-9.5%), South Korea at 12.305 (+11.1%), China at 5.013 (up a surreal 149.2%) and Germany at 3.370 (-41.7%).

In the brands ranking, Toyota (+3.9%) can’t quite match the market growth rate but stands at an ultra-dominant 21.9% share, followed by a strong Mazda (+15.1%) at 9.9% share and Hyundai (+5.2%) at 7.4% in a podium unchanged on January and FY2020. Mitsubishi (+12.5%) and Kia (+14.7%) round out the Top 5 in very healthy fashion whereas Ford (-3%), Nissan (+0.5%) and Mercedes (-2.5%) underperform. The big news this month is the 9th place of Chinese manufacturer MG (+159.4%) breaking its volume (3.017) and share (3.6%) records and cracking the Australian Top 10 for the first time in history. This month MG outsells such established brands as Volkswagen (-17.2%), Subaru (+1.4%) and Honda (-42.7%). Other great performers include Genesis (+460%), GWM (+210%) formerly Great Wall, now including Haval, Lotus (+150%), Ssangyong (+72.3%), LDV (+64.6%), Isuzu Ute (+61%), Bentley (+42.9%), Skoda (+41.8%), Ram (+38.6%), Volvo (+28.6%) and Jeep (+20.6%).

Model-wise, this month the Toyota Hilux (+40.5%) shoots up and widens the gap with its archenemy the Ford Ranger (-9.4%) to over 1.900 sales. The Hilux also wins in the lucrative 4×4 pickup segment at 3.718 units vs. 2.603. The Toyota RAV4 (-18.5%) and Corolla (-3.7%) follow as they do YTD and did over FY2020. The Hyundai i30 (+2.7%) goes against the passenger car trend to post a timid uptick, overtaking the Mazda CX-5 (+4%). Propelled by the new generation, the Isuzu D-Max (+68.6%) lodges the largest gain in the Top 15 and advances one spot on January to #7, notably outpacing the Mitsubishi Triton (+5.3%) to rank #3 pickup in the country below the Hilux and Ranger. The Mitsubishi ASX (+10.2%) also performs solidly at #9, as do the Toyota Land Cruiser Wagon (+16%) and Hyundai Kona (+15%) further down. The biggest year-on-year increases near the top are delivered by the MG ZS (+262.7%) at #17 and the MG3 (+111.8%) up 9 spots on January to a record #16, eclipsing its previous best of #22 hit last September. The Toyota Land Cruiser Ute (+71.7%) and Mazda BT-50 (+50.4%) also impress in the remainder of the Top 20.

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

One year ago: Australia February 2020: Toyota at highest in 7 years, RAV4 teases Hilux for pole position in 23rd successive market drop (-8.2%)

Full February 2021 Top 45 All-brands and Top 275 All-models below.

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