News - VFACTS - Sales 2019
VFACTS: Vehicle market decline accelerates
August sales down 10.1 per cent as new-vehicle decline stretches to 17 months
4 Sep 2019
THE fall in Australian new-car sales accelerated to a double digit decline last month while stretching the losing streak to 17 consecutive months, according to official VFACTS sales data released today.
With August sales tumbling 10.1 per cent compared with the same month last year, the motor industry’s peak body has questioned tight financing regulations, suggesting they could be harming not only the vehicle trade but also the broader economy.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive Tony Weber said the decrease in new-vehicle sales continued, despite the best efforts of the industry.
“This environment stems from a slow start to the year, with tight financial lending, state and federal elections and a general lack of consumer confidence, both here in Australia and on an international basis,” he said.
“The question needs to be asked about whether the current regulatory approach to financing is appropriate, and if not, what harm it is doing to both the sector and the economy more broadly.”
August sales plummeted from 95,221 units last year to 85,633 last month. All segments – passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles – registered a year-on-year decline, with passenger cars again worst hit, down 16.7 per cent.
Year to date, the decline is now out to 8.0 per cent. One of the worrying signs for the federal government should be the sudden fall in heavy vehicle sales which were down 14.3 per cent in August, indicating that commercial operators are feeling the economic headwinds.
Mazda – one of the most consistent performers on the Australian market for many years – suffered a 32.1 per cent hit to its August sales, despite the arrival in showrooms earlier this year of the new Mazda3 small car.
With 7220 sales for the month, Mazda slipped to third position on the sales chart, behind Hyundai which, despite a 8.6 per cent decline in its own sales, mustered 7320 sales to Mazda’s 7291.
Even the industry’s juggernaut, market leader Toyota, could not fend off a 11.3 per cent slump for the month, with sales down to 16,700 units.
The Japanese giant can console itself with the knowledge that not only was its top-selling HiLux ute the nation’s number one seller again, with 3674 sales for the month, but two other Toyota models, the Corolla small car and RAV4 medium SUV, also made it into the top five.
Mitsubishi firmly entrenched itself in fourth spot with 6242 sales, despite an 11.7 per cent slide.
Apart from Mazda, the worst-hit brands towards the top of the sales ladder were the long-suffering former local manufacturers Ford and Holden, with Ford sales down 17.5 per cent for the month (4916) and Holden’s tally declining 18.1 per cent (3569).
The only brands to show growth – barely – were Nissan and Kia. Nissan steadied the ship with a 2.2 per cent sales increase, to 4538 units, to take seventh place behind Kia which gained 0.9 per cent, to 4662 sales.
Subaru managed to leap-frog Honda back into the top 10 by scoring 3553 sales – a decline of 7.6 per cent. Honda sales were down 12 per cent, to 3553 units.
One of the bright spots for the market in August was the luxury car segment, where many performers made gains after the arrival of new stock.
One exception was segment leader Mercedes-Benz whose sales dipped 8.3 per cent, to 2370 vehicles.
Percentage-wise, Lexus had one of the biggest winners, with sales up 32 per cent to a company record 817 units, mainly on the back of its top seller, the NX SUV (368).
Audi also recovered somewhat to score 1365 sales for the month, up 27.9 per cent, while BMW enjoyed a 5.7 per cent sales climb, to 1860 units.
Top 10 selling brands August 2019
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