NEW car sales continue to get pulverised by COVID-19, with figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) showing a continued decline amid the worst May since recording began in 1991.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom, with HAVAL, MG, SsangYong and RAM Trucks all experiencing solid growth, despite the fact just 59,894 vehicles were sold during May 2020.
This represents a 35.3 per cent reduction in sales when compared to the May 2019 figure of 92,561 vehicles, and continues 26 consecutive months of negative growth in a market that has been hemorrhaging for some time.
Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, said the automotive market has been under pressure for some time.
“Causative factors are well documented; droughts, floods, bushfires, tight lending conditions, unfavourable exchange rates, and political uncertainty,” FCAI CEO Tony Weber said.
“Now, we add to that the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three months.”
Primarily a health crisis, Coronavirus has bought about damaging economic conditions, with the country teetering on the brink of a full blown recession. Consumer confidence, household incomes and spending have all taken body blows as a result.
“The Reserve Bank of Australia has warned that, over the first six months of 2020, Australia is likely to experience the biggest contraction in national output and income that we have witnessed since the Great Depression,” Mr Weber said.
On the upside, the Federal Government’s timely response through various stimulus initiatives has been welcomed by the FCAI, with programs such as JobSeeker and JobKeeper supporting the community.
However, the Chamber has urged the Government to consider extending packages such as the Instant Asset Write Off to further encourage business investment.
Mr Weber also noted that the combination of the stimulus initiatives and the gradual easing of the pandemic-enforced COVID-19 restrictions has introduced some optimism into the market.
“Anecdotally, we may be beginning to see some ‘green shoots’ in the marketplace. With people venturing out a little more, dealers have advised of a slight uptick in floor traffic through dealerships,” he said.
For the record, Toyota remains the number one selling brand in the country, followed by Mazda, followed by Mazda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Kia. The top ten was rounded out by Ford, Nissan, Volkswagen, Honda and Holden.
The Toyota HiLux remains the top selling car, with the Ford Ranger returning to its number two spot. The rest of the top ten included the Toyota RAV4, LandCruiser and Corolla, the Mazda CX-5, Toyota Prado, Hyundai i30, Mazda3 and Hyundai Tucson.