Australians are turning to four-wheel-drives in 2020.
Australians are turning to four-wheel-drives in 2020.

Off-roaders boom as Aussies hit the road

AUSTRALIAN drivers are gearing up for holiday road trips, buying four-wheel-drives and dual-cab utes as coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted.

Eight of the 10 best-selling cars in October were family SUVs, four-wheel-drives and dual-cab utes. Toyota's HiLux and Ford's Ranger utes topped the list ahead of the Toyota RAV4.

Strong sales for the LandCruiser and Prado four-wheel-drives, which were up by 15.6 per cent and 45.9 per cent compared to the same period last year, suggest people are preparing to hit the road for driving holidays. The duo ranked within the top five, ahead of Isuzu's popular D-Max ute.

Toyota’s LandCruiser is performing well on the sales charts.
Toyota’s LandCruiser is performing well on the sales charts.

Deliveries of hardcore four-wheel-drives such as the Ford Everest, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mitsubishi Pajero also increased last month.

Toyota Australia vice president for sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, said October sales indicated consumers were returning to the market, particularly for urban and family-focused SUVs and utes.

"It's apparent that many Australians are choosing recreational vehicles as they embark on planning more domestic travel for the foreseeable future. Toyota's broad product offering is well positioned to meet this demand, hence why we are seeing healthy market results in vehicles like HiLux, RAV4, LandCruiser and Prado," Mr Hanley said.

Massih Aimaq, co-founder of HSP 4x4 Accessories, said off-road equipment sales "have increased dramatically" as people prepare for road trips.

"I think a lot of people have decided that if they are not able to travel overseas or even interstate that they are going to holiday by car in their own state," he said.

"Suddenly their vehicle, whether it be a four-wheel drive or a ute, has now become an active recreational vehicle that needs to accommodate all the practical luxuries of travel when heading out bush or to the beach."

Ford’s Everest is also experiencing a resurgence.
Ford’s Everest is also experiencing a resurgence.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries reported 81,220 national sales in October 2020, compared with 82,456 in October 2019.

While that represents a 1.5 per cent decline, the numbers are more encouraging with Victoria removed from the ledger, as sales have increased by close to 10 per cent in the rest of the country. Victorian sales were down by close to 30 per cent.

Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, said the results were welcome news to an industry recording 31 consecutive months of decline.

"After a very challenging year, we are seeing 'green shoots' in the Australian new vehicle market," he said.

"Every state and territory except Victoria and Tasmania have seen significant growth and, given the circumstances, Victoria's result is seen as encouraging."


Top 10 models: October 2020

1. Toyota HiLux 4444

2. Ford Ranger 4217

3. Toyota RAV4 4084

4. Toyota LandCruiser 2429

5. Toyota Prado 2207

6. Toyota Corolla 1943

7. Isuzu D-Max 1932

8. Mazda CX-5 1912

9. Hyundai Tucson 1678

10. Kia Cerato 1619

Top 10 manufacturers: October 2020

1. Toyota 19,505

2. Mazda 7457

3. Hyundai 5951

4. Ford 5744

5. Kia 5304

6. Mitsubishi 4510

7. Nissan 3539

8. Volkswagen 3112

9. Subaru 2902

10. Honda 2033



Originally published as Off-roaders boom as Aussies hit the road