Australian new-car sales May 2021: Growth continues as financial year rounds out

4 June 2021 – Liam Murphy
2021 Isuzu D-MAX ute
2021 Isuzu D-MAX ute

New-car sales in Australia continue to increase, with the second-largest May on record also the industry's seventh consecutive month of growth

Australian new-car sales in May 2021 represented the second-largest result for the month since records were kept as the industry sees continued growth towards the end of the financial year.

VFACTS, a new-car sales data report compiled by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), recorded 100,809 new cars sold in Australia during May. The number signifies a 68.3 per cent increase year-on-year from the 59,894 figure tallied in May 2020 during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns.

However, perhaps most impressive in May 2021’s sales result, is that it exceeds even pre-COVID figures: The FCAI recorded 92,561 new cars sold in May 2019, marking an 8.9 per cent growth for the industry’s May results from 2019 to 2021.

Related: Australian new-car sales April 2021

The FCAI believes the result was fuelled by increasing consumer confidence and “pent-up demand”, which has also seen waiting times for some new vehicles blow out.

“While we cannot be certain about the future economic impacts of the COVID-19 situation, businesses and households are showing their confidence by purchasing new vehicles,” FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.

“I expect this situation will continue to improve in the second half of this calendar year as confidence continues to grow.”

Australia's best-selling car brands in May 2021

Toyota continued its lead in May with 21,156 new cars sold (up 46.2 per cent year-on-year) and a 21 per cent slice of the market share pie, helped by having five of its nameplates comprising the top 10 best-selling model list.

Mazda finished in second place again with 10,554 new cars sold (up 86.4 per cent and a 10.5 per cent market share), while Kia rounded out the top three with 7124 cars sold (up 158.1 per cent and a 7.1 per cent share).

Ford and Mitsubishi closed out the top five with 6493 and 6478 cars sold respectively and each taking a 6.4 per cent market share.  Hyundai, Nissan, Volkswagen, Isuzu and Subaru made up the rest of the top 10.

Australia's best-selling car models in May 2021

The Toyota HiLux regained its crown after falling out of the top two best-sellers for the first time in recent memory during April, with 4402 examples moving in May (up 24.8 per cent).

Ford’s Ranger took silver with 4254 sold (up 59.7 per cent), while Toyota’s RAV4 continued its run in the top three with 4014 of the SUV selling May (up 71.2 per cent(.

Mazda’s CX-5 placed fifth with 2768 sold (up 87.2 per cent), comprising more than a quarter of the brand’s total in May.

Isuzu sold 3058 of its D-Max ute (up 202.8 per cent and from tenth to fifth in the best-sellers list), accounting for 77.5 per cent of the brand’s 3946 total sales. (Isuzu D-Max pictured at top of story.)

Combined success of the HiLux, Ranger, D-Max and Mitsubishi Triton meant four of the top seven best-sellers were utes.


  1. Toyota Hi-Lux (4402 sold, up 24.8 per cent)
  2. Ford Ranger (4254 sold, up 59.7 per cent)
  3. Toyota RAV4 (4014 sold, up 71.2 per cent)
  4. Toyota Landcruiser (3399 sold, up 59.4 per cent)
  5. Isuzu Ute D-Max (3058 sold, up 202.8 per cent)
  6. Mazda CX-5 (2768 sold, up 87.2 per cent)
  7. Mitsubishi Triton (2317 sold, up 167.6 per cent)
  8. Toyota Prado (2214 sold, up 63.0 per cent)
  9. Toyota Corolla (2190 sold, up 34.7 per cent)
  10. Hyundai i30 (2127 sold, up 78.6 per cent)

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