Toyota dominates Australia's 2020 new car sales figures

Strong sales in the final months of 2020 have the industry poised for growth this year.

Toyota remains solidly entrenched as Australia’s favourite vehicle brand with 204,801 vehicles sold in 2020 for 22.3% market share.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) vehicle sales figures for calendar year 2020 showed fellow Japanese brand Mazda held out rivals for second place with 85,640 sales for 9.3% share with Korean car maker Hyundai claiming bronze with 64,807 sales and 7.1% market share.

Rounding out the top five were Ford (59,601 sales for 6.5% market share) and Mitsubishi (58,335 sales for 6.4% market share).

Toyota also claimed the number one selling vehicle spot with the HiLux ute while also dominating the top 10 selling vehicles list overall, with five sporting a badge and all of them either light commercial vehicls (LCVs) or SUVs. 

In fact, seven of the top 10 selling vehicles in 2020 were either SUVs or LCVs (utes), led by the HiLux with a formidable 45,176 sales. 

It was followed by the Ford Ranger (40,973 sales), Toyota RAV4 (38,537 sales), Toyota Corolla (25,882 sales), Toyota LandCruiser (25,142 sales), Mazda CX-5 (21,979 sales), Hyundai i30 (20,734 sales), Mitsubishi Triton (18,136 sales), Toyota Prado (18,034 sales), and Kia Cerato (17,559 sales).


Australia’s love affair with SUVs and utes shows no sign of abating with another increase in share for these two popular segments.

SUVs claimed 49.6% of the market during 2020, an increase from 45.5% market share in 2019, although the segment’s total sales of 454,701 vehicles was still down 5.9% on full year 2019.  

LCVs also enjoyed continuing popularity, claiming 22.4% market share with 205,597 vehicles sold, down 8.9% on 2019.

Mazda CX-5

The market’s seemingly inexorable drift away from passenger vehicles continued, the segment claiming 222,103 sales or 24.2% of the overall pie, down 29.7% on 2019.

Improved new car sales in the final months of 2020 helped claw back some of the losses incurred earlier in the pandemic-ravaged year with the FCAI predicting a stronger year ahead for the struggling sector.

Figures for 2020 showed a total of 916,968 vehicles were sold across the period, down 13.7% on calendar year 2019. 

The decline was nonetheless a strong turnaround from the depths of the COVID-19-impacted year, which for much of the year were bumping along at deficits of 20 per cent or more, and which at one stage plunged  35% below the corresponding month in 2019.

December sales of 95,652 vehicles represented a solid 13.5% increase over the same period in December 2019, however, and this followed a similarly strong month in in November where 95,205 sales represented a 12.4% gain on the same month in 2019.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said signs of the recovery of the new vehicle market were welcomed by automotive brands.

“COVID-19 has brought a health crisis and a corresponding economic crisis to the world during 2020,” Mr Weber said.

“And along with the rest of Australia, automotive brands and their dealer networks have found the last 12 months an extremely challenging period.

2020 Ford Wildtrak

“The automotive industry in Australia accounts for more than 60,000 employees with over 4000 dealerships across the country. 

“The contribution made by these businesses is critically important to the economic wellbeing of communities across Australia.

“It is therefore with great relief that the industry, along with the general economy, is finally noting some positive signs within the market.”

Top 10 vehicle sales (by volume) for December 2020:

 Rank  Vehicle  Dec '20  Dec '19 Diff. 
 1 Toyota HiLux  5572  3917  42.3%
 2 Ford Ranger  4265  3348  27.4%
 3 Toyota LandCruiser  3562  1618  120.1%
 4 Toyota Rav4  3542  2212  60.8%
 5 Toyota Corolla  2516  2777  -9.4%
 6 Toyota Prado  2500  1390  79.9%
 7 Isuzu D-Max  2409  1880  28.1%
 8 Mazda CX-5  2060  1828 12.7% 
 9 Hyundai i30  1996  1935  3.2%
 10 Nissan XTrail  1822  1532  18.9%