SUVs, utes increase marketshare as new car sales dwindle

author-avatar By on August 05, 2020
SUVs, utes increase marketshare as new car sales dwindle

Photo by Patryk Sobczak on Unsplash

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries data released today reveals car sales in July 2020 were down 12.8% compared to July 2019.

The decline represents the 28th consecutive month of new car sales declines after June's figures were slightly better than expected.

In total, 72,505 new vehicles were sold in June 2020, as opposed to more than 83,000 in July 2019.

Sales figures for the year-to-date are also down 19.2% on the same period last year.

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.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' (FCAI) chief Tony Weber pointed to the challenging market conditions.

“The Australian automotive industry, like many sectors in the Australian market, continues to face challenging and difficult conditions, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

“The extended Stage 4 Restrictions which have now been invoked in Australia’s second-largest market, Victoria, will no doubt further challenge the industry during the coming months."

However, SUVs continue to grow market share, with sales of small SUVs up 7.3% in June compared to last year, with 'light' SUVs up 18.5%.

Overall, SUVs made up 50.4% of the new car sales market in July - up from 45.6% a year ago.

Combined with the light commercial segment (utes), those two segments now make up more than 70% of the entire fleet sold in July.

Luxury car sales on the up

While new car sales overall are continuing their decline, luxury brands are increasing their sales, especially in the SUV segment.

For example, Audi's sales figures in July were up 53.3% compared to the year prior, aided largely by new model releases such as the new Q7, and the Q5 increasing its sales by 10.4%.

Maserati sales are also up by two thirds, boosted by the new Levante SUV, up nearly two thirds, and the Ghibli increasing sales by 60%, albeit with very low volumes.

Volvo also experienced a 23.1% increase in new car sales volume in July, with the new XC60 SUV increasing its sales by nearly a third.

Mercedes-Benz's GLC-Class 'Coupe' SUV also increased its sales by nearly a quarter.

The push to go green

While still trading on low month-to-month volumes, compared to a year ago, hybrids are increasing market share. 

The 'PHEV' category, i.e. plug-in hybrids, increased sales in the passenger segment by 31.3% in July 2020, compared to July 2019 - in the SUV segment, sales increased 136.2%.

Regular hybrid passenger vehicles increased sales by a fifth, while those in the SUV segment increased by 269.6%.

In the market for a fuel-efficient car? The table below features green car loans with some of the lowest fixed interest rates on the market

Provider
Ad rate
p.a.
Comp rate*
p.a.
Monthly
repayment
 
3.97% 4.51% $552 Go to site
5.29% 5.56% $570 More details

Base criteria: fixed and secured car loans for 'low emission' cars. Data accurate as at 01 September 2020. Rates based on a loan of $30,000 for a five-year loan term. Products sorted by advertised rate, then by company name (A-Z). Repayments are calculated based on advertised rates. View disclaimer.

Dud car warranties and insurance products on notice

Today the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced it is seeking feedback from stakeholders to place an intervention order on the sale of add-on insurance and warranty products sold with motor vehicles through car yards.

The commission says it will address "significant consumer detriment" in the market.

Already it has proposed a 'deferred' sales model, which is designed to boost informed purchasing decisions by introducing a pause in the sales process between the sale of the vehicle and a buyer's decision to purchase add-on products. 

This comes after an ASIC report in 2016 that outlined these add-on products are "failing consumers in the design, pricing and sales". 

So far, the commission has secured remediation from 11 insurers, one underwriting agency and one warranty provider.

As of June 2019, more than $130 million has been refunded to more than 245,000 consumers.

The reforms are part of the Government's response to the wider Financial Services Royal Commission held in 2018.


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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