Australia's new-car market continues to struggle, with October's sales figures showing a 9.1 per cent fall in the number of vehicles that found homes. The fall marks 19 consecutive months of declines for Australia's once-robust new car market.
Australians purchased a total 82,456 new vehicles in October, down from 90,718 in the same month in 2018. That brings our year-to-date total to 893,920, down more than 77,000 vehicles from this time last year.
Each of our major segments is reporting declines, with passenger cars among the hardest hit, falling 15.3 per cent in October to 23,553. SUV sales are hurting, too, with numbers 38,648 finding homes last month, down three per cent on this time last year.
Even the usually robust ute figures are down, with light commercial vehicle sales falling 11 per cent to 17,164 in October, while the heavy commercial vehicles dropped 18 per cent to 3091.
“Year to date sales of new motor vehicles in 2019 are almost 78,000 units (eight per cent) lower than the same period in 2018," says the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' chief executive, Tony Weber.
“While the drought and other domestic conditions are impacting the market, our key concern is the effect over-regulation of the financial sector is having on new vehicle sales. The FCAI and our members have been concerned about the risk averse approach to lending in Australia for some time and see improved access to finance as a key to driving economic growth in 2020.
“Of particular interest is the fact that sales are down across all buyer types, with private sales down 5.2 per cent compared to October 2018, business sales are down 8.2 per cent and government sales are down 7.3 per cent.”
In terms of individual brand performance, Toyota has maintained its iron grip on first place, utterly unassailable with 16,988 (-4.6 per cent month on month) units sold in October.
Hyundai has claimed second place for the month, with 7455 sales (down 0.3 per cent month on month), while Mazda finished third with 6370 sales (-22.1 per cent month on month).
Kia remains a bright spot in the top 10, reporting a 10.5 per cent month-on-month increase to 5062 sales, enough to propel the Korean brand into fourth spot, while Ford claimed fifth with 4891 sales (-8.8% month on month).
Mitsubishi finished sixth, reporting 4811 sales (-22.6 per cent month on month), followed by Volkswagen (-12.7 per cent month on month), which was enough to secure seventh spot.
Nissan (4011 sales, -5.4 per cent month on month) and Subaru (3303 sales, -24.4 per cent month on month) claimed eighth and ninth spots respectively, while Holden finished tenth with 3086 sales (-41.3 per cent month on month).