New vehicles sales fall again in February

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on March 05, 2019
New vehicles sales fall again in February

After falling in January, the latest new car sales figures show more of the same for February 2019, with sales declining by 9.3%

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) reported 87,102 new sales last month, which is 9.3% less than the same period in 2018.

Comparatively, January 2019 also saw a decrease in sales – the 81,994 new vehicle sales that month was a 7.4% decline from 12 months prior.

On a year-to-date basis (January and February 2019) the industry reported 169,096 sales in total.

This is an 8.4% decrease from the same period last year.

“Given the current challenging economic conditions, including a downturn in the housing market, the automotive industry is not surprised by the slower start to the year,” said Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI.

Last month Mr Weber cited the housing market was just one of several factors leading to declining car sales – others included:

  • The uncertainty caused by the imminent federal election;
  • Tighter lending practices caused by the Royal Commission
  • Falling consumer confidence and retail sales

The only car segment to record an increase at all is the light commercial vehicle market, which rose by 6%. Otherwise, all other segments – passenger, SUV and heavy commercial – fell:

  • The Passenger vehicle market fell by 7,339 (21.3%)
  • The SUV market fell by 2,508 (6.3%)
  • The Heavy commercial vehicle market fell by 174 (5.8%)

total vehicle sales

Source: The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries

Top selling brands & models

The top three selling car for February 2019 were the Toyota Hilux (4,431 sales), the Ford Ranger (3,377 sales) and the Mitsubishi Triton (3,155).

These vehicles are all classed as light commercial, and the Mitsubishi Triton’s rise of 66.6% over February 18-19 helped spark the overall light commercial vehicle increase.

The Mitsubishi ASX recorded the biggest increase overall, rising by 135.3%. 

By contrast, the individual vehicle to suffer the biggest fall was the Toyota Corolla, dropping in sales by 36.7%.

Rank VehicleFeb-19Feb-18% diff
1 Toyota Hilux 4,431 4,426 0.1%
2 Ford Ranger 3,377 3,544 -4.7%
3 Mitsubishi Triton 3,155 1,894 66.6%
4 Mazda3 2,655 2,935 -9.5%
5 Mazda CX-5 2,357 2,191 7.6%
6 Mitsubishi ASX 2,122 902 135.3%
7 Toyota Corolla 2,070 3,270 -36.7%
8 Hyundai i30 1,929 2,182 -11.6%
9 Toyota landcruiser 1,804 1,788 0.9%
10 Toyota RAV4 1,639 1,841 -11%

Source: The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries

Overall, Toyota was the market leader in February, selling more than 32,000 cars with a market share of 19.1%.

Top 10 car sales by brand – February 2019

Most of the brands in the top 10 recorded fewer sales year-on-year.

  1. Toyota: 32,320
  2. Mazda: 18,725
  3. Mitsubishi: 15,164
  4. Hyundai: 12,634
  5. Ford: 10,099
  6. Kia: 9,507
  7. Holden: 7,992
  8. Honda: 7,907
  9. Nissan: 7,726
  10. Volkswagen: 7,684

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Photo by Chris Cagle on Unsplash

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William Jolly joined as a Financial Journalist in 2018, after spending two years at financial research firm Canstar. In William's articles, you're likely to find complex financial topics and products broken down into everyday language. He is deeply passionate about improving the financial literacy of Australians and providing them with resources on how to save money in their everyday lives.


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