For the first time since recording Australia’s monthly new car sales figures, a hybrid has been the nation’s top-selling car, with Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid achieving the feat in August.
While the RAV4 topped the new car sales charts in both June and July, August’s result is a first for a Toyota hybrid – and indeed a hybrid of any sort. Sales of 4,405 hybrid RAV4 variants was 1,470 ahead of the industry's second-best seller for the month, Ford’s Ranger ute.
Hybrid sales accounted for a record 91.3 per cent of the total RAV4 sales figure of 4,825 for August, with 420 petrol variants making up the remainder.
The RAV4 lifted Toyota's overall hybrid sales for August to 6,142 – amounting to 49.3 per cent of the company's total deliveries for the month.
With four months of the year remaining, Toyota has also set a record for annual hybrid sales, reaching 33,462 vehicles to the end of August. The company’s previous full-year record was 27,846 hybrid vehicles sold last year.
Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said the surge in demand for Toyota's hybrid vehicles was having a big impact on the industry.
"Seeing a Toyota hybrid become Australia's best-selling car was a distant dream when we introduced the technology to Australia almost 20 years ago with the original Prius," Hanley said.
"It took us more than 17 years to deliver the first 100,000 hybrids in Australia, but it has taken us just 16 months to sell more than half as many again with total hybrid sales now exceeding 155,000 vehicles.”
Hanley added that the recent upswing in RAV4 sales was likely to moderate towards the end of the year as additional stock enabled back orders to be filled.