New car sales fall off a cliff in October

author-avatar By on November 06, 2019
New car sales fall off a cliff in October

Photo by Jordan Bebek on Unsplash

New car sales have fallen by 9.1% in October compared to the same time last year, extending a downturn in the Australian car market which is now in its 19th consecutive month.

This means that 78,000 fewer cars were sold in the first ten months of this year, compared with October 2018.

A total of 82,456 cars were sold in October 2019.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) released the new sales figures for the month.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said several factors are behind the lagging sales figures.

“While the drought and other domestic conditions are impacting the market, our key concern is the effect over-regulation of the financial sector is having on new vehicle sales,” Mr Weber said.

total vehicle sales

Source: FCAI

“The FCAI and our members have been concerned about the risk-averse approach to lending in Australia for some time and see improved access to finance as a key to driving economic growth in 2020.”

Sales were down across all buyer types, including private (5.2%), business (8.2%) and government (7.3%), which Mr Weber said was interesting.

Toyota remains the leader as the most popular car brand, followed by Mazda and Hyundai.

Rank Car brand Total sales YTD Total sales October 2019
1 Toyota 171,503 16,988
2 Mazda 85,427 6,370
3 Hyundai 73,944 7,455
4 Mitsubishi 69,317 4,811
5 Ford 53,495 4,891
6 Kia 51,422 5,062
7 Nissan 42,354 4,011
8 Volkswagen 41,929 4,220
9 Holden 37,301 3,086
10 Honda 36,971 2,761

The Toyota Hi-Lux remained the top-selling vehicle for the month with 3,516 sold, followed by the Ford Ranger (3,160), the Hyundai i30 (2,216), the Toyota RAV4 (2,132) and the Toyota Corolla (2,117).

Rank Vehicle Oct 19 Oct 18 % diff
1 Toyota Hi-Lux 3,516 4,401 -20.1%
2 Ford Ranger 3,160 3,511 -10.1%
3 Hyundai i30 2,216 2,049 8.2%
4 Toyota RAV4 2,132 1,582 34.8%
5 Toyota Corolla 2,117 2,663 -20.5%
6 Toyota Landcruiser 2,101 1,970 6.6%
7 Kia Cerato 1,827 1,338 36.5%
8 Mazda CX-5 1,708 2,000 -14.6%
9 Hyundai Tucson 1,693 1,530 10.7%
10 Nissan XTrail 1,592 1,644 -3.2%

The declining car sales figures are yet another sign of a struggling economy, with figures released earlier this week showing a slump in retail sales figures.

Some industry players believe the rise of car subscription services may be behind the falling new car sales.

Last month, Hyundai announced it would be joining car subscription service Carly, allowing motorists to subscribe to new and used Hyundai vehicles in Australia.

Carly CEO Chris Noone said car ownership is changing as finance gets harder to obtain.

“Car finance is getting harder to obtain and banks are cracking down on lending, especially after the banking Royal Commission,” Mr Noone said.

“This is a new age for car ownership in Australia. The goalposts have definitely shifted from outright purchase and debt financing to more flexible arrangements to suit lifestyle and personal circumstances.”

Earlier this year, Melbourne-based car subscription service Carbar launched in Sydney, with plans for a broader roll out across the rest of the country.

Jaguar Australia recently announced it would be partnering up with Carbar.

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Rates based on a loan of $30,000 for a five-year loan term. Products sorted by advertised rate. Rates correct as of October 26, 2021. View disclaimer.


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Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at Savings.com.au which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.

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