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Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger dominate Top 10 models alongside Mitsubishi Triton and Isuzu D-Max in strong March 2021 new-car sales

The Toyota HiLux ute was the best-selling model in March 2021.

The Australian new-vehicle market had a positive sales result for the fifth month in a row in March 2021, with its volume up a significant 22.4 per cent month-on-month, to 100,005 units.

For reference, sales increased by 12.4, 13.5, 11.1 and 5.1 per cent in November 2020, December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021 respectively.

That said, sales were down 13.7 per cent year-on-year in 2020 following 31 consecutive months of negative results, although they were up 13.0 per cent year-to-date in first three months of 2021.

Toyota (21,319 units, +21.2%) dominated allcomers again in March 2021, with four of the Top 10 models belonging to it, including the best-selling HiLux ute (5319, +49.6%), which improved massively to keep the rivalling Ford Ranger (3983, +28.2%) in second place again.

Two other utes, the growing Mitsubishi Triton (2492 units, +37.5%) and Isuzu D-Max (1994, +35.9%), claimed seventh and ninth position respectively, proving that the do-it-all body-style won’t slow down anytime soon.

The Toyota RAV4 mid-size SUV (3522 units, +17.8%) rounded out the podium and held its archrival, the resurgent Mazda CX-5 (3022, +74.3%), to fourth place, while another competitor, the ageing Nissan X-Trail (1932, +46.0%), finished in 10th position.

Meanwhile, the Toyota Corolla small car (2892 units, +2.8%) claimed fifth place despite being challenged by the competing Hyundai i30 (2514, +35.5%), which rode a wave of momentum after the release of its facelifted hatchback and new sedan body-styles.

And eighth position went to the Toyota LandCruiser upper-large SUV (2244 units, +78.0%), with the 70 Series and 200 Series continuing to defy expectations ahead of the latter’s 300 Series replacement, which is expected to launch later this year.

As far as the rest of the Top 10 brands were concerned, Mazda (10,785 units, +58.2%) made huge strides to take home second place, while only 1050 units separated next-up Hyundai (6852, +29.1%), Mitsubishi (6430, +7.1%), Ford (5977, +23.1%) and Kia (5802, +2.6%).

The final positions went to Nissan (4559 units, +30.2%), Subaru (4212, +39.3%), Volkswagen (3358, +17.0%) and MG (3303, +167.7%), with the latter exploding to follow up its first Top 10 effort in February 2021.

Unsurprisingly, the SUV was the most popular type of new vehicle in March 2021, with an insurmountable 51.7 per cent share, followed by the light-commercial vehicle (23.3%) and passenger car (21.4%).

Sales in every state and territory except the ACT (-43.8%) grew in March 2021, with the Northern Territory (+43.4%) leading Queensland (+32.7%), Western Australia (+30.5%), Tasmania (+30.0%), South Australia (+28.0%), New South Wales (+22.1%) and Victoria (+19.1%).

And it was private, rental and business sales that underpinned the overall growth in March 2021, up 22.6, 11.5 and 3.2 per cent respectively, while government sales were down 16.0 per cent.

Commenting on these results, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said: “It is possible that the result could have been even stronger if some brands had not been impacted by delivery constraints in global factory supply chains.

“It is our expectation that these delivery issues will continue to be resolved during the coming months.”

The most popular brands of March 2021

RankingBrandSalesVariance %

The most popular models of March 2021

RankingModelSalesVariance %
1Toyota HiLux5319+49.6
2Ford Ranger3983+28.2
3Toyota RAV43522+17.8
4Mazda CX-53022+74.3
5Toyota Corolla2892+2.8
6Hyundai i302514+35.5
7Mitsubishi Triton2492+37.5
8Toyota LandCruiser wagon2244+78.0
9Isuzu D-Max1994+35.9
10Nissan X-Trail1932+46.0