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Australia March 2021: Market up 22.4% year-on-year and 0.6% on two years ago, Mazda up 58.2%, MG in Top 10 again

Mazda places 5 nameplates in the March Australian Top 20.

The Australian new car market rallies back up 22.4% year-on-year in March to 100.005 units, but more significantly this result is up 0.6% on pre-pandemic March 2019, meaning the market has already completely recovered in what in essence is a Covid-free country. However it’s worth noting the market gain would have been even stronger if not for new-car stock shortages across the country. Year-to-date volumes are now up 13% to 263.648. SUV hold a 51.7% market share thanks to 51.705 sales, light commercials are at 23.3% share and 23.225 sales and passenger cars at 21.4% share and 21.360 units. Private sales lift the market up at +26.4% to 51.962 units, while business fleets are slower at +15% to 35.902, rental sales recover at +55.7% to 6.991 while government fleets match the market at +21.7% to 2.365.

Petrol sales are up 17.1% to 56.847, diesel registrations are more vigorous at +25.8% to 32.228 with hybrids up 41.4% to 6.548, EVs up 152.1% to 411 (Tesla doesn’t report sales in Australia) and PHEV up 101.4% to 286. Looking at sales by country of origin, Japan (+31.8%) has a fantastic month at 35.721 units as March coincides with the end of the Japanese financial year and is a traditionally strong month for Japanese manufacturers here. Thailand is up just 3.1% to 21.771, South Korea is up 13% to 13.176, China is up a whopping 185.1% to 6.064 and Germany is down -20.4% to 3.988.

The MG ZS is up to a record #13 in March and tops its segment.

In the brands ranking, Toyota (+21.2%) follows the market at 21.3% share while Mazda (+58.2%) scores the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 9 and places five nameplates in the Top 20. Hyundai (+29.1%) is also strong in there place above Mitsubishi (+7.1%), Ford (+23.1%) and Kia (+2.6%) for once quite reserved. Subaru (+39.3%) and Nissan (+30.2%) are very solid below just as Volkswagen (+17%) is more measured but the winner of the month is once again Chinese-owned MG (+167.7%) almost tripling its sales year-on-year to finish the month inside the Australian Top 10 for the second month running and ever. MG breaks its volume record this month at 3.303 units and strikingly has two cars in its three-car lineup topping their respective segments this month: the MG ZS is the best-selling small SUV and the MG3 is the most popular light car.

Notice also Audi (+76.9%), Isuzu Ute (+50.7%) and BMW (+57.3%) scoring strong gains in the remainder of the Top 15. Below, LDV (+188.4%) breaks its volume record at 1.468 as does Skoda (+147.5%) at 1.032 while GWM is up 173%, Jeep up 182.9%, Volvo up 162.4% and Renault up 119.3%.

The Toyota Hilux soars 49.6% to snap a 6th consecutive monthly win in Australia, holding 5.3% of the market which is consistent with its YTD level. The Ford Ranger (+28.2%) is also very sturdy and follows in 2nd place. The Hilux also wins the 4×4 pickup battle at 4.068 (+45.1%) vs. 3.710 (+25.9%) for the Ranger. The Toyota RAV4 (+17.8%) remains the best-selling SUV in the country and is up on already very strong score in March 2020, while the Mazda CX-5 (+74.3%) surges ahead to #4 overall for the second time this year. The Toyota Corolla (+2.8%) is weak but manages to contain the Hyundai i30 (+35.5%), just the Mitsubishi Triton (+37.5%) and Isuzu D-Max (+35.9%) make it four pickups in the Top 9. Once again bolstered by closed international borders that have triggered a boom in local holidays and the need for caravan-towing vehicles, the Toyota Land Cruiser Wagon gains 77.5% year-on-year to rank at #8 overall. The MG ZS (+330.2%) is up four-fold year-on-year to break its ranking record at #13.

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

One year ago: Australia March 2020: Sales down -17.9% to lowest March in 11 years, swan song for Holden (+30.2%), Kia>Hyundai, Ram>Jeep

Full March 2021 Top 45 All-brands and Top 270 All-models below.

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