Australians are shunning traditional passenger cars with nothing shaped like a hatch or sedan in the top ten for the first time ever.
The 2023 motoring year will be remembered as one where two-wheel drive passenger cars have been absent for multiple months of the year.
Just 16 per cent of new vehicles sold in October was a passenger car with lower ground clearance, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries sales data showed.
And with Teslas absent last month for the first time this year, there was nothing in the monthly top ten vaguely resembling a passenger car, shaped like a hatch or sedan.
The Toyota Corolla and Hyundai also both failed to appear.
Utes took out the top three spots, with Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux and Isuzu D-Max leading the monthly sales chart as the millionth car was sold in 2023.
Australians are shunning traditional passenger cars with none in the top ten for the first time ever (pictured is a current shape Mazda3 – Australia’s bestseller in 2011 and 2012 two generations ago)
Utes took out the top three spots, with Ford Ranger (pictured), Toyota HiLux and Isuzu D-Max leading the monthly sales chart as the millionth car was sold in 2023
The other seven spots went to an SUV or four-wheel drive from the medium to the large, including the Toyota RAV4, Toyota LandCruiser, MG ZS, Mazda CX-5, Toyota Prado, Mitsubishi Outlander and Ford Everest.
The majority of cars sold in Australia are now an SUV with a 55 per cent market share.
As recently as 2015, the Toyota Corolla passenger car was Australia’s top selling make and model for the year.
That was four years after the Mazda3 became the first ever fully-imported car to top the annual sales charts.
The Holden Commodore was the last Australian-made car to top the annual sales chart in 2010, after an uninterrupted 15-year run.
Ford hasn’t won an annual sales race since the Australian-made Falcon was No. 1 in 1995.
But the Australian-designed, Thai-built Ford Ranger was No.1 in October for the fifth time in 2023 while the latest Ford Everest, which shares the same platform, made the monthly top ten list for the first time.
While Australia stopped making cars in 2017, utes are consistently topping the sales charts 90 years after Ford Australia engineer Louis ‘Lewis’ Bandt designed the Ford ‘coupe utility’ in Geelong.
The Toyota HiLux has been Australia’s topping car every year since 2016 and looks likely to retain that crown in 2023, having won the sales race five times so far but with strong competition from the more modern Ford Ranger.
Toyota remains the top selling brand with a 17.4 per cent market share in the year so far, more than double Mazda’s 8.4 per cent and Ford’s 6.9 per cent.
All-electric carmaker Tesla was also absent from the top ten monthly sales chart for the first time in 2023, with neither the Model Y nor the Model 3 making an appearance in October.
The other seven spots went to an SUV or four-wheel drive from the medium to the large, including the Toyota RAV4, Toyota LandCruiser (pictured), MG ZS, Mazda CX-5, Toyota Prado, Mitsubishi Outlander and Ford Everest
The Model 3 had been the closest thing to a passenger car, appearing on the list in January and February as the only model resembling a sedan.
The Model Y, an SUV shaped like a hatch, played that role in March.
The Hyundai i30 made the top ten in April, May and June while the Toyota Corolla made the top 10 in July, August and September.
In 2023 so far, 1,006,095 new vehicles have been sold with 176,646 of them passenger cars – a dismal 17.6 per cent share.
By comparison, 564,840 were SUVs, or 56 per cent of new vehicles sold, with utes – referred to as light commercial – having a 22 per cent share with 221,774 ordered.
Australia’s top sell cars in October
1. FORD RANGER: 6,215 sales
2. TOYOTA HILUX: 5,766 sales
3. ISUZU UTE D-MAX: 3,198 sales
4. TOYOTA RAV 4: 2,598 sales
5. TOYOTA LANDCRUISER: 2,561 sales
6. MG ZS: 2,537 sales
7. MAZDA CX-5: 2,509 sales
8. TOYOTA PRADO: 2,320 sales
9. MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER: 2,238 sales
10. FORD EVEREST: 1,803 sales