Truck wars: Did Ram, Ford or Chevrolet win the battle for America's most popular pick-up in 2021?
Pick-up trucks are huge business in the United States and each year the big...
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Australia’s new-car market continues to be badly impacted by the global semi-conductor shortage and supply-chain issues, as sales dropped by 15.3 per cent in November compared with the same month last year.
The tally of 80,639 units last month was a result of slides in sales for passenger cars (-18.7%), SUVs (-20.6%) and light-commercial vehicles (-4.8%), with heavy commercials the only vehicle type to gain ground (+19.4%).
November was the second consecutive month of negative sales after three quarters of growth resulting from last year’s pandemic and lockdown-related sales dip.
Toyota retained its crown as Australia’s favourite brand but the stock shortages it has openly discussed made for a big 34.3 sales drop to 15,239 units in November. Year to date it is still 14.4 per cent ahead of its 2020 tally.
The number two brand, Mazda, took a massive hit in November, with a 41.5 per cent decline (5295 units) pushing it down to fifth on the sales charts – a position it has not been in for a very long time.
Ford held off Toyota for top spot when it comes to sales by model, with the Ranger ute – soon to be replaced by the new version revealed last week – hitting 4429 units (+4.0%), outpacing the HiLux (4228, -16%).
Year to date, the HiLux is ahead by 2865 units (48,980 vs 46,115), putting Ford within striking distance of knocking the Toyota off its perch. Supply from the both brand’s Thai factories will determine the winner.
The Nissan Navara made a surprise appearance in sixth spot, with sales up by 78. 1 per cent to 1792 units, this was followed by a resurgent Mitsubishi Outlander (1633, +53.8%), enjoying the attention of a new-generation model.
Most states and territories recorded double-digit declines including Queensland (-19.5%), South Australia (-10.6%), Tasmania (-12.8%), Victoria (-19.4%) and Western Australia (-19.8%), while New South Wales (-9.4%), the Northern Territory (-8.5%) and the ACT (-3.1%) were down too.
Vehicle categories that have been declining for years saw huge drops, with passenger car segments like small cars (-31.5%), medium cars (-26.5%) and large cars (-49.9%) all off the boil.
But it was big falls in some of the country’s most popular categories that surprised the most. Medium SUVs were down by 24.2 per cent last month, largely on the back of massive hits to sales for the biggest sellers like the Toyota RAV4 (-52.1%), Subaru Forester (-62.8%), Mazda CX-5 (-67.2%) and more.
Small and large SUVs also took a hit, while the ute segment was a mixed bag. While 4x2 utes grew by 13.8 per cent, the more popular 4x4 variants dropped slightly by 4.8 per cent.
The rental car industry proved that it’s on the road to recovery with a continued healthy run of 7.4 per cent growth to 4840 units last month and 90.7 per cent year to date. Government purchases stayed low, retreating by 18.2 per cent and business customers also stayed away from showrooms last month with a 28.8 per cent drop.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said while the industry is facing significant challenges, it’s not all doom and gloom.
“Carmakers are competing with many other sectors, such as white goods manufacturers, for microprocessors across the globe. Some new vehicles sold in the Australian market can require up to 3000 of these parts, so this shortage is definitely being felt by the industry,” Mr Weber said.
“Challenges aside, we are less than 29,000 vehicles away from one million new cars being put into the hands of Australian motorists in 2021.”