Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ VFACTS data showed new vehicle sales rose 14.5% year on year to 1,049,831 units.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said in a statement: “In the context of pandemic restrictions limiting access to dealerships and international supply issues, the new vehicle market in Australia remained positive.

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

“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.”

Electric vehicle sales increased 191.1% last year versus 2020.

“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,” 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. The FCAI maintains the need for national leadership in the form of a technology agnostic and achievable emissions reduction target.”

This was consistent with the FCAI’s voluntary CO2 emissions standard for Australia’s new vehicle industry which was released in 2021.

“Give us the target and we will give you the technology mix to get there,” Weber added.

Full year 2021 data

Australian consumers’ preference for SUVs and light commercial vehicles continued to increase throughout 2021. A total of 531,700 SUVs were sold, up 16.9%.

Light commercials were up 23.2% year on year to 253,254 units.

Passenger vehicle volume, however, fell 0.2% to 221,556.

Toyota was again the top selling brand for the year with volume of 223,642 vehicles resulting in a 21.3% market share. Mazda followed (101,119; 9.6%), ahead of Hyundai (72,872; 6.9%). Ford was next (71,380; 6.8%) while fifth place went to Kia (67,964; 6.5%).