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Australia's June new-vehicle sales drop 9.6 per cent as market slump continues


End-of-financial-year sales, a re-elected Coalition government and falling interest rates have done little to stem Australia’s slowing interest in new vehicles, as June data reveals a 9.6 per cent drop in sales to 117,817, the biggest monthly decline so far in 2019.

In fact, last month’s result was the lowest June result in seven years – which is usually strong as tradies take advantage of tax-time incentives – and saw a fall of 10.5 and 9.3 per cent in business and private sales respectively.

After six months of trading, Australia’s new-vehicle tally now sits at 554,466 units – 8.4 per cent off the pace of last year’s sales results.

Predictably, Toyota topped the brand sales charts again in June with 21,200 units (down 8.5 per cent compared to the same month last year), buoyed by its evergreen HiLux workhorse as Australia’s favourite model on 5396.

The Corolla managed fourth place with 3137 units sold, while the new-generation RAV4 also made it into the top 10, in eight place with 2449 sales.

Mazda scored second place overall with 10,806 (-13.3 per cent), with the CX-5 remaining Australia’s most popular SUV on 2911 sales for fifth place on the model charts, and the fresh Mazda3 dropping to eighth with 2533 sales.

Hyundai fared better than most in June, dropping 4.2 per cent to 10,001, as its i30 took third place - and the most popular passenger-car title - with 3343 sales. The Tucson mid-size SUV scrapped into the top-10 models on 2344 units sold.

In fourth place, Mitsubishi sales retracted 13.1 per cent, to 8891 units, with its seventh-placed Triton the only model in the top 10, with 2695 new registrations.

Kia was the only top-10 brand that managed to break new ground in June, with a 1.9 per cent uptick lifting sales to 7200.

However, only the Korean brand’s Cerato small car cracked the top 10, finishing in sixth place with 2832 sales.

Despite having the second-most popular vehicle on the charts with its Ranger (4851), Ford only managed sixth place overall with 7155 (-4.5 per cent).

Honda and Volkswagen came in seventh and eighth place with 6232 (-11.1 per cent) and 5793 (-8.5 per cent) respectively, while Nissan (5514 sales, -16.5 per cent) and Holden (4817 sales, -34.8 per cent) rounded out the top 10.

No vehicles from Honda, Volkswagen, Nissan or Holden made the top-10 models list last month.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry boss Tony Weber said the ongoing national luxury-car tax, as well as newly introduced state-level stamp duties, could be a reason for Australia’s slowing new-vehicle sales.

“The continuing incursion of luxury-car tax on a federal level, and now in some cases a state level as well, is a major disincentive,” he said. “It could just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for the new-car buyer.”

Do you think the Australian new-vehicle market can recover this year? Tell us what you think in the comments below.