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New Vehicle Sales Continue The Downward Slide.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has released the new vehicle sales statistics for May 2020. Unfortunately for the Australian new car market, it shows a continued decline in cars finding homes. Compared to May 2019, which saw 92,561 vehicles sold, May 2020 had a reduction of 35.3 per cent, down to 59,894. VFACTS says this is the largest drop in sales since recording of sales began in 1991.

Victoria saw the biggest drop, with over 11,000 fewer vehicles sold in May 2020 compared to May 2019. It dropped from 26,136 to 15,366. New South Wales dropped by a similar margin, from 29,654 to 19,403.

In the overall market share, once again it was Toyota that lead the pack, making up 20.2% of total sales in May. Kia (11.6%) and Hyundai (10.7%) took out 2nd and 3rd. Mazda was 4th at 9.9%, with Volkswagen taking 5th at 7.6%. Key to Toyota’s success were the RAV4 and Prado, with 24.9% and 23.5% (2,345 & 1,358) in the medium and large SUV categories. In the SUV segment Toyota was a clear leader at 22.5%, well ahead of Mazda’s 12.0%.

Toyota held a narrow lead in the 4×4 Pick-up category, selling 2,800 HiLux 4×4 vehicles for a share of 25.5%. In comparison the 4×2 HiLux moved just 727. Ford’s Ranger moved 2,499 or 22.8% of the category. Volkswagen’s 4×4 Amarok found 512 new homes. Toyota completely dominated the Light Commercial Vehicle sector too, with 5,221 vehicles sold in May for a market share of 35.3%. The second place was Ford with 19.2%, selling 2,882.

Inside the sub-$70K large car market, Kia’s Stinger sold 93, down from 157 in May 2019. Holden’s still clearing Commodores, with the once dominant nameplate selling just 40. BMW took home the gold in the plus-$70 sector, selling 57 5-Series, ahead of the 29 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. For the still comparatively lively people mover sector and under $60K, Kia’s soon to be updated Carnival had 190 sales for a 50.5% share, tripling the Hyundai iMax at 68 (18.1%). The recently released Granvia, the people mover version of the HiAce, just pipped the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, with 19 to 15.

In the models sold, Toyota had the Corolla sell 1,626. Kia’s Cerato sold 842, whilst the Hyundai 130 cracked the thousand, with 1,191. From Mazda, the Mazda3 had 1,052 new buyers with the CX-5 almost double the CX-3 with 1,479. Ford’s all-conquering Mustang continued its winning ways, selling 257 in the sub-$80k market for 53.4%. 2nd place went to Toyota’s 86, with 40 sold for 8.3%, just ahead of Hyundai’s just updated Veloster and BMW’s 2 Series Coupe/Convertible. Both sold 38 for 7.9%.

Going to the plus-$80K market, Mercedes-Benz had 75 C-Class coupes and convertibles sold, for 34.6%. The BMW Z4 was a clear second with 39 and 18%.

For May 2020, the passenger car segment was 13,836. That’s a substantial dip from May of 2019 where there were 28,890 sold. In comparison, the SUV sector saw 28,652, down from 40, 937 last year.

Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, said the automotive market has been under pressure for some time. “May 2020 is the 26th consecutive month of negative growth for the market, and the causative factors are well documented – droughts, floods, bushfires, tight lending conditions, unfavourable exchange rates, and political uncertainty. Now, we add to that the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three months. While COVID-19 is primarily a health crisis, it has brought about an economic crisis as well. These are difficult times for the global and domestic economy, and this of course has repercussions for the local sales sector, including the automotive industry,” Mr Weber said.

He added: “And finally, brand End of Financial Year campaigns have started, meaning the opportunity to snare a bargain has increased significantly. So if you are in the market for a new vehicle, now’s the time to visit your local dealer.”