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Tim Dornin

Tesla plugs into top three in Aussie car market

The January sales tally for Tesla's Model 3 was only topped by sales of Ranger and HiLux utes. (Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Tesla's Model 3 has become the third-biggest-selling car in Australia, recording the best monthly performance for an electric vehicle in the local market.

The car sold 2927 units in January, a tally topped by only Ford's Ranger and Toyota's HiLux utility vehicles.

The result comes as demand for electric and hybrid vehicles continues to climb.

Sales of battery electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for just over 12 per cent of total sales with battery electric vehicles rising to 5.7 per cent or 4852 units.

In its latest VFACTS report, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries said 84,873 new vehicles were sold in January, an 11.9 per cent increase on the same month last 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," chief executive Tony Weber said.

Sales were up across all buyer types. Private sales increased by 8.6 per cent, business demand was up 13.6 per cent, government sales increased 0.5 per cent and rental sales lifted 31.9 per cent.

Consumer preference for larger vehicles also continued, with sales of SUVs and light commercials accounting for 77 per cent of the total market.

Toyota led the market in January with 13,363 units ahead of Mazda on 9407, Ford on 6624, Kia on 6006 and Hyundai with 5809.

The Ford Ranger was the top-selling model with 4749 units ahead of the HiLux on 4131 and Tesla's Model 3.

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