If you ask most people, 2020 was a year to forget, but for some automotive brands, there was a silver lining as the sales of certain models actually exploded in Australia, where the overall market was down 13.7 per cent.
Undoubtedly, it was Toyota’s RAV4 mid-size SUV that put in the most impressive performance in 2020, with its sales jumping 58.8 per cent over the previous year, to 38,537 units, which was enough to earn it a podium finish on the overall charts.
However, while the RAV4 had the largest volume increase of any model in 2020, it didn’t have the largest percentage increase. Instead, that honour went to Audi’s Q3 small SUV, with its sales up an astounding 441.7 per cent over the previous year, to 4090 examples.
In fact, when looking at the largest percentage increases, the RAV4 only ranked 14th, with the Kia Seltos small SUV (9966 units, +386.6%), Hyundai Venue light SUV (3678, +195.4%), LDV D90 large SUV (715, +170.8%) and Hyundai Veloster sports car (639, +145.8%) rounding out the top five.
Aside from the D90 that was updated in April last year, all of the aforementioned models had their first full year with new-generation versions on sale in 2020, which undoubtedly underpinned their sensational results. Even so, the Veloster was still quietly discontinued during the 12-month period.
Other models that surged without a new-generation version, let alone a facelift or an update, were the Mercedes-Benz Vito mid-size van (1195, +106.7%), Haval H6 mid-size SUV (957, +101.5%), MG3 light hatchback (7158, +78.2%), Suzuki Jimny light SUV (2368, +70.2%) and Great Wall Steed ute (1267, +42.2%).
It’s worth mentioning there are models that increased their percentage by more than some or all of the ones in the list below, but they were excluded as they were coming from a low base (less than 250 units sold in 2019).
2020 biggest sales winners (by percentage increase)