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Ford Ranger overtakes HiLux - but Toyota still dominates all comers in surprisingly good September 2021 new-car sales

The Ford Ranger ute was the best-selling model in September 2021.

The Australian new-vehicle market has nearly clocked up a full year of positive sales results, with September 2021 the 11th month in a row that its volume has grown month-on-month, up a strong 20.8 per cent to 83,312 units, despite stock shortages and lockdowns.

As reported, sales were down 13.7 per cent year-on-year in 2020, partly due to 31 consecutive months of negative results prompted by several factors, although they were up 26.6 per cent year-to-date in first nine months of 2021.

While market leader Toyota had one of its most dominant months yet in September 2021 – with sales up 56.3 per cent to 20,216 units – it was the Ford Ranger ute (4192, +12.5%) that bested the rivalling HiLux (3635, +0.7%) for the title of most popular model amid production cuts.

That said, the remainder of the Top Five models all wore Toyota badges, including the surging Corolla small car (3487 units, +138.5%), RAV4 mid-size SUV (3390, +39.3%) and Prado large SUV (2713, +165.0%), while the Camry mid-size sedan (1610, +35.1%) finished in eighth position.

Two other utes cracked the Top 10 models, with the improving Isuzu D-Max (1833 units, +64.0%) and Mazda BT-50 (1444, +276.6%) siblings claiming seventh and 10th place respectively.

The rest of the Top 10 models included the sixth-placed Hyundai i30 small car (2034 units, +13.9%) and ninth-placed Mitsubishi ASX small SUV (1489, +58.4%).

And as far as the other Top Five brands were concerned, Mazda (6555 units, -6.4%), Ford (5759, +19.6%), Hyundai (5457, +3.5%) and Kia (5155, +1.2%) did enough to get across the line.

Meanwhile, the Top 10 brands were rounded out by Mitsubishi (4605 units, +10.2%), Volkswagen (3791, +8.5%), Isuzu (3130, +102.5), Subaru (3062, +44.4%) and MG (3010, +93.7).

For reference, the SUV was once again the best-selling type of new vehicle in September 2021, with a 49.0 per cent share. It led the light-commercial vehicle (24.0%) and passenger car (22.2%).

Despite remaining in lockdown in September 2021, Victoria (96.2%) continued to significantly grow its sales, although a similarly effected New South Wales (-7.9%) and ACT (-35.4%) struggled.

Sales in every other state and territory grew, including in the Northern Territory (+38.4%), Tasmania (+29.7%), Queensland (+24.2%), South Australia (+18.6%) and Western Australia (+16.6%).

And it was rental, government, private and business sales that drove September 2021’s overall growth, up 159.6, 27.9, 20.2 and 7.9 per cent respectively.

Commenting on these results, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said: “To see an increase of 21 per cent on 2020 figures is definitely encouraging news. For many manufacturers, it is bittersweet with the knowledge of what could have been achieved in a normal trading environment.

“These are challenging times, but automotive manufacturers are rising to meet them. Brands are working across their supply chains to deal with microprocessor issues and consumers are embracing online purchasing through click and collect delivery options.

“In many respects, these figures give the industry great encouragement and excitement for what will be possible in 2022 when lockdowns will hopefully be a thing of the past.”

The most popular brands of September 2021

RankingBrandSalesVariance %

The most popular models of September 2021

RankingModelSalesVariance %
1Ford Ranger4192+12.5
2Toyota HiLux3635+0.7
3Toyota Corolla3487+138.5
4Toyota RAV43390+39.3
5Toyota Prado2173+165.0
6Hyundai i302034+13.9
7Isuzu D-Max1833+64.0
8Toyota Camry1610+35.1
9Mitsubishi ASX1489+58.4
10Mazda BT-501444+276.6