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Toyota HiLux back on top but Ford Ranger and Toyota RAV4 not far behind in encouraging October 2020 new-car sales

Following a recent facelift, the Toyota HiLux is once again the most popular new vehicle in Australia.

With sales down just 1.5 per cent, to 81,220 units, October 2020 was a relatively good month for the Australian new-vehicle market, but it was an even better month for Toyota and its HiLux ute.

Following its facelift in late August, the HiLux rebounded in a big way last month, with its sales up 26.4 per cent, to 4444 units, an increase that helped it secure the title of Australia’s favourite new vehicle for the first time since June.

The rivalling Ford Ranger was on top the previous month but finished in second place in October, even though its sales surged by 33.4 per cent, to 4217 units.

Similarly, another Toyota, the RAV4 mid-size SUV, improved even more last month, with its sales up a staggering 91.6 per cent, to 4084 units. That said, it didn't take home gold for the third time since June.

Either way, Toyota owned the top-10 models last month, more so than usual, with the Prado large SUV (2207 units, +45.9%) and Corolla small car (1943, -8.2%) claiming fourth and fifth position respectively, while the LandCruiser 200 Series upper-large SUV (1640, +23.8%) took ninth.

The Corolla almost placed sixth, though, as the Isuzu D-Max ute (1932 units, +51.5%) had a strong showing in October, the second month with its new-generation model on sale.

A pair of mid-size SUVs, the Mazda CX-5 (1912 units, +11.9%) and Hyundai Tucson (1678, -0.9%), finished in seventh and eighth position respectively, while the Kia Cerato small car (1619, -11.4%) rounded out the top 10.

In the brand race, Toyota (19,505 units, +14.8%) unsurprisingly claimed first place off the back of its five top-10 models, positioning it well ahead of Mazda (7457, -20.4%), which took home second.

Hyundai (5951 units, -20.2%) also made it onto the podium, holding off Ford (5744, +17.4%) and Kia (5304, +4.8%), which were both top-five brands.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi (4510 units, -6.3%), Nissan (3539, -11.8%), Volkswagen (3112, -26.3%), Subaru (2902, -12.1%) and Mercedes-Benz Cars (2288, -11.5%) all placed in the top 10. Of note, Isuzu (2252, +15.7%) just missed out.

The SUV was the most popular type of new vehicle once more, holding an unwavering 50.8 per cent share, followed by the light-commercial vehicle (23.6%) and passenger car (21.9%).

Despite October 2020 being the 31st consecutive month Australian new-vehicle sales were in decline, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber was pleased by the move closer towards positive territory.

“The green shoots that we are seeing in October give us great hope that we may begin to see further recovery during the coming months,” he said.

“Nationally, the state of industry operations is returning to normal as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Additionally, government initiatives such as a constructive budget that included the instant asset write-off, along with more accessible finance for consumers, is also acting as a welcome stimulus for the industry.”

For reference, every state and territory except Victoria (-28.3%) and Tasmania (-16.1%) experienced significant growth last month, with the ACT (+28.1%) Northern Territory (+27.7%) and Western Australia (+17.0%) leading from the front.

In total, 726,111 new vehicles were sold in the first 10 months of 2020, representing an 18.8 per cent decrease over the corresponding period last year.

The most popular brands of October 2020

RankingBrandSalesVariance %
10Mercedes-Benz Cars2288-11.5

The most popular models of October 2020

RankingModelSalesVariance %
1Toyota HiLux4444+26.4
2Ford Ranger4217+33.4
3Toyota RAV44084+91.6
4Toyota Prado2207+45.9
5Toyota Corolla1943-8.2
6Isuzu D-Max1932+51.5
7Mazda CX-51912+11.9
8Hyundai Tucson1678-0.9
9Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series1640+23.8
10Kia Cerato1619-11.4