The cars Australians are loving right now

Australians are on track to buy more new cars this year than any other to date.

More than one million new cars found a new home through the first 10 months of this year despite increased cost of living pressures and a steep rise in the price of new cars during the past 18 months.

More than 106,000 vehicles found a new home in October, which helped the market hit the 1 million mark for the first time this early in the year.

Head of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Tony Weber, says the record sales figures shows supply is returning to normal after years of upheaval.

“After some challenging years through Covid, this milestone speaks to the range of vehicles available to consumers, affirming Australia’s position as one of the world’s most dynamic and competitive markets. It also reflects vastly improved supply chains,” says Weber

These are the cars that are trending up and what’s heading down.

WHAT’S UP

Lexus

Toyota’s luxury offshoot Lexus is on a tear this year with sales up more than 109 per cent in October and its sales have more than doubled for the year to date compared to the same period in 2022.

Leading the charge is the Lexus NX mid-size SUV, the luxury version of the popular Toyota RAV4. The new large RX SUV has also been a strong seller for the brand.

It isn’t the only luxury brand having a good year, sales of Audi and BMW were both up in October and for the year to date.

Mazda

Australia’s second favourite car maker had a fantastic October notching up more than 9300 sales.

This represented a more than 61 per cent increase compared to October, 2022.

Sales were up across all models in the Japanese brand’s line-up with big jumps for the CX-30 small SUV, BT-50 ute, and the arrival of the all-new CX-60 and CX-90 SUVs helped boost sales further.

Mazda’s total sales for the year are up more than 6 per cent, which is a strong result considering Toyota – Australia’s best selling car brand – has experienced a sales decline of more than 19,000 vehicles so far this year as supply constraints continue to bite.

China

Chinese brands are no longer niche.

Makers such as MG, BYD and Haval are becoming household names on Australian roads.

It’s not just Chinese owned brands that are benefiting from China’s growing car dominance.

Many European and American car companies now produce most of their vehicles for Australia in China.

All Teslas sent to Australia are built in China as are electric models from big names such as BMW and Volvo. Polestars are also built in the manufacturing powerhouse.

This has resulted in China now being the third biggest exporter of cars to Australia behind Japan and Thailand, the latter is where most dual-cab utes are produced.

WHAT’S DOWN

Sedans and hatchbacks

Not a single sedan or hatchback appeared in the top 10 sales list in October.

Instead Aussies flocked to big dual-cab utes and high-riding SUVs. The Ford Ranger (6215), Toyota HiLux (5766) and Isuzu D-Max (3198) utes were the three best selling vehicles in October.

SUVs and big four-wheel drives took out the next seven spots.

The Toyota Corolla was the best selling non ute and SUV registering 1746 sales through October.

Overall sales of hatchbacks and sedans now represent less than one in five new cars sold, which is a far cry from a decade ago when they were the first choice for many buyers.

Electric cars

Sales of electric cars dipped in October and only accounted for 5.7 per cent of new vehicles sold in the past month.

This slowing of sales is most likely due to a poor result from Tesla. The American brand delivered less than 2000 vehicles in October, which is well down on the 5000-plus it sold in September.

Sales of electric cars are still up more than 200 per cent for the year and account for more than seven per cent of sales for the year to date.

Honda

The Japanese brand has completely revitalised its range in the past 24 months launching new petrol and hybrid versions of the Civic small car, HR-V, ZR-V and CR-V SUVs.

Despite this sales are down more than 12 per cent in October and 10.5 per cent for the year to date.

The brand’s local boss Carolyn McMahon recently told media at the launch of the new CR-V SUV that supply would be greatly improved in the final months of this year and it would enable them to clear the backlog of orders on the books.

This points to an improved end to the year but despite this the brand will be a long way off the 20,000 annual sales target it set itself several years ago.

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