VFACTS April 2022: Market slowdown as stock shortages continue

New car sales dropped well below historical averages for the month of April in 2022 – however, it’s supply not demand crimping the market.

Australian new-car sales hit reverse in April 2022, dropping more than 10 per cent below historical averages for the month.

Data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows 81,065 new vehicles were reported sold over the 30-day period.

This represents a 12.2 per cent decline compared to the same month last year, when 92,347 vehicles were reported sold.

It is also the worst result since the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, when just 38,322 car were reported sold in April that year – fewer than any other April since World War II.

With the catastrophic 2020 results omitted, the five-year rolling average for Australian new car sales in April currently sits at 90,482.

According to industry experts, the slowdown has been driven by severe stock shortages which continue to cripple the automotive industry.

Demand continues to significantly outstrip supply, with wait times for most manufacturers stretching between three and 14 months.

The latest estimates show the shortage of new cars will likely continue for at least the next 12 months, and could stretch to 18 months.

“This is not a reflection on the demand for new vehicles,” Tony Weber of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries said in a statement.

“This is a reflection on the global automotive industry’s ability to supply vehicles to not only Australia, but all markets.”

Toyota maintained its dominance in April, with 17,956 reported sales – accounting for approximately 22 per cent of the total market.

Mazda came in second place with 7378 sales, Mitsubishi finished third with 6463, followed by Kia with 6180, and Hyundai with 5552.

Utes continue to dominate nationwide, comprising four of the top 10 best-selling vehicles and three of the top five.

The Hyundai i30 and Toyota Corolla hatchbacks were the only passenger cars to make the top 10, while four SUVs made the list.

Chinese car maker MG equaled its previous best finish of seventh place on the top sellers’ list.

Meanwhile, German car giant Volkswagen dropped out of the top 10 for the third time this year, amid supply shortages and price hikes.

However, just 52 Model 3 sedans were reported as sold in April due to the brand’s process of delivering vehicles in batches quarterly (every three months).

Electric cars accounted for 1.0 per cent of all new car sales, up from just 0.3 per cent in the same month last year.

While April sales have historically been tempered by its shorter length and spate of public holidays, the 2022 results are well below par.

James Voortman – the CEO of the Australian Automotive Dealers Association – similarly told Drive it is supply not demand crimping sales.

“Conditions remain incredibly challenging … there are many frustrated customers being required to wait for the vehicles they have ordered.”

“We continue to advise customers to speak to their dealer … If you are in the market, the sooner you place your order the better.”

Data below supplied by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, and compiled by Drive news journalist Alex Misoyannis.

TOP 10 CARS IN April 2022

Rank Model Volume April 2022 Change year-on-year
1 Toyota HiLux 4493 up 6.4 per cent
2 Ford Ranger 3581 down 28.7 per cent
3 Toyota RAV4 3373 down 25.2 per cent
4 Mazda CX-5 2701 up 14.8 per cent
5 Isuzu D-Max 2374 up 18.8 per cent
6 Mitsubishi Triton 2357 down 4.2 per cent
7 Toyota Corolla 2202 up 6.2 per cent
8 Hyundai i30 2071 up 3.3 per cent
9 MG ZS 1923 up 42.4 per cent
10 Toyota Prado 1631 up 19.1 per cent

TOP 10 CAR BRANDS IN April 2022

Rank Brand Volume April 2022 Change year-on-year
1 Toyota 17,956 down 11.1 per cent
2 Mazda 7378 down 26.6 per cent
3 Mitsubishi 6463 down 14 per cent
4 Kia 6180 up 8.3 per cent
5 Hyundai 5552 down 3.8 per cent
6 Ford 4974 down 30.4 per cent
7 MG 4773 up 58.7 per cent
8 Isuzu 3032 up 6.4 per cent
9 Mercedes-Benz Cars 2307 up 7.3 per cent
10 Nissan 2050 down 41.4 per cent

Passenger cars: Top Three in each segment in April 2022

Micro Kia Picanto (555) Mitsubishi Mirage (52) Fiat/Abarth 500 (42)
Light < $25k MG 3 (1615) Suzuki Baleno (991) Kia Rio (472)
Light > $25k Mini Hatch (108) Audi A1 (31) Citroen C3 (9)
Small < $40k Toyota Corolla (2202) Hyundai i30 (2071) Kia Cerato (1007)
Small > $40k Mercedes–Benz A-Class (267) BMW 1 Series (105) Audi A3 (86)
Medium < $60k Toyota Camry (519) Skoda Octavia (182) Mazda 6 (135)
Medium > $60k Mercedes-Benz C-Class (477) BMW 3 Series (212) Mercedes–Benz CLA (129)
Large < $70k Kia Stinger (316) Skoda Superb (79)
Large > $70k Porsche Taycan (58) Audi A6 (26) BMW 5 Series (25)
Upper Large < $100k Chrysler 300 (13)
Upper Large > $100k Mercedes-Benz S-Class (14) BMW 7 Series (8) BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe (6)
People Movers Kia Carnival (483) Hyundai Staria (92) Honda Odyssey (31)
Sports < $80k Ford Mustang (97) Subaru BRZ (83) Mazda MX-5 (28)
Sports > $80k BMW 4 Series coupe/convertible (58) Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe/convertible (28) Audi A5 (20)
Sports > $200k Porsche 911 (40) Ferrari range (15) Bentley Continental (10)

SUVs: Top Three in each segment in April 2022

Light SUV Kia Stonic (949) Hyundai Venue (576) Volkswagen T-Cross (491)
Small SUV < $40k MG ZS (1923) Mitsubishi ASX (1300) Mazda CX-30 (1175)
Small SUV > $40k Volvo XC40 (388) Audi Q3 (262) Mercedes-Benz GLA (250)
Medium SUV < $60k Toyota RAV4 (3373) Mazda CX-5 (2701) Kia Sportage (1327)
Medium SUV > $60k Mercedes-Benz GLC (594) BMW X3 (483) Volvo XC60 (376)
SUV Large < $70k Toyota Prado (1631) Toyota Kluger (1381) Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (1124)
SUV Large > $70k Mercedes-Benz GLE (217) BMW X5 (184) Land Rover Defender (152)
SUV Upper Large < $100k Toyota LandCruiser wagon (829) Nissan Patrol wagon (275)
SUV Upper Large > $100k Lexus LX (80) BMW X7 (64) Mercedes-Benz GLS (51)

Utes and vans: Top Three in each segment in April 2022

Vans < 2.5t Renault Kangoo (73) Volkswagen Caddy (57) Peugeot Partner (29)
Vans 2.5t-3.5t Toyota HiAce Van (657) Hyundai Staria Load (321) LDV G10/G10+ (224)
4×2 Utes Toyota HiLux (1052) Isuzu D-Max (643) Mitsubishi Triton (251)
4×4 Utes Toyota HiLux (3441) Ford Ranger (3361) Mitsubishi Triton (2106)
William Davis

William Davis has written for Drive since July 2020, covering news and current affairs in the automotive industry.

He has maintained a primary focus on industry trends, autonomous technology, electric vehicle regulations, and local environmental policy.

As the newest addition to the Drive team, William was brought onboard for his attention to detail, writing skills, and strong work ethic.

Despite writing for a diverse range of outlets – including the Australian Financial Review, Robb Report, and Property Observer – since completing his media degree at Macquarie University, William has always had a passion for cars.

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