VFACTS 2021: Ute sales records, test your trivia knowledge with these statistics

Despite chronic stock shortages, a record number of utes were sold in Australia in 2021. Here is the list of the winners and losers in the booming pick-up segment.

Seven utes shattered their previous records on the Australian new-car sales charts in 2021, as demand for pick-ups and vans overtook passenger vehicles for the first time in our automotive history.

Four utes made it into the Top 10, and three of those posted all-time high sales figures.

The Toyota HiLux was the nation’s top-selling vehicle outright for the sixth year in a row (when 4×2 and 4×4 models are combined, as is industry practice), ahead of the Ford Ranger that ranked second for the fifth consecutive year.

Despite severe stock shortages that impacted the global automotive industry, the Toyota HiLux beat its previous annual sales record set in 2018 while the Ford Ranger eclipsed its previous best set in 2017.

There was some consolation for the Ford Ranger; it was the nation’s top-selling 4×4 for the third year in a row.

In terms of outright numbers, the Ford Ranger managed to close the annual sales gap to the closest margin in the history of these two title rivals.

The Toyota HiLux was 2865 sales ahead of the Ford Ranger in the year-to-date sales tally to the end of November 2021.

But by the close of business in December 2021, the gap between the top-selling Toyota HiLux and second-place Ford Ranger was 2522 vehicles (52,801 versus 50,279). Four years ago, there was a gap of 9500 sales between these top two sellers.

Had the Ford Ranger managed to overtake the Toyota HiLux in 2021, it would have been the first time in 26 years a Ford vehicle topped the Australian new-car sales charts for a calendar year.

Also in the record books: the Isuzu D-Max broke its previous annual sales high set in 2018, by a significant margin.

Isuzu reported more than 25,000 examples of the new D-Max as sold in Australia in 2021, a 35 per cent increase on its previous annual sales record of 18,550 set three years prior.

Indeed, the Isuzu D-Max had already eclipsed its annual sales record by September 2021.

The Isuzu D-Max’s twin under the skin, the Mazda BT-50, also posted a record, surpassing its previous best result set in 2014, back when the Mazda BT-50 was based on the Ford Ranger.

The Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series pick-up posted its second year in a row of record sales. 

Indeed, four of the past five years have been sales records for the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series, which shows age has not wearied it.

The Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series is now 37 years old, and another update is due later this year.

The Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series is proving so popular, numerous Toyota dealers told Drive waiting times are similar to those for the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (nine to 12 months).

The battle between Chinese utes from LDV and Great Wall Motors went down to the wire.

Both the GWM Ute and LDV T60 posted record sales in 2021, and the pair were split by fewer than 50 sales by the end of the year.

The Volkswagen Amarok was the top-selling model in the entire VW showroom line-up in Australia last year.

The success was due in part to chronic stock shortages which crippled deliveries of the VW Golf and VW Tiguan.

The Walkinshaw W580 special editions helped boost Amarok sales, and an off-road version will join the line-up this year.

Despite the strong showing, excluding the COVID-hit downturn of 2020, last year was the Volkswagen Amarok’s weakest sales result in Australia since 2013.

The Mitsubishi Triton showed signs of recovery last year, but it is a long way from its former sales glory.

The Mitsubishi Triton’s 2021 tally was down by 34 per cent compared to its annual sales record set in 2019.

The Nissan Navara has finally started to gain traction on the sales charts.

However, its 2021 sales performance was also a long way from its record result set in 2012 (down 42 per cent compared to its all-time high established nine years prior).

Back then, the Nissan Navara was the second-biggest selling ute in Australia behind the Toyota HiLux. 

Meantime, US pick-ups continue to go from strength to strength in Australia.

Little wonder Ford and Toyota are reportedly considering a right-hand-drive solution for the F-150 and Tundra, so they too can join the booming mega-ute market here.

Sales of the Ram 1500 were up by 15.8 per cent year-on-year, delivering the third record year in a row for the factory-backed examples which are imported and distributed by Ram Trucks Australia.

The Chevrolet Silverado – handled in Australia with US factory backing via General Motors Specialty Vehicles – also had a strong showing in 2021, but was outsold by the Ram by almost two-to-one.

As reported by Drive earlier, the split across new-vehicle sales in 2021 was as follows: SUVs (531,700, or 50.6 per cent of the total market), utes and vans (253,254, or 24.1 per cent of the total market), and passenger cars (221,556, or 21.1 per cent of the total market). Heavy trucks accounted for 43,321 sales, or 4.1 per cent of the total market. 

Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. Hover curser over each line in the graph to reveal ute name. Detailed sales numbers for each model (by nameplate, 4×2 and 4×4 combined where applicable) listed below.


Toyota HiLux

  • 2021 52,801 (record)
  • 2020 45,174
  • 2019 47,647
  • 2018 51,705 (previous record)
  • 2017 47,091
  • 2016 42,102
  • 2015 35,163
  • 2014 38,128
  • 2013 39,933
  • 2012 40,648
  • 2011 36,122

Ford Ranger

  • 2021 50,270 (record)
  • 2020 40,971
  • 2019 40,966
  • 2018 42,148
  • 2017 42,728 (previous record)
  • 2016 36,938
  • 2015 29,189
  • 2014 26,611
  • 2013 21,759
  • 2012 18,091
  • 2011 15,581

Isuzu D-Max

  • 2021 25,117 (record)
  • 2020 15,069
  • 2019 16,899
  • 2018 18,550 (previous record)
  • 2017 17,710
  • 2016 16,369
  • 2015 14,650
  • 2014 12,059
  • 2013 10,079
  • 2012 7792
  • 2011 6389

Mitsubishi Triton

  • 2021 19,232
  • 2020 18,136
  • 2019 25,819 (record)
  • 2018 24,886
  • 2017 23,625
  • 2016 21,877
  • 2015 25,338 (previous record)
  • 2014 24,236
  • 2013 24,532
  • 2012 18,512
  • 2011 17,178

Nissan Navara 

  • 2021 15,113
  • 2020 11,486
  • 2019 13,422
  • 2018 16,459
  • 2017 16,522
  • 2016 16,745
  • 2015 13,887
  • 2014 16,070
  • 2013 24,118
  • 2012 26,045 (record)
  • 2011 21,685

Mazda BT-50

  • 2021 15,662 (record)
  • 2020 9588
  • 2019 11,367
  • 2018 13,157
  • 2017 14,129
  • 2016 14,504 (previous record)
  • 2015 13,500
  • 2014 13,051
  • 2013 13,712
  • 2012 11,838
  • 2011 9645

Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series pick-up

  • 2021 12,277 (record)
  • 2020 10,064 (previous record)
  • 2019 9222
  • 2018 10,037
  • 2017 8915
  • 2016 7031
  • 2015 6544
  • 2014 7306
  • 2013 7905
  • 2012 7912
  • 2011 6523

Volkswagen Amarok

  • 2021 7659
  • 2020 6343
  • 2019 8371
  • 2018 9290 (record)
  • 2017 9282 (previous record)
  • 2016 8261
  • 2015 8545
  • 2014 8285
  • 2013 7522
  • 2012 6742
  • 2011 2649

Other highlights:

LDV T60

  • 2021 6705 (record)
  • 2020 5581 (previous record)
  • 2019 3529
  • 2018 3210
  • 2017 334 (new model)

GWM Ute (excludes Steed)

  • 2021 6888 (record)
  • 2020 109

Ram 1500 (excludes 2500 and 3500)

  • 2021 3819 (record)
  • 2020 3299 (previous record)
  • 2019 2609
  • 2018 491

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 

  • 2021 2114 (record)
  • 2020 no sales figures supplied

SsangYong Musso

  • 2021 1883 (record)
  • 2020 1084
  • 2019 545

Jeep Gladiator

  • 2021 1283 (record)
  • 2020 573

The post VFACTS 2021: Ute sales records, test your trivia knowledge with these statistics appeared first on Drive.