Just over 78,000 new cars were sold in December, an 18% decline on December 2020 figures.

In total, however, 1,049,831 new cars were sold in 2021 - a 14.5% increase compared to 2020, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' 'VFACTS' report.

Chamber chief Tony Weber said this was a positive in the context of lockdowns and supply chain issues.

"Despite the pandemic restricting access to showrooms in 2021, Australian consumers found ways to purchase new vehicles and did so in solid numbers," Mr Weber said.

"The global shortage of microprocessors, compounded by the pandemic, had an impact on the number of cars sold throughout Australia.

"Automotive manufacturers are continuing to work to strengthen supply chains in 2022."

The year of the weekend warrior

SUVs made up more than half of all new vehicles sold in 2021, totalling 531,700 units - a 16.9% increase on 2020.

Light commercial vehicles (utes) totalled 253,254 sales - a 23.2% increase on 2020 figures.

Together they made up nearly three quarters of new cars sold through the year.

In contrast passenger cars (sedans, hatchbacks) totalled just 221,556 units - a 0.2% decline on 2020.

Bumper year for electric vehicle sales 

There was a 191.1% increase in electric vehicles sold in 2021 compared to 2020 for a total of 3,380 units sold.

"While this number may appear impressive, it is important to note that overall electric vehicle sales as reported through VFACTS account for just 0.49% of the total market share," Mr Weber said.

"In this context, we must recognise the policy objective should be to lower our CO2 emissions rather than meeting sales targets of particular types of technology.

"Give us the target and we will give you the technology mix to get there."

Top 10 selling vehicles - December 2021

  1. Ford Ranger - 4,164 units
  2. Toyota Hilux - 3,821
  3. Toyota RAV4 - 2,998
  4. Hyundai i30 - 2,241
  5. Toyota Prado - 2,204
  6. Mazda CX-5 - 2,148
  7. Isuzu D-MAX Ute - 2,010
  8. MG ZS - 1,980
  9. Toyota Landcruiser - 1,752
  10. Mitsubishi Triton - 1,751


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