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Toyota HiLux barely stays in top 10 as RAV4 goes from strength to strength in August 2020 new-car sales

The facelifted HiLux was only on sale for the last few days of August.

August 2020 marked the 29th consecutive month the Australian new-vehicle market was in decline, with sales down 28.8 per cent over August 2019, to 60,986 units, and no top-10 model felt it more than the Toyota HiLux, while its RAV4 sibling had the exact opposite experience.

Sales of the HiLux ute were down a massive 66.9 per cent, to 1217 units, seeing it fall from its usual first position to eighth, with the Mazda CX-3 light SUV (1136, +3.6%) and debuting Kia Seltos small SUV (1046) within striking distance, rounding out the top 10.

Aside from the prevailing market challenges, the HiLux’s fall from grace was explained by stock of its pre-facelift model running out ahead of the facelifted version, which went on sale within days of the month ending, on August 27.

That said, Toyota still had the best-selling model in Australia last month, with the RAV4 mid-size SUV claiming first place for the second month in a row, with the effects of extra supply of its in-demand hybrid variants felt once again.

In fact, the RAV4’s sales were up a ludicrous 140.5 per cent, to 4825 units, putting daylight between it and the Ford Ranger ute (2935, -7.7%), which repeated in second position ahead of the former’s archrival, the Mazda CX-5 mid-size SUV (1884, +4.8%).

Another Toyota, the Corolla small car (1464 units, -48.9%) finished in fourth place ahead of its archrival, the Hyundai i30 (1429, -49.2%), while the Mitsubishi Triton ute (1406, -19.9%) and Kia Cerato small car (1264, -25.0%) took sixth and seventh respectively.

With three top-10 models, Toyota once again claimed first position in the brand race, with its 12,449 (-25.5%) well ahead of second-placed Mazda (6921, -5.1%), which had two.

Only four units separated third position from fourth, with Hyundai (4525, -38.2%) beating Kia (4521, -3.0) in a very, very tight finish.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi (4308 units, -31.0%), Ford (3898, -20.7%), Volkswagen (2785, -32.1%), Nissan (2380, -47.6), Mercedes-Benz Cars (2064, -13.3%) and Subaru (2052, -42.2%) rounded out the top-10 brands.

Once again, the SUV was the most popular type of new vehicle, with a commanding 53.1 per cent share, followed by the passenger car (24.2%) and light-commercial vehicle (18.4%).

Commenting on the results, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said: “The industry has moved swiftly to implement robust COVIDSafe protocols to ensure the health and wellbeing of employees and customers is preserved.

“However, it is particularly difficult for our members and their Victorian dealer networks under the current Stage 4 Restrictions, and this is reflected in the reduced sales figures.

“While we have the utmost respect for essential health priorities, the automotive industry supports the reopening of our economy under appropriate COVIDSafe protocols.

“We’ve seen 29 consecutive months of diminishing sales in this industry, and there’s no doubt our members are feeling the pinch. The move to commence the reopening of industry and markets, especially in Victoria, needs to start as soon as possible.”

For reference, Victorian sales were down 65.9 per cent last month, to 8347 sales. Comparatively, market leader NSW continued to perform much better (23,431, -16.3%), while the ACT was the only state or territory to actually improve (1312, +0.4%)

In total, 575,906 new vehicles were sold in the first eight months of 2020, representing a 20.4 per cent decrease over the corresponding period last year.

The most popular brands of August 2020

RankingBrandSalesVariance %
9Mercedes-Benz Cars2064-13.3

The most popular models of August 2020

RankingModelSalesVariance %
1Toyota RAV44825+140.5
2Ford Ranger2935-7.7
3Mazda CX-51884+4.8
4Toyota Corolla1464-48.9
5Hyundai i301429-49.2
6Mitsubishi Triton1406-19.9
7Kia Cerato1264-25.0
8Toyota HiLux1217-66.9
9Mazda CX-31136+3.6
10Kia Seltos1046N/A