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Australia Full Year 2023: Ford Ranger ends 7 years of Toyota Hilux domination, record market

The Ford Ranger is the new Australian best-seller.

Discover over 75 years of Australian Historical Data here.

It’s a record year for new vehicle sales in Australia, up a sturdy 12.5% year-on-year to 1,216,780 units and eclipsing the previous record of 1,189,116 established in 2017. December sales were up 12.1% to 98,544. Behind this record is the improved availability of most models compared to 2022 and many cars counted as sold in 2023 were ordered the year before. The prospects for 2024 are less rosy as the increased cost of living starts to bite. It is the 15th year out of the past 17 that the Australian market surpasses the 1 million sales mark. SUV sales are up 18.2% or over 100,000 units to 679,462 and 55.8% share vs. 53.1% a year ago and 50.6% in 2021. Light commercials are up 6.9% to 274,185 and 22.5% share vs. 23.7% last year and 24.1% in 2021. Passenger cars grow 4.1% to 211,361 and 17.4% share vs. 18.8% a year ago and 21.1% in 2021 and heavy commercials gain 9.3% to 51,772 and 4.3% share vs. 4.4% last year.

Worryingly, private sales trail the market at +8.6% to 630,297 units, business sales are up 18.7% to 429,634, rental fleets up 10.8% to 71,274 and government sales shoot up 24.3% to 33,803. Looking at sales by state and territory, all are in positive. New South Wales is up 10.8% to 374,432, Victoria up 13.9% to 327,229, Queensland up 11% to 261,532, Western Australia up 17.7% to 124,630, South Australia up 13.9% to 79,009, Tasmania up 10.4% to 21,150, Australian Capital Territory up 14.2% to 18,531 and Northern Territory up 4.2% to 10,267. Petrol sales only gain 6.7% to 588,622, diesel still holds itself at +5% to 379,512, hybrids are up 20.3% to 98,439, EVs up 161.1% to 87,217 and 7.2% share and PHEVs up 8.8% to 11,212. Looking at sales by country of origin, Japan is up 4.5% to 345,071, Thailand up 7.6% to 264,253, China up a whopping 57.5% to 193,433 and overtaking South Korea up 1.5% to 161,614 while Germany is up 35.6% to 56,850.

Toyota (-6.8%) suffers from availability issues this year and sees its market share fall from 21.4% in 2022 to 17.7% now. It however easily manages a 21st consecutive year at #1 and 27th time in total. Toyota has been the #1 brand in Australia from 1991 to 1994, in 1998, 2000 and every year since 2003. The Japanese brand and stays above 200,000 sales for the 19th year in the past 20. Toyota remains the only carmaker to have passed this milestone in a single year. In 2nd place, Mazda (+4.5%) loses share also at 8.2% while Ford (+31.8%) is the most dynamic in the Top 7, gaining three spots to land at #3, its first podium finish in at least 15 years. Kia (-2.8%) beats sister brand Hyundai (+2.5%) for the 2nd year in a row and ever, whereas Mitsubishi (-17.5%) is in freefall at #6. MG (+17.7%) consolidates its 7th place but can’t do better than the #5 it reached in December 2022. Tesla (+135.4%) makes a thunderous entrance into the Top 10 brands directly at #8 (+8). The next five carmakers all beat the market: Subaru (+28%), Isuzu Ute (+28.4%) up to a record volume, Volkswagen (+41.6%), Nissan (+48.6%) and GWM (+45.3%). Other great performers include Lexus (+114.3%), BYD (+488.6%), Land Rover (+93.8%) and Cupra (+238.9%).

Model-wise, we have big news this year: the Ford Ranger (+33.4%) is up spectacularly and breaks all its records at over 63,000 sales and 5.2% share. The race to #1 was extremely tight with the Ranger still #2 at end November below the Toyota Hilux (-5.1%). The Ranger is the first Ford model to top the Australian charts since the Falcon secured its last win over the Holden Commodore in 1995. The Ranger topped the charts 7 times this year vs. just 5 for the Hilux, and lifted its all-time monthly record three times: in October (6,215), November (6,301) and December (7,767). The Ranger is also back on top in the lucrative 4×4 ute ranking with 58,261 sales (+35.1%) vs. 48,995 for the Hilux (+3.5%). This is a new record for 4×4 utes. The Hilux remains #1 in Northern Territory for the 22nd straight year, Queensland for the 17th year in a row, and Western Australia for the 16th consecutive year.

In third place, the Isuzu D-Max (+28.2%) is boosted by its new generation to new all-time highs, up four spots on 2022 to land its first ever podium finish. It is also the first time in Australian history that the three best-selling vehicles are pickups (or utes in Australian slang). The Toyota RAV4 (-15%) has suffered from stock shortages but still remains the most popular SUV for the 4th year in a row. It battle to #1 was fierce with the MG ZS (+30.2%) holding the first spot at end November. The latter breaks its all time monthly volume at over 29,000 units. Less than 500 sales below is another record breaker, the Tesla Model Y (+230%) up 30 spots on 2022 to #6. The Mitsubishi Outlander (+24.1%) is up four spots on 2022 to break into the Australian annual Top 10 for the first time at #7. The Mazda CX-5 (-14.7%) follows but is in difficulty, losing three ranks to #8. The Hyundai Tucson (+18.8%) also signs its first Top 10 finish at #9 and scores an all-time high volume for the nameplate. The Toyota Prado (-1.9%) rounds out the Top 10 like in 2022. This means there are no passenger cars in the Top 10 for the first time in Australian history. The best-seller in that category has changed: it is now the Hyundai i30 (-2.6%) at #11 overall ending a 10-year reign by the Toyota Corolla (-21%) down six spots to #12.


Previous year: Australia 2022: Hilux breaks all records, Kia above Hyundai for the first time, MG up to #7

Two years ago: Australia 2021: Toyota Hilux challenged by Ford Ranger, MG and ZS in Top 10, market up 14.5%

Full December 2023 Top 49 All brands and Top 30 models below.

Full Year 2023 Top 49 All brands and Top 30 models vs. Full Year 2022 figures below.

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