Figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) have shown falling sales in the Australian new car market during September 2019.
The announcement means that Australia has now seen a worrying eighteen months of consecutive decreased activity in the new car sector.
A total of 88,181 new vehicles were sold during September 2019. This represents 6,989 fewer vehicles sold, a substantial 6.9% decrease, compared to sales in September 2018.
September’s decrease is part of a longer-term fall in new vehicle sales for Australia. A total of 811,464 new vehicles have been sold during 2019 so far, which is a drop of 69,541 vehicles compared to the same period in 2018.
Down, down, deeper and down
This overall reduction of 7.9% against 2018 is, according to FCAI chief executive Tony Weber, a phenomenon “in line with the broader economic environment in Australia”.
Mr Weber also believes that “restrictive regulatory lending conditions” currently facing Australian consumers could simply be making it it “too difficult for people to finance basic purchases” in the marketplace.
The Northern Territory and Tasmania both saw sizeable reductions of 21.6% fewer sales in September 2019, compared to the same month in 2018. Top Enders bought just 602 new vehicles last month, with Tasmanians buying 1,927.
New South Wales remained the biggest buyer of new vehicles by volume, recording 27,682 new sales. However, even this represented a 10.6% fall compared to September last year.
SUV sales up, all others down
Sales of passenger vehicles fell by 18.3% during September 2019, with light commercial vehicles also falling by 5.4%. Only the sports utility market recorded a modest 1.1% increase for the month.
The Toyota HiLux emerged as the best-seller for the month, recording 3,364 units sold. Even this represented a 22.5% reduction compared to September 2018. The Ford Ranger was the second most popular new vehicle, with the Mitsubishi Triton in third.
Hyundai’s i30 was the fourth-placed vehicle, and the highest-selling passenger car in the top ten.
Toyota also retained its place as the overall market leader in September, with the brand now recording total sales of 154,515 for 2019 so far. Mazda (79,057 total sales) and Hyundai (66,489 sales) took the remaining podium places for the year so far.