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Surprise manufacturer makes moves as car sales continue to rise

21/05/2021 by Marc Sibbald in Industry news

The VFACTS announcement by the Federal Automotive Chamber of Industries (FCAI), that 92,347 new vehicles had been sold in April 2021, shocked the fleet market considering that every dealer and manufacturer is advising fleet and novated lease buyers of extensive delays. Where did all the cars come from?

Last April was a disaster for new car sales as the country was put into lockdown, so the 2021 result was expected to be higher than 2020. The surprise came when compared to 2019 – it was 22% higher!

When you look deeper into the VFACTS data, you can see a combination of new products and emerging manufacturers that have taken advantage of the economic conditions created by COVID to gain some market share.

MG is one of the winners in 2021. In 2019, they sold 4,199 vehicles. In 2020, they sold 8,095. Already this year, they have sold 11,735 vehicles surpassing their total sales in 2020 and cracking the top 10 manufacturers in Australia for April.

Success for MG in 2021 appears to be a combination of factors including stock availability and product. They are offering three models (two SUVs and one light hatch) in a range of variants and powertrains.

The MG3 is a stylish small hatchback that is a top seller in 2021 helped by the price increases to the Toyota Yaris which previously dominated the segment. The MG3 is priced below $20k and comes with Apple CarPlay, but not much safety technology. While the Yaris has class leading safety and starts at $25k.

In the small SUV segment under $40k, the Mitsubishi ASX is in first place and the MG ZS has jumped into second spot narrowly beating the Hyundai Kona. Overall, the segment has increased 53.5% YTD compared to 2020 with most manufacturers being represented including Great Wall Motors which was one of the first Chinese manufacturers to sell cars in Australia starting in 2009.

MG have grabbed the attention of consumers looking for a small SUV by offering the MG ZS EV for $43,990 driveaway. This is a new price point for electric vehicles in Australia and creates an opportunity for EV supporters and early adopters to take the plunge. And you get the MG Pilot Driver Safety Technology and a five-star ANCAP safety rating included for the price.

It also comes with a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty on the vehicle and eight year / 160,000 kilometre warranty on the battery. Buyers also get roadside assistance for five years which should help relieve any range anxiety.

Medium sized SUVs are the biggest selling passenger vehicle segment and Toyota continues to hold the top spot with the RAV4 which surprised everyone in 2020 by the popularity of the hybrid powertrain with consumers and fleet managers.

Sales of the Mazda CX-5 are up 53% compared to last year, which keeps it ahead of the Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester and Mitsubishi Outlander. Hyundai Tucson sales have declined due to the model changeover in 2021. An all-new model was launched in May, so expect a rebound once stock hits our shores.

Isuzu Ute have also been able to grab some market share with the all-new D-MAX and the MU-X large SUV. In the light commercial segment, the D-MAX is up 91.7% from 2020 sales with a 9.3% share of the segment. The new model X-Terrain Crew Cab Ute is so successful that you could be waiting six months for a novated lease vehicle.

New car sales are expected to stay strong for the remainder of 2021 as order books continue to grow and vehicle production catches up with the global post-COVID demand.

Whether you are in the market for a personal vehicle or a business vehicle, Fleetcare are perfectly placed to help. For more information about what options are available to you, reach out to the Fleetcare team on 134 333.

Written by
Marc Sibbald

Marc is a Senior Content Writer at Fleet Auto News and has an extensive background working within the fleet management industry.

We welcome him as a guest blogger to Fleettorque.

Follow Marc on LinkedIn.

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