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Ford Ranger back on top as Toyota's HiLux rebounds and RAV4 'cools off' in September 2020 new-car sales

The Ford Ranger was the best-selling new vehicle last month.

Another month, another decline in Australian new-vehicle sales. In September 2020, they were down 21.8 per cent over September 2019, with 68,985 units sold. That said, it was a great period for the Ford Ranger, which once again claimed the title of best-selling model.

Sales of the Ranger ute surged by 19.6 per cent, to 3726 units, helping it to climb from its usual second position to first for the first time since September 2017.

The perennial favourite and the Ranger’s arch-rival, the Toyota HiLux ute (3610 units, +7.3%), was relegated to second place in what was actually a return to form in its first full month with its heavily facelifted model on sale.

And another Toyota model, the RAV4 mid-size SUV (2433 units, +41.8%), ‘cooled off’ after two unprecedented months in a row of being Australia’s favourite new vehicle, finishing in third position.

The Hyundai i30 small car (1786 units, -27.0%) and Mazda CX-5 mid-size SUV (1765, -25.1%) rounded out the top five, with the Kia Cerato (1599, -20.9%) and Toyota Corolla (1462, -34.1%) small cars, Mitsubishi Triton ute (1446, -51.8%), Hyundai Tucson mid-size SUV (1199, -19.4%) and Toyota Camry mid-size car (1192, +0.5%) trailing behind.

In the brand stakes, Toyota (12,396 units, -14.7%) claimed first place off the back of four top-10 models, positioning it well ahead of Mazda (7000, -14.3%), which took home second.

Hyundai (5273 units, -27.2%) also made it onto the podium, holding off Kia (5092, -0.7%) and Ford (4816, +0.7%), which were both top-five brands.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi (4179 units, -53.5%), Volkswagen (3493, -8.5%), Nissan (2558, -44.4%), Mercedes-Benz Cars (2395, -10.7%) and Subaru (2121, -39.4%) all placed in the top 10.

The SUV was the most popular type of new vehicle once more, holding an unassailable 47.3 per cent share, followed by the passenger car (25.7%) and light-commercial vehicle (22.9%).

Despite September 2020 being the 30th consecutive month the Australian new-vehicle sales were in decline, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber was looking at two key positives.

“First of all, we are seeing COVID-19 health restrictions across Australia, and particularly in metropolitan Melbourne, continue to ease,” he said.

“Another sign that the market may improve is the announcement by the federal government last week of an easing of lending conditions for private buyers and small business in Australia.

“Freeing up restrictions around financial lending will act as a stimulus for Australian industry.”

For reference, Victorian sales were down 57.7 per cent last month, to 10,447 sales, while Western Australia (7882, +1.5%), the ACT (1382, +3.4%) and the Northern Territory (666, +10.6%) were the only states or territories to improve.

In total, 644,891 new vehicles were sold in the first nine months of 2020, representing a 20.5 per cent decrease over the corresponding period last year.

The most popular brands of September 2020

RankingBrandSalesVariance %
9Mercedes-Benz Cars2395-10.7

The most popular models of September 2020

RankingModelSalesVariance %
1Ford Ranger3726+19.6
2Toyota HiLux3610+7.3
3Toyota RAV42433+41.8
4Hyundai i301786-27.0
5Mazda CX-51765-25.1
6Kia Cerato1599-20.9
7Toyota Corolla1462-34.1
8Mitsubishi Triton1446-51.8
9Hyundai Tucson1199-19.4
10Toyota Camry1192+0.5