Tesla Model 3 shocks to join Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux on January 2023 sales podium
The Tesla Model was Australia's third highest-selling car in January 2023, marking a new milestone as the first ever battery-powered vehicle to claim a spot on the new-car-sales podium, alongside perennial ute favourites: Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.
Improving supply, surprise price cuts and the launch of highly anticipated new models helped power the Australian new car market to a flying start in 2023, according to January new car sales data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), recording an 11.9 per cent increase in new car sales year-on-year.
“This data is the best January result since 2018 and shows that the industry is continuing to recover following years of supply chain disruption and delay,” FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.
While sales of all new cars were up across all buyer types and states across Australia in January, the biggest shock came from the appearance of the Tesla Model 3 on the new car sales podium as the nation’s third-highest selling car, placing ahead of the Mazda CX-3, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Isuzu D-MAX. The Californian EV pioneer delivered surprise price cuts of up to $3100 on Model 3 variants in the first week of January contributing to the uptick in sales, while states and territories boost subsides and incentives for Australians to transition to electric vehicles.
Combining the sales of fully battery-powered cars (EVs), hybrids, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), 10,426 cars were sold - accounting for 12.28 per cent of all new car sales in Australia.
The Australian hunger for SUVs and utes is showing no signs of slowing down either. A total of 84,873 vehicles were sold in January of 2023, of which more than 76 per cent were SUV (55 per cent) and Light Commercial (21.9 per cent) sales.
Last year’s sales champion, Toyota, again topped new car sales with 13,363 units sold in January, as the HiLux and RAV4 featured in the top 10 top-selling cars for the month. However, overall, the Japanese giant’s sales fell 12.8 per cent compared to January 2022, while Kia (6,006) continued to outsell its sister brand Hyundai (5,809).
Despite Toyota enjoying the highest number of sales for the month, it was the Ford Ranger who claimed the title as the most-sold car (4,749) in January - 613 units clear of the Hilux which placed second. Combined sales of the 4x4 and 4x2 versions of the Ranger accounted for an incredible 72 per cent of Ford sales for the month.
January 2023 was a good month for a host of challenger and premium brands. Audi (72.1 per cent year-on-year), GWM (up 115.2 per cent year-on-year), Ford (up 46.3 per cent year-on-year), LDV (up 35.6 per cent year-on-year), MG (up 13.5 per cent year-on-year), MINI (up 84.2 per cent year-on-year), Porsche (up 38.9 per cent year-on-year), Skoda (up 105.8 per cent year-on-year), Subaru (up 32.3 per cent year-on-year), Volkswagen (up 66.7 per cent year-on-year) and Volvo (up 18.7 per cent year-on-year) were among the brands to grow sales.
The news wasn’t so good in January for Land Rover (down 46.9 per cent year-on-year), Jeep (down 31.2 per cent year-on-year) Mitsubishi (down 19.2 per cent year-on-year) and Mercedes-Benz (down 23.5 per cent year-on-year).