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Ford Ranger, Toyota RAV4 sales dive but Isuzu D-Max and Mazda CX-5 soar as global supply issues make things worse for Australian new-car market

The Isuzu D-Max was one of few bright spots in the April new-car sales figures.

The global parts shortage and supply chain nightmares that are affecting virtually all automakers is starting to seriously impact new-vehicle registrations in Australia.

Last month overall sales slid by 12.2 per cent - or just over 11,000 units - compared to April last year, continuing a worrying trend for local importers.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said the sales drop is not a sign of a lack of demand for new cars, rather a reflection of a wider global trend.

“Automotive manufacturers continue to suffer from a shortage of microprocessor units which is impacting their ability to ramp up production to pre-pandemic levels,” he said. 

“Covid- 19 continues to impact manufacturing and supply, particularly where factories have been forced to close and shipping operations are yet to fully recover. This is being reflected in the extended delivery times for new vehicles.”

Sales in every state and territory were down on April 2021 figures, while passenger car (-14.5 per cent), SUV (-13.8%) and light-commercial vehicle (-9.6%) registrations all went backwards.

Double-digit sales declines could be found in some of the biggest market segments, like small SUVS (-22.5%), light SUVs (-29.4%) and 4x4 pick-ups (-12.0%).

Even a Goliath like Toyota wasn’t spared last month, with its 17,956-unit haul representing a drop of 11.1 per cent over last April.

But the HiLux was top dog on the model charts, recording a 6.4 per cent increase for 4493 sales. It was the top-selling of four Toyota models in the top ten, with the RAV4 (3373, -25.1%) nabbing third, the Corolla small car (2202, +6.2%) landing in seventh and the LandCruiser (1665, -47.6%) cruising into tenth despite a big slide.

Mazda held onto second place even though it fell by 26.6 per cent to 7378 sales. Interest in the recently refreshed CX-5 ensured the SUV had a strong April with sales up by 14.8 per cent to 2701 units for a fourth placing in the models list.

Mitsubishi continued to prove that it is a serious threat when it comes to sales in 2022, holding its third placing for last month, despite a 14.0 per cent drop off to 6463. The Triton was sixth overall for sales (2357, -4.1%). 

If Mitsubishi keeps up this momentum, it could well end 2022 with a podium finish - well ahead of its sixth placing in 2021.

Kia (6180, +8.3%) was one of few top-10 brands to increase its market share last month, ensuring it outpaced sister brand Hyundai (5552, -3.8%). The two Korean brands have swapped places a couple of times already this year, making for an interesting sales battle.

It was an interesting story outside the top five brands, where Ford (4974, -30.4%) landed in sixth after a continued decline for the Ranger ute (3581, -28.7%) that is in runout ahead of the new-gen model arriving mid-year. 

MG (4773, +58.7) continued its meteoric growth, thanks to a solid showing from the ZS SUV (1923, +42.4%)  in ninth place overall. 

Huge numbers for the Isuzu D-Max ute (2374, +18.8%) which landed in fifth overall ensured Isuzu (3032, +6.4%) followed MG, which is a strong result for a brand with just two model lines.

Premium marque Mercedes-Benz (2307, +7.3%) muscled its way into the top 10, landing in ninth, thanks to a massive spike in sales for a number of models, including the new-generation C-Class (477, +65.1%) and CLA (129, +437.5%) sedans.

Nissan (2050, -41.4%) rounded out the top 10 with a big drop in sales largely due to the fact that all Qashqai stock has dried up ahead of the second half launch of the new-gen model. 

Most popular models of April 2022

8Isuzu Ute3032+6.4
9Mercedes-Benz Cars2307+7.3

Most popular models if April 2022

1Toyota HiLux4493+6.4
2Ford Ranger3581-28.7
3Toyota RAV43373-25.1
4Mazda CX-52701+14.8
5Isuzu D-Max 2374+18.8
6Mitsubishi Triton2357-4.1
7Toyota Corolla    2202+6.2
8Hyundai i302071+3.3
9MG ZS    1923+42.4
10Toyota LandCruiser1665-47.6