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Tesla Model 3 outsells Ford Ranger, Toyota Corolla and Isuzu D-Max! Electric car maker now reporting sales in Australia as market struggles with supply

The Model 3 is now a mainstream model in Australia, despite its circa-$60,000 starting price.

The Tesla Model 3 rocketed into the top-five best-selling new vehicles in Australia last month, outpacing some of the most popular petrol and diesel cars in the country.

March was the first time Tesla has officially released its sales data in Australia, finally contributing its data via the VFACTS monthly sales figures collated by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

The American electric vehicle maker previously refused to release sales data, citing a global policy that prevented it. But now, we can analyse how well Tesla is doing, not only against its direct rivals, but against internal combustion engine models.

Tesla isn’t the only electric brand to make its VFACTS debut last month. Polestar also appears for the first time with its Polestar 2 recording 115 registrations.

The Model 3’s impressive haul of 3097 units as enough to outsell the Ford Ranger and Isuzu D-Max utes as well as a number of popular small cars and SUVs. Granted, the Ranger is in runout ahead of the new-generation mode arriving, but it’s still an impressive result. It’s also likely a record for single-month EV sales in Australia.

In terms of the overall sales results last month, registrations were down by 0.5 per cent compared with March 2021.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber highlighted the ongoing issues manufacturers are having with supply as a reason for the dip.

“This is historically a unique time in which supply rather than demand is determining the size of the market. This is due to manufacturers recovering from the pandemic-related shutdowns and the ongoing global shortage of micro processing units,” he said.

“Consumer inquiries and demand for new cars remains strong. Manufacturers are working hard to match this demand with supply.”

The RAV4 is selling like hot cakes in 2022. The RAV4 is selling like hot cakes in 2022.

Toyota once again topped the sales charts, recording 21,828 sales in March, up 2.4 per cent over March 2021. The HiLux ute was easily the top-selling model in March, racking up 6324 units, which is an 18.9 per cent increase.

Another Toyota, the RAV4 was the second-best seller, recording a 30.9 per cent rise for 4610 sales, enough to make it Australia’s favourite SUV last month. The other two Toyotas in the top 10 were the Prado SUV (2230, +84.1%) in ninth and the Corolla (1924, -33.5%) in tenth.

Mazda took second place with 11,248 sales (+4.3%) off the back of a strong month for the freshly updated CX-5 medium SUV which scored 3772 sales to land in fourth place overall.

Mitsubishi continued its excellent form to place third with a 40.1 per cent boost to 9007 sales, with help from its top-seller – and the overall third best-selling model – the Triton (3808, +52.8%). The Outlander (1619, +49.2%) was the third best-selling medium SUV for the month.

Hyundai crept ahead of its sister brand Kia to nab fourth place with 6516 units (-4.9%). The i30 hatch and sedan ended up in seventh spot (2455, -2.3%). All of Hyundai’s models saw sales declines last month, with the exception of the Venue (759, +19.3%) and Ioniq (83, +277.3%).

Kia landed in fifth with 6051 (+4.3%), but none of its models landed in the top 10. Its top seller was the Sportage medium SUV on 1530 sales, a whopping 98.4 per cent ahead of March last year.

Mazda CX-5 sales are on the up this year thanks to interest in the refreshed model. Mazda CX-5 sales are on the up this year thanks to interest in the refreshed model.

Ford’s sixth placing and 4245-unit haul was down 29 per cent year-on-year, with double-digit drops for most models except the Everest (514, +0.4%) and Transit Custom (274, +22.3%). The Ranger was down 25.7 per cent as Ford dealers gear up for the new-gen model in June.

MG was seventh last month, with 3962 sales up 20.0 per cent, followed by Isuzu Ute on 3306 (+4.2%) with the D-Max ute landing in eighth place (2447, +22.7%).

Nissan was ninth last month (3168, -30.5%) and is no doubt holding its breath for the impending launch of the new-generation Qashqai small SUV.

Tesla rounded out the top 10 with its 3097-unit haul of Model 3s, which was enough to keep Mercedes-Benz Cars (2397) and Subaru (2279) out of the main list.

Sales in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia all went backwards, while Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia all saw gains.

Despite the trend away from passenger cars, the segment was up 3.0 per cent last month, as light commercial vehicles also grew by 4.0 per cent, but SUVs dipped by 1.6 per cent.

Most popular brands of March 2022


Most popular models of March 2022

1Toyota HiLux6324+18.9
2Toyota RAV44610+30.9
3Mitsubishi Triton3808+52.8
4Mazda CX-53772+24.8
5Tesla Model 33097-
6Ford Ranger2960-25.7
7Hyundai i302455-2.3
8Isuzu D-Max2447+22.7
9Toyota Prado2230+84.1
10Toyota Corolla1924-33.5