Australian vehicle sales top one million

Sales of new cars and trucks topped one million in 2022 after a year of "resilience and recovery" for Australia's auto sector.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries says 1,081,429 new vehicles were retailed last year, a three per cent improvement on 2021, with demand exceeding supply.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said the pathway through the COVID-19 pandemic, microprocessor shortages and bottlenecks due to global shipping issues had created challenges for car makers and their dealer networks.

"While 2022 has been a year of resilience and recovery, 2023 is shaping up as one of the most significant in recent history, particularly in terms of the development of policies that set the direction for the future decarbonisation of the light vehicle fleet," Mr Weber said.

"As the peak representative body for vehicle distributors, the FCAI has advocated for a fuel efficiency standard for many years.

"We are optimistic that the federal government will take action in 2023 and introduce a standard that achieves the policy outcomes that lead to emission reductions while enabling Australians to drive the vehicles that they need and want."

With sales of battery electric vehicles rising to 3.1 per cent of the total market, Mr Weber said beyond a fuel efficiency standard, a technology mix, infrastructure investment and behaviour change initiatives were also needed to reduce emissions and create a cleaner fleet.

"We need to use the full range of low-emission technologies that are available and affordable for the majority of Australians, not just those who can afford premium vehicles," he said.

Toyota was the top-selling company in 2022, with 231,050 vehicles retailed, ahead of Mazda on 95,718, Kia on 78,330 and Mitsubishi on 76,991.

Toyota also had the top-selling car with demand for its HiLux models hitting 64,391. The Ford Ranger was next best on 47,479 reinforcing Australia's love affair with light commercial and sports utility vehicles, which now account for more than three-quarters of all sales.

Toyota's Rav4 was third in the market with 34,845 units retailed.

The company's strong result was its 20th consecutive year as the market leader in Australia with the HiLux the most popular vehicle for the seventh straight year.

Toyota said it had navigated global supply challenges to post its highest sales in 14 years and its order bank for the coming year remained strong.

"While it remains difficult to make predictions in this evolving supply situation, we can assure you that we will be working harder than ever to deliver more than 200,000 vehicles to our customers yet again in 2023," vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley said.

"We recognise that Toyota is extremely fortunate that well-recognised nameplates like HiLux, Corolla and LandCruiser - all of which have more than half a century of heritage and success in Australia - continue to deliver.

"We are also energised by the knowledge that electrification through our hybrid technology continues to lead the industry in supporting our customers with practical and affordable ways of substantially reducing their emissions today, and every day."