SUVs continue dominance in new car sales shocker

author-avatar By on September 03, 2020
SUVs continue dominance in new car sales shocker

Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash

New figures show car sales are in their 29th continuous month of decline, down 28.8% in August, yet light SUV sales are up 12.2%.

In August 2020, just under 61,000 new vehicles were sold, down from more than 85,000 in August 2019, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

In the year to date, car sales figures are also down more than a fifth compared to 2019's period.

However, light SUVs continued to gain market share, up 12.2% in sales compared to August 2019.

This was aided by the likes of the the new Suzuki Jimny (+157.1%), Nissan Juke (+15.4%) and Mazda CX-3 (+3.6%).  

SUVs now also make up 53.1% of all new vehicles sold, up 7.5% on August 2019, while passenger cars (sedans, hatchbacks) decreased 5.9%. 

These figures are largely a continuation of the trend as seen in July's figures.

In the market for a new car? The table below features car loans with some of the lowest fixed and variable interest rates on the market.

Provider
Ad rate
p.a.
Comp rate*
p.a.
Monthly
repayment
 
4.67% 5.22% $562 Go to site
New Car Loan
5.45% 5.80% $572 Go to site
5.49% 5.87% $572 More details

Data accurate as at 01 October 2020. Rates based on a loan of $30,000 for a five-year loan term. Both fixed and variable rates are included. View disclaimer.

FCAI chief Tony Weber said the evidence was clear the effect state lockdowns has on car sales, with Victoria's new car sales down nearly two thirds.

“We’ve seen 29 consecutive months of diminishing sales in this industry, and there’s no doubt our members are feeling the pinch," he said.

"The move to commence the reopening of industry and markets, especially in Victoria, needs to start as soon as possible."

In a rare bright spot on the FCAI report, hybrid SUVs increased their sales by 358.4%, aided largely by the likes of the new Toyota RAV-4 (+140.5%).

Fully-electric SUVs also increased their sales by 23.3%. 

Luxury SUVs also enjoyed popularity, with the new BMW X6 up 800% in sales for August, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe's up 81.8%.

The small Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class also increased sales by 37.7%.

In larger bodies, the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is also up 221.4% in the 'Upper Large' category, and the Nissan Patrol is up 13.3%.

No word yet on effectiveness of increased asset write-offs

Light commercial vehicles (vans, utes) and SUVs made up 71.5% of vehicle sales in August 2020.

However, with the small business instant asset write off quintupled to $150,000 and extended to the end of the year, it's unclear the effect it's having.

"It is really difficult to quantify what specific effect that stimulant is having on these sales," an FCAI spokesperson told Savings.com.au.

"In addition, every case of instant asset write off is different, so [it is] really hard to make a broad statement.

"Nonetheless, the industry is clearly in a challenging situation, so all support and stimulants are very welcome."


Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2019. They are (in descending order): Credit Union Australia, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.

Some providers' products may not be available in all states.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*The Comparison rate is based on a $30,000 loan over 5 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

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author-avatar
Harrison joined Savings in 2020. He is a journalist with more than four years of experience, with previous stints at News Corp and financial comparison site Canstar. With a keen interest in personal finance, Harrison is passionate about helping consumers make more informed financial decisions.

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