The Tesla Model Y is now Australia’s top-selling passenger car – excluding utes – after beating the Toyota RAV4 in the year-to-date sales race. But diesel double-cab utes still dominate the Top 10 sellers.
Deliveries of new motor vehicles across Australia surged by 25 per cent in June 2023 compared to the same month last year – and it was the strongest single month since this time last year – however the automotive industry has cautioned the numbers don’t reflect the current slowdown in enquiries and orders.
The majority of new cars reported as sold in June – historically the biggest month of the year in automotive sales in the lead-up to the end of the financial year – were ordered months or years prior, but have only just now been declared upon delivery.
Major metropolitan dealers canvassed by Drive said enquiries have fallen amid rising interest rates and cost-of-living pressures – and the «order write» (or number of orders taken) is currently about half what it was this time last year.
The June 2023 new-car sales tally of 124,926 – collated by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and released today – may be 25 per cent up on the same month last year, but it is 1.9 per cent down on the five-year average of 127,341 in the lead-up to the pandemic (2015 to 2019), and only the third strongest June on record after 134,171 motor vehicles were reported as sold in June 2017 and 130,300 were reported as sold in June 2018.
Year-to-date, the Australian car industry reported 581,759 new motor vehicles reported as sold January through June 2023, an increase of 8.2 per cent as dealers filled orders placed last year.
«New-car enquiries have dropped right off, finance has dropped right off, the figures you’re seeing are a direct result of cars finally turning up after months or even years of delays,» one leading multi-franchise car dealer told Drive, who asked to remain anonymous because dealers are not allowed to comment on the brands they represent.
The Toyota HiLux ute topped the charts – and continues to lead the year-to-date tally – with 6142 examples reported as sold in June 2023, its second highest monthly result on record after posting an all-time high in June 2022 with 7582 sales.
In a major upset, the Tesla Model Y electric SUV ranked second outright (5560 examples reported as sold) as large shipments arrived in bulk, finishing the month ahead of the third-placed Ford Ranger (5334) which remains constrained by production and shipping bottlenecks.
It is the first time an electric car has ranked second on the new-car sales charts in Australia, after the Tesla Model 3 sedan finished third in February 2023 and the Tesla Model Y finished third in September 2022.
However, the Tesla Model Y is now Australia’s top-selling passenger vehicle – excluding utes – for the first time, after displacing the Toyota RAV4 in the year-to-date sales race (14,002 versus 13,523 January to June 2023).
And the Isuzu MU-X four-wheel-drive wagon claimed a major scalp, outselling long-term segment leader the Toyota Prado in the year-to-date sales tally – and for the month of June – for the first time ever.
The Toyota Prado posted 7044 sales from January through June 2023 (down 45.7 per cent) as the Isuzu MU-X hit top gear (7114 sales, up 33.5 per cent).
While most vehicles inside the Top 10 were hatchbacks and SUVs (and included one electric vehicle, the Tesla Model Y) and as demand for adventure vehicles such as four-wheel-drive wagons and US pick-ups remain high, the number of electric cars reported as sold set another record as more new models went on sale.
According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, 11,042 electric cars were reported as sold last month – buoyed largely by shipments of Tesla arrivals – compared to 9020 hybrid vehicles (which are primarily sold by Toyota).
Electric cars accounted for 8.8 per cent of all new motor vehicle deliveries in June 2023, versus petrol (48 per cent), diesel (30 per cent), hybrid (7.2 per cent), and plug-in hybrid (0.6 per cent). The balance of the mix was heavy truck (5.4 per cent).
It is not the first time electric cars have outsold hybrid vehicles in Australia – it has happened several times over the past 12 months – but analysts say it will increasingly become the new normal as more electric vehicles enter the market.
Acknowledging the lengthy queues and uncertainty around delivery timing, car dealers canvassed by Drive pleaded with customers to continue to be patient.
«The car industry has never been in this situation before,» said a major metropolitan new-car dealer. «Before the pandemic, we had good visibility of production and shipping, and now the situation changes daily, so any estimates we give the customer are quickly out of date.
«It’s frustrating for customers, it’s frustrating for us. We want to get people into their new cars. We don’t get paid until they are in their new car. Hopefully sometime soon supply improves, and the ports clear their backlog, and then life can go back to normal for everybody.»
Data below supplied by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), and compiled by Alex Misoyannis.
Note: The FCAI has reshuffled some of its categories for the new year, increasing the price limits, adding a new category (utes above $100,000), and moving some vehicles to different categories as their prices have risen (such as the Volkswagen Golf and Subaru WRX, which were previously in the small car under $40,000 category).
|Rank||Model||Volume June 2023||Change year-on-year|
|1||Toyota HiLux||6142||down 19 per cent|
|2||Tesla Model Y||5560||up 90.4 per cent|
|4||MG ZS||3756||up 168 per cent|
|5||Toyota RAV4||2858||down 33.6 per cent|
|6||Hyundai Tucson||2669||down 6.1 per cent|
|7||Mazda BT-50||2560||up 112.4 per cent|
|8||Hyundai i30||2523||up 40.1|
|9||Isuzu D-Max||2500||up 4.9 per cent|
|10||Mitsubishi Triton||2259||up 12.2 per cent|
TOP 10 CAR BRANDS IN June 2023
|Rank||Brand||Volume June 2023||Change year-on-year|
|1||Toyota||20,948||down 7.1 per cent|
|2||Mazda||9706||up 55.4 per cent|
|3||Hyundai||8215||down 0.5 per cent|
|4||Ford||7753||up 55.9 per cent|
|5||Kia||7551||down 11 per cent|
|6||Tesla||7018||up 3900 per cent|
|7||MG||6016||up 36.6 per cent|
|8||Mitsubishi||5187||down 11.3 per cent|
|9||Volkswagen||5125||up 71.2 per cent|
|10||Subaru||4920||up 37.6 per cent|
Passenger cars: Top Three in each segment in June 2023
|Micro||Kia Picanto (673)||Fiat/Abarth 500 (66)||Mitsubishi Mirage (0)|
|Light < $30k||MG 3 (1403)||Suzuki Swift (784)||Kia Rio (536)|
|Light > $30k||Mini Hatch (289)||Skoda Fabia (44)||Audi A1 (34)|
|Small < $40k||Hyundai i30 (2523)||Toyota Corolla (1703)||Mazda 3 (860)|
|Small > $40k||Volkswagen Golf (326)||Audi A3 (315)||Subaru WRX (264)|
|Medium < $60k||Toyota Camry (908)||Skoda Octavia (135)||Mazda 6 (119)|
|Medium > $60k||Tesla Model 3 (1458)||BMW 3 Series (478)||Mercedes-Benz C-Class (302)|
|Large < $70k||Kia Stinger (324)||Skoda Superb (31)||Citroen C5 X (3)|
|Large > $70k||Porsche Taycan (74)||BMW 5 Series (65)||Mercedes-Benz EQE (47)|
|Upper Large < $100k||Chrysler 300 (0)|
|Upper Large > $100k||BMW 7 Series/i7 (15)||Mercedes-Benz S-Class (13)||BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe (11)|
|People Movers||Kia Carnival (1053)||Hyundai Staria (182)||Volkswagen Multivan (89)|
|Sports < $80k||Ford Mustang (276)||Subaru BRZ (137)||Toyota GR86 (131)|
|Sports > $80k||BMW 4 Series coupe/convertible (106)||Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe/convertible (78)||Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman (52)|
|Sports > $200k||Porsche 911 (65)||Lamborghini sports cars (18)||Ferrari sports cars (14)|
SUVs: Top Three in each segment in June 2023
|Light SUV||Mazda CX-3 (1502)||Kia Stonic (921)||Volkswagen T-Cross (671)|
|Small SUV < $45k||MG ZS (3756)||Subaru Crosstrek (1481)||Kia Seltos (1234)|
|Small SUV > $45k||BMW X1 (624)||Volvo XC40 (541)||Audi Q3 (511)|
|Medium SUV < $60k||Toyota RAV4 (2858)||Hyundai Tucson (2667)||Mazda CX-5 (1812)|
|Medium SUV > $60k||Tesla Model Y (5560)||Lexus NX (646)||Mercedes-Benz GLC (627)|
|Large SUV < $70k||Toyota Prado (1627)||Toyota Kluger (1554)||Subaru Outback (1435)|
|Large SUV > $70k||BMW X5 (386)||Land Rover Defender (324)||Mercedes-Benz GLE (316)|
|Upper Large SUV < $120k||Toyota LandCruiser wagon (1562)||Nissan Patrol wagon (638)||Land Rover Discovery (33)|
|Upper Large SUV > $120k||Lexus LX (118)||Mercedes-Benz GLS (92)||BMW X7 (84)|
Utes and vans: Top Three in each segment in June 2023
|Vans < 2.5t||Peugeot Partner (108)||Volkswagen Caddy (32)||Renault Kangoo (2)|
|Vans 2.5t-3.5t||Toyota HiAce van (756)||LDV G10/G10+ (520)||Ford Transit Custom (427)|
|4×2 Utes||Toyota HiLux (1327)||Mazda BT-50 (558)||Isuzu D-Max (523)|
|4×4 Utes < $100k||Ford Ranger (4895)||Toyota HiLux (4815)||Mazda BT-50 (2002)|
|Utes > $100k||Ram 1500 (992)||Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (267)||Chevrolet Silverado HD (162)|