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Australian new car sales continue to slide in May

The HiLux continues to top the sales charts.

The Australian new vehicle market continued to fall in May, with an 8.1 percent slide across the market, matching an 8.1 percent decline year-to-date in 2019.

Toyota again led the market with 18,820 sales – down 3.8 per cent – with four models in the top 10 best-sellers for the month.

As usual, the venerable HiLux was Australia’s favourite new car with 4206 sales, while the new RAV4 (2917), Corolla (2467) and Prado (1776) finished third, fifth and ninth respectively.

Mazda (8578) and Hyundai (8106) sales both dropped in line with the market, down 8.8 percent and 8.0 percent respectively, while Ford (5788) and Kia (5533) rounded out the top five with marginal monthly increases, up less than one percent each.

The Ranger ute continued to spearhead Ford sales with 3972 units, while the Cerato was Kia’s only top-10 contender with 2024 sales placing it eighth overall.

Mitsubishi’s golden run to start the year looks to have come to an end, with a 26.0 percent monthly skid placing it sixth overall with 5120 sales, thanks to falls in sales from its volume-selling models, the ASX small SUV and Triton 4x4 ute.

And May 2019 has marked the first month in over 70 years that no Australian-built cars were sold to customers, marking the end of the final chapter in Australia’s local car manufacturing era.

Holden recorded no sales of its VFII Commodore in May, having sold 43 units in the four months prior, with Toyota and Ford already clearing stock of the locally built Camry and Falcon respectively.

Holden recorded no sales of its VFII Commodore in May. Holden recorded no sales of its VFII Commodore in May.

Australian-made cars have been sold since 1948, when the first local Holden rolled off the line at the Fisherman’s Bend factory in Melbourne.

The shift to sales of exclusively imported vehicles has ironically coincided with a slowing of Holden’s sales decline, down 14.4 percent in May, compared with a 21.9 percent dip year-to-date.

Its 4392 overall sales saw it capture eighth place overall, while the Colorado ute was the tenth-best-selling model overall with 1719 units sold.

Subaru sales held steady, with a 0.1 percent lift seeing it hold on to ninth spot with 4203 overall registrations, while Nissan rounded out the top ten with 3970 sales – down 8.4 percent.

For luxury brands, Audi was hit the hardest with a 36.4 percent fall to 1177 overall sales, trailing compatriot rivals Mercedes-benz (2621 sales, -9.6%) and BMW (2052, -2.3%).

Will we ever see local car manufacturing in Australia again? Tell us what you think in the comments below.