AUGUST didn’t get any prettier for the Australian car industry, as new vehicle sales figures show only Hyundai and Toyota have anything to gloat about, with the i30 and RAV4 both increasing their numbers, as the market capitulated more than 10% down.
In figures released today by the industry’s peak body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), total sales for the month of August were reported at 85,633 units, a 10.1 per cent drop over the same month in 2018.
Each segment of the market recorded a downturn, with passenger vehicles dropping 16.7 per cent with 25,783 sales, SUVs down 5.4 per cent with 39,040 sales and light commercial vehicles down 8.6 per cent with 17,513 sales.
FCAI chief executive Tony Weber noted that Australia is one of the most competitive markets in the world, with the August results mark the seventeenth consecutive month of declining sales.
“There’s no doubt it is a very tough market at the moment,and despite the best efforts of the industry, the decrease in sales continues,” he said.
“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 added.
“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.”
Toyota remained the top selling marque for the month with a 19.5 per cent market share, followed by Hyundai (8.5 per cent market share) and Mazda (8.5 per cent), with Mitsubishi (7.3 per cent) and Ford (5.7 per cent) rounding out the top five.
The top selling vehicle for the month was again the Toyota HiLux, followed by the Ford Ranger, which takes back its second spot from the now third placed Toyota Corolla, the Hyundai i30 and the Toyota RAV4.
The i30 and RAV4 grew their market share by 21.1 and 19.1 per cent, respectively. The Mitsubishi Triton was the only other vehicle in the top ten to grow (and just 0.2 per cent). The Mazda3 and CX-5 were worst hit, dropping 32.7 and 30.9 per cent.