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"Now's the time to snare a bargain": New-car market suffers biggest May drop in 30 years as dealers ready incredible EOFY deals

The new-car market fell 35 per cent in May.

Australia's peak automotive body says now's the time to snare a bargain as the combination of a coronavirus-impacted new-car market and traditional end of financial year deals set to collide this month.

The Australian new-car market fell 35 per cent in May as the pandemic continued to wreak havoc. Just 59,894 new cars found homes last month, compared to 92,561 in May 2019. 

Last month marked both the 26th consecutive month of falls for the new-car market in Australia, as well largest drop in May results since records began being kept in 1991. 

“May 2020 is the 26th consecutive month of negative growth for the market, and the causative factors are well documented - droughts, floods, bushfires, tight lending conditions, unfavourable exchange rates, and political uncertainty," says Federal Chamber of Automatic Industries (FCAI) chief executive Tony Weber.

“Now, we add to that the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three months.

"While COVID-19 is primarily a health crisis, it has brought about an economic crisis as well. These are difficult times for the global and domestic economy, and this of course has repercussions for the local sales sector, including the automotive industry."

Australia's top 10 brands in May were Toyota (14,466 sales), Mazda (5661 sales), Hyundai (4109 sales), Ford (3894 sales), Mitsubishi (3010 sales), Volkswagen (2781 sales), Kia (2760 sales), Nissan (2216 sales), Subaru (2023 sales) and BMW (2013 sales).

As far as our best-selling vehicle goes, there's no real surprise. The Toyota HiLux took top billing with 3527 sales, while arch rival, the Ford Ranger, managed 2663 sales in May.

But no matter where you look in last month's data, its largely devastation across the board. Which has prompted Mr Weber to point to the huge discounts expected from dealers in the lead up to the tractional EOFY sales period

“Anecdotally, we may be beginning to see some ‘green shoots’ in the marketplace. With people venturing out a little more, dealers have advised of a slight uptick in floor traffic through dealerships," he says. 

“Additionally, we are hearing from some brands that website traffic is on the rise – a sure sign of increased purchasing interest.

“And finally, brand End of Financial Year campaigns have started, meaning the opportunity to snare a bargain has increased significantly. So if you are in the market for a new vehicle, now’s the time to visit your local dealer.”