The new-car sales race had quite a few upsets last month, according to official figures for April 2024 released today.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid topped the sales charts for only the third time in four years (since July and August 2020) after an influx of vehicles were delivered to fill back orders that in some cases stretched two years.

However the Ford Ranger is now streets ahead of the Toyota HiLux in a way not seen before.

It has been well documented the Ford Ranger ended the Toyota HiLux’s seven-year winning streak in 2023.

It was the first time in 28 years a Ford vehicle had won the annual new-car sales race (when the Ford Falcon outsold the Holden Commodore for the last time, in 1995).

But the latest sales figures make for grim reading for Toyota HiLux fans.

The Ford Ranger 4×4 alone has outsold the Toyota HiLux 4×4 and 4×2 combined every month so far this year – and that has not happened before so soon in the calendar year, or for so long.

Translation: while the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux still top the sales charts in the year-to-date sales race (with the Toyota RAV4 in third), even at this early stage it looks like the Ford Ranger can start getting its name engraved on the 2024 winner’s trophy as well.

(Side note: Although VFACTS sales data splits 4×2 and 4×4 ute sales, it is industry practice to combine the 4×2 and 4×4 figures and count each vehicle by nameplate, in the same way Corolla hatch and sedan sales are combined and Commodore wagon and sedan sales used to be combined).

As for sales by brand, Toyota still outsells its nearest rival by more than two-to-one and is already on track to notch up its 21st year in a row as market leader in Australia.

However there was an upset in second place.

Ford sold so many Rangers it was elevated to second place outright ahead of Mazda last month, which has held second place annually since 2015.

Other key stats from April 2024 new-car sales data:

  • There were 97,202 new vehicles reported as sold in April 2024, a record for April (previous record was April 2021 when 92,347 were reported as sold);
  • There were 401,654 new vehicles reported as sold in the first four months of 2024, a new record, and the industry is tracking to eclipse 1.25 million this year (up from last year’s total of 1.22 million);
  • Sales of electric cars hit reverse in April 2024 compared to April 2023, but are up year-to-date by 32 per cent (from 23,926 in the first four months of last year, to 31,662 in the first four months of this year).
  • However, hybrid cars still dominate the electrified car space, with sales up by a staggering 194.5 per cent (from 21,692 in the first four months of last year, to 51,669 in the first four months of this year) as more hybrid cars enter the market from various brands, and Toyota finally ramps up hybrid production.
  • The massive percentage increases in deliveries shown below are a reflection of stock restrictions last year, and vehicles arriving in large shipments this year.

Indeed, in April 2024 Toyota sold more than 10,000 hybrid cars for the first time in a month – accounting for more than half of its total deliveries.

Top 10 selling cars in April 2024:

  • Toyota RAV4: 5857, up 98.5 per cent
  • Ford Ranger: 5569, up 56.1 per cent
  • Toyota HiLux: 4693, up 33 per cent
  • Isuzu D-Max: 2380, up 31.6 per cent
  • Ford Everest: 2400, up 254 per cent
  • Toyota Corolla: 2097, up 165 per cent
  • Isuzu MU-X: 1876, up 71.3 per cent
  • Toyota Camry: 1873, up 226 per cent
  • Mitsubishi Outlander: 1848, up 1 per cent
  • MG ZS: 1707, up 7.5 per cent

Top 10 selling car brands in April 2024:

  • Toyota: 20,771, up 72.7 per cent
  • Ford: 8648, up 71.3 per cent
  • Mazda: 7301, up 5.4 per cent
  • Kia: 6653, up 7.3 per cent
  • Mitsubishi: 5314, up 19.7 per cent
  • Hyundai: 5185, down 9.5 per cent
  • Isuzu Ute Australia: 4256, up 46.6 per cent
  • MG: 3781, up 9.2 per cent
  • GWM: 3330, up 50.3 per cent
  • Subaru: 3246, up 29.3 per cent

Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. Percentage change is versus the same month the prior year.