New Car Sales YTD March 2023

The new car sales figures for March have been released. There were 97,251 vehicles delivered in the month.

Car sales YTD March 2023

This is a 3.9% decrease on March last year. But the YTD sales have shown an overall 2.5% growth on the same three months from 2022.

For the first time, I think ever, there were no passenger sedans in the top ten. This was made up of three Utes, six SUVs and one electric car.

Interestingly the top three sales were the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, and Isuzu D-Max.

YTD figures show that SUVs have a bit over 51% of sales, Light commercial vehicles a touch under 25%, passenger cars a further 20% and heavy vehicles the rest.

Petrol powered cars remains by a huge margin the preferred fuel, followed by diesel, then Hybrid cars. Electric and PHEV vehicles account for less than 3% of sales.

Where we get our cars from is also slowly changing. Year to date, sales of vehicles sourced from China have increased 70.7 per cent with 15,124 vehicles sold in March. Japan remains Australia’s largest source of vehicles (25,538). Thailand is our second largest (21,729) and Korea fourth (12,771).

The top ten brands year to date are Toyota, but with a significantly reduced margin over Mazda, then Ford, Kia, and Hyundai. The next five are Mitsubishi, MG, Subaru, Tesla, and Isuzu Ute.

Could it be that Toyota’s dominance over the Australian market is starting to slip.

This is a Motoring Minute

I’m Rob Fraser


Car sales YTD March 2023

Australia’s automotive industry delivered 97,251 vehicles during March 2023, which represents a 3.9 per cent decrease on the same period in 2022.

“March was a solid month for new car sales given the supply constraints car makers are facing both domestically and internationally,” FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.

“Year to date sales have increased 2.5 per cent which is a better indicator of the underlying strength of the market.”

Battery electric vehicle sales grew by 19.5 per cent on March 2022 figures along with plug-in-hybrids which increased by 33.3 per cent.

“This growth demonstrates that where Australians can afford a battery electric vehicle which suits their lifestyle, they will buy them,” Mr Weber said.

“The top three best sellers for March 2023 were utes. It is notable that there are no passenger sedans in the ten top selling vehicles for March. The consumer preference for utes and SUVs is an important factor to consider as we journey to a zero-emission light vehicle fleet because these vehicles are more difficult and expensive to electrify.”

“If we want more zero and low emission vehicles on our roads, then we must provide the necessary recharging infrastructure and move to implement an ambitious yet achievable fuel efficiency standard which will encourage manufacturers to allocate more of the limited supply to Australia,” Mr Weber added.

Year to date, sales of vehicles sourced from China have increased 70.7 per cent with 15,124 vehicles sold in March. Japan remains Australia’s largest source of vehicles (25,538). Thailand is our second largest (21,729) and Korea fourth (12,771).

Car sales YTD March 2023

By State

Sales in the ACT increased by 1 per cent with 1,576 vehicles sold; Queensland, 4.9 per cent (22,244); South Australia, 2.6 per cent (6,543); and Western Australia, 1.1 per cent (10,129).

Sales in New South Wales decreased by 6.1 per cent (30,256); Northern Territory, 15.3 per cent (776); Tasmania 8.4 per cent (1,620); and Victoria 11.2 per cent (24,107).

Car Sales by Brand

Toyota led the market with a total of 13,223 vehicles sold.  Mazda was second (8,243), followed by Ford (6,485), Kia (6,403) and Mitsubishi (5,863).

The Toyota Hi-Lux was the highest selling model with 4,583 sales, followed by Ford’s Ranger 4,508. Isuzu’s D-Max was third with 2,789, followed by Mitsubishi’s Outlander (2,169) and Tesla’s Model Y (1,938).

Car sales YTD March 2023

Key Points:

  • The March 2023 market of 97,251 new vehicle sales is a decrease of 3,982 vehicle sales or 3.9% against March 2022 (101,233). There were 26.5 selling days in both March 2023 and March 2022, resulting in a decrease of 150.3 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 4,817 vehicle sales (-21.9%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is up by 2,633 vehicle sales (5.2%); the Light Commercial Market is down by 2,182 vehicle sales (-9.0%) and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 384 vehicle sales (9.3%) versus March 2022.
  • Toyota was market leader in March, followed by Mazda and Ford. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 4,980 vehicle sales and 5.1 market share points.

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