2019 Toyota RAV4 GXL (hybrid)
2019 Toyota RAV4 GXL (hybrid)

MAY was a significantly better month than April for new car purchases, with a rise from 75,550 to 92,561 – partly thanks to an increase in sales of the new 2019 Toyota RAV4, up an astounding 41 per cent, and into third spot on the top ten.

Year-on-year though things are far less pretty, with an 8.1 per cent drop over the same month in 2018, according to the peak body of the Australian automotive industry, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

Year to date new vehicle sales totalled 436,649, down from 475,222 for the same period in 2018 and again representing a decrease of 8.1 per cent. It’s an ongoing trend in the market, recognised by the FCAI.

Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, said the May results followed the trend in the first quarter of the year in the automotive market.

“The Australian market has seen the same trend throughout 2019, resulting in an overall decrease of around eight per cent for the first five months of the year,” chief executive Tony Weber said.

“We have attributed this trend to known market factors such as an economic downturn, drought, political events, the tightening of financial lending and lack of confidence in the market.”

Among these events was a Federal election, but now that’s been completed, the market is expected to rise again. Market leaders Toyota (18,820 sales), Mazda (8,578 sales) and Hyundai (8,106 sales) will be hoping so.

The two top selling vehicles for the month were again the light commercial Toyota HiLux (4,206 sales) and the Ford Ranger (3,972 sales), with the RAV4 in third, and Australia’s best selling small car, the Hyundai i30, in fourth.

SUVs continued to be the stand out sales performer across the various categories, accounting for 40,937 new vehicle sales during May, while passenger vehicles represented 28,890 sales and light commercials 19,178 vehicle sales.

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