Negative sales growth continues as industry takes another beating

THE doom and gloom for the Australian automotive industry continues, with February sales figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) showing another downturn.

According to the FCAI, a total of 79,940 new vehicles were sold last month, the second month in which the updated and more accurate VFACTS reporting system has been utilised. Of those, 39,304 or 49.2 per cent of the market, were for SUVs.

Some 15,523 (19.4 per cent) were light commercial (utes and vans) vehicles, and 22,648 were passenger vehicles (28.3 per cent). The poor sales performance has also been hindered by floods, droughts, bush fires, and more recently, the Coronavirus pandemic.

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“The Australian new vehicle market has now seen a downturn each month for the past 23 months. In economic terms, a recession is declared after two quarters of negative growth, and this industry has now seen seven consecutive quarters of negative growth,” FCAI CEO Tony Weber said.

“There is no doubt that this is an extraordinarily difficult time for the automotive industry, a situation sadly underlined by the recent announcement of Holden’s withdrawal from the Australian market.”

The FCAI also attributes the difficult market conditions to a number of adverse factors directly affecting consumer confidence over 2018, 2019 and the beginning of 2020, including political and financial uncertainty.

But things are different at the top this time around. The Ford Ranger is no longer number two to the market dominating Toyota HiLux. It’s been ousted from the runner up role by the new Toyota RAV4.

In real terms, the Hilux managed 3,421 sales, with the Toyota RAV4 close behind with 3,375 sales. Australia’s third favourite vehicle, the Ford Ranger still sold well (3,202), with the Toyota Corolla in fourth, and the Hyundai i30 in fifth.

Toyota again claimed the status of market leader, with 17,679 vehicles sales for the month and 22.1 per cent market share. Mazda, with 7,230 sales was the second highest brand for the month, claiming 9.0 per cent market share.

Third was Hyundai, with monthly sales of 5,945 and market share of 7.4 per cent; closely followed by Mitsubishi with 5,513 monthly sales and 6.9 per cent market share; and Kia, with 5,120 monthly sales and 6.4 per cent market share.

Mick Glenn
Mick Glenn
Mick is a car fanatic, with petrol pumping through his veins. With a deep love for cars, and what makes them tick, Mick likes things that go fast, very fast. But he also appreciates a Sunday cruise in the Rolls...... who are we kidding, he'd drive the wheels off that too.


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