Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson

Aussies buy a million new cars but electric sales stall

Motorists keep driving the economy forward, with new figures revealing Australians have purchased more than one million vehicles in 2023 – a rise of more than 20 per cent.

And the popularity of large vehicles is behind the increase, with figures revealing utes and large SUVs made up more than one in three vehicles sold during October.

Data released by the Federal Chamber for Automotive Industries (FCAI) on Friday also showed the popularity of electric vehicles had taken a dip, down to 5.7 per cent during the month from a high of eight per cent in April.

Electric cars also failed to secure a spot among the nation's top 10 most popular vehicles.

Tesla electric vehicle
Electric vehicle sales took a dip from their peak earlier in the year.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said the one million vehicle milestone represented a U-turn for the industry after a difficult period and showed the supply of vehicles had improved.

"After some challenging years through COVID, this milestone speaks to the range of vehicles available to consumers," Mr Weber said.

"In the past six months, five have broken all-time sales records compared with previous years and in October 106,809 new vehicles were delivered to Australian customers."

The FCAI's figures showed Australians purchased 1.006 million vehicles in the year to October – more than 100,000 vehicles or 22.3 per cent more than the previous year.

Sales soared across every state and territory, with the greatest increases in Victoria (32 per cent), NSW (22 per cent), Tasmania (20 per cent) and South Australia (20 per cent).

Sydney traffic congestion
Cost of living pressures haven't stopped Australians from continuing to snap up new vehicles.

Big vehicles made up the biggest proportion of sales, with light commercial utes and large SUVs representing 38 per cent of new models sold in October and dominating the most popular vehicles.

Utes ranked as the top three best-selling vehicles in Australia during October, with the Ford Ranger taking out top spot followed by Toyota's HiLux ute and the Isuzu D-Max.

The rest of the top 10 vehicle models were large SUVs from Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Ford.

Despite growing popularity in 2023, no electric car ranked among the top 10 vehicles during October and their overall sales dipped to 6057 vehicles or five per cent of the market.

However the figure still represented an increase of 200 per cent from 2022, and hybrid vehicle sales rose by 19 per cent to reach 9187.

Mitsubishi Outlander
The popularity of large SUVs such as the Mitsubishi Outlander continues to rise.

Brands that make electric models also ranked among the most popular in Australia during the month including Hyundai, MG and Tesla, although the list was topped by traditional automakers Toyota, Mazda and Ford.

Toyota led vehicle sales in Australia by a significant margin with a 17 per cent share of the market, although its sales dropped compared to 2022 - down by more than 19,000.


1. Ford Ranger

2. Toyota HiLux

3. Isuzu D-Max

4. Toyota RAV4 

5. Toyota LandCruiser 

6. MG ZS

7. Mazda CX-5

8. Toyota LandCruiser Prado 

9. Mitsubishi Outlander 

10. Ford Everest

(Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, October 2023 sales figures)

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.