VFACTS: January 2023

Blue Ford Pickup, COG Aggregation

The Australian new car market is off to a fantastic start this year, with 84,873 vehicles delivered in January 2023, a whopping 11.9% surge in sales compared to the same period last year. That’s an average of 2737.8 new cars finding homes every single day!  

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said, 

“This data is the best January result since 2018 and shows that the industry is continuing to recover following years of supply chain disruption and delay.”  

The demand for new cars in Australia remains strong despite various economic challenges such as stock shortages, uncertainty, high inflation, and rising interest rates. Although the results released by the FCAI were attributed to the large shipments of new cars ordered last year which were delivered in January 2023. 

The sales data shows an overall increase, with private sales having an increase of 8.6% while rentals had climbed 31.9%; business sales 13.6% and government sales grew by 0.5%. The consumer preference trend shows a preference for larger vehicles, with SUVs selling 46,698 and Light Commercial vehicles, 18,546 making up 76.9% of total vehicles sold.

Tesla in blue
Image source: Car and Driver 

Sales by Models

The Ford Ranger Ute made an impressive showing in January 2023 by securing the top spot on the sales charts with 4749 sold! It was a month of triumph for the Ranger, beating the mighty Toyota HiLux Ute by just over 600 units. The Tesla Model 3 was a top seller, placed 3rd overall, and was the most popular passenger car with 2927 deliveries for the month. This marks the first time the Model 3 has achieved this level of sales success.  
Placing fourth was the Mazda CX-3, ranked as the best-selling SUV for the month, followed by the CX-5 in fifth place. The Toyota RAV4, which was the third best-selling vehicle, the top-selling SUV, hybrid, and passenger car in Australia last year, experienced a decline in sales and slipped to 6th place due to long wait times and shipping delays.

Image source: Car Expert

Sales by Brand

Toyota continued to be the top-selling car brand with 13,363 new cars sold, ahead of Mazda in second which had sold 9407 cars, Ford in third with 6624 cars sold; its sixth podium finish in a decade. Kia outsold Hyundai in new car sales, continuing a trend that started when Kia overtook Hyundai in sales last calendar year, a first since both brands entered the Australian market in the 1990s.

Sales and Marketing VP of Toyota Australia, Sean Hanely stated that the demand for new cars has decreased from its peak during the pandemic when many Australians bought new cars instead of taking overseas vacations. Despite the decrease, customer orders are still strong. 

Hanely said,

“We are still seeing strong demand,”  

“It’s not as crazy as it was during the peak (of COVID), but demand has what I would describe as normalised.”

“You’ve got to remember, pre-COVID demand was very strong, so to say demand has eased or has normalised back to those levels does not mean the industry is about to go backwards.”

“We still have strong order banks and people are still enquiring about new cars and placing orders for new cars, even though they know there could be in some cases an 18-month to two-year wait.”

Image source: Motor Scout

Sales by State

Sales across all States and Territories were all up compared to 2022 figures.

Top 10 Cars in January 2023

RankModel Volume January 2023Change year-on-year 
1Ford Ranger4749up 46.3 per cent
2Toyota HiLux4131up 15 per cent
3Tesla Model 32927N/A
4Mazda CX-32417up 167.1 per cent
5Mazda CX-52189down 31.9 per cent
6Toyota RAV41958up 37.4 per cent
7Isuzu D-Max1843down 2.7 per cent
8MG ZS1842up 16 per cent
9Mitsubishi Outlander1674up 23.8 per cent
10Hyundai Tucson 1615up 108.4 per cent

Top 10 Car Brands in January 2023

RankBrandVolume January 2023Change year-on-year
1Toyota13,363down 12.8 per cent
2Mazda9407down 4.1 per cent
3Ford6624up 46.3 per cent
4Kia6006up 8.8 per cent
5Hyundai5809up 13.3 per cent
6Mitsubishi5276down 19.2 per cent
7MG4015up 13.5 per cent
8Subaru3601up 32.3 per cent
10Isuzu Ute2671down 1.6 per cent

Feature image source: WhichCar