2018 SALES PASS THE ONE MILLION MARK AS FLAT MARKET PERSISTS

National motor vehicle sales eclipsed the one million year-to-date sales mark during November 2018, in a month in which overall sales were down, according to the latest data released by the motor industry’s statistical service, VFACTS.

National vehicle sales for November reached 93,860, down 7.4 per cent from November 2017. The overall market decline for the month was once again led by falling passenger car sales, at 29,250 or 20.8 per cent lower in November 2018 compared to the corresponding month last year. The flat conditions were also reflected in SUV sales, which fell by 1.9 per cent across the segment, which accounted for 42.6 per cent of the market in November 2018 and 42.9 per cent of the market year to date.

However, light commercial vehicle sales grew by 4.2 per cent in November 2018.

Year-to-date sales across the market are currently at 1,065,583, which is a 1.9 per cent decline from the same period in the record 2017 sales year.

Tasmania bucked the sales trend compared to November 2017, with a 2.0 per cent increase. The remaining States and Territories fell as follows: New South Wales (-11.6 per cent), Victoria (-7.0 per cent), Queensland (-2.6 per cent), Western Australia (-9.0 per cent), South Australia (-2.4 per cent), the ACT (-7.8 per cent) and the Northern Territory (-6.2 per cent).

November 2018 sales were down across most buyer types, however SUV sales increased by 20.5 per cent to government, and by 14.9 per cent to rental purchasers. There were also increases in light commercial sales for the month to private (+4.0 per cent) and business (+5.5 per cent) purchasers.

Tony Weber, the Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, acknowledged the ongoing flat market conditions, saying November 2018 sales reflected tougher conditions across the economy.

The Toyota Hilux was the highest selling vehicle in November 2018 with sales of 4671, followed by the Ford Ranger (3469), the Toyota Corolla (2659), the Mitsubishi Triton (2404) and the Hyundai i30 (2378). Toyota led the market in sales volume for November 2018 with 19.5 per cent of the total market, followed by Mazda (9.5 per cent), Hyundai (8.4 per cent), Mitsubishi (7.4 per cent) and Ford (5.9 per cent).

Key Points:

  • The November 2018 market of 93,860 new vehicle sales is a decrease of 7,505 vehicle sales or -7.4 per cent on November 2017 (101,365) vehicle sales. November 2018 (25.7) had the same number of selling days as November 2017 and this resulted in a decrease of 292 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 7,679 vehicle sales (-20.8 per cent) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is down by 765 vehicle sales (-1.9 per cent); the Light Commercial Market is up by 841 vehicle sales (4.2 per cent); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 98 vehicle sales (3.5 per cent) versus November 2017.
  • Toyota was market leader in November, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 9,366 vehicle sales and 10.0 market share points.

SUV SALES SURGE IN SOFT OCTOBER MARKET

Overall national sales of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) continued to climb in October, despite the overall vehicle market in Australia declining over the month, according to the latest data released by VFACTS.

National vehicle sales for October reached 90,718, down 5.3 per cent from October 2017. The overall market decline for the month was led by falling passenger car sales, at 27,802 or 23.6 per cent lower in October 2018 compared to October 2017.

SUVs approaching half of all sales

Overall national SUV sales were 39,849, and the SUV segment now represents 43.9 per cent of the market in October 2018 and 38.5 per cent of the market year to date.

Within the SUV segment the sales of medium SUVs holds the greatest volume with 18.1 per cent of the total market in October 2018. The sales of small SUVs increased by

14.1 per cent in October 2018 compared to October 2017, with this category now representing 12.6 per cent of the total market in October 2018.

Sales down on last year’s record

Year-to-date sales across the market are currently at 971,723, which is a 1.3 per cent dip from the same period in 2017 – which was a record year. Compared to October 2017, sales in October fell across all states and territories, other than Tasmania, which held firm with a 0.3 per cent increase. The remaining states and territories fell as follows: New South Wales ( 9.2 per cent), Victoria (-4.2 per cent), Queensland ( 2.7 per cent), Western Australia (-1.7 per cent), South Australia (-5.1 per cent), the ACT (-2.1 per cent) and the Northern Territory (-4.7 per cent).

The decline was again most pronounced in sales to private purchases, which were down by 12 per cent across all vehicle types for the month compared to October 2017.

This included falls in passenger sales to private buyers of 24.1 per cent, whilst private SUVs sales were down by 3.2 per cent and light commercial sales down by 4.3 per cent.

Year to date sales to private buyers are now down 6.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. While business purchases overall were also down (-4.1 per cent) on October 2017 sales, business purchases of SUVs increased by 13.3 per cent over October 2017, and light commercials increased by 3.4 per cent over the October 2017 sales numbers.

Government purchases were up 6.7 per cent in October 2018, with increases of 24.3 per cent in SUV purchases and 9.3 per cent in light commercials.

Tony Weber, Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, acknowledged the ongoing softening in sales as the market continues to adjust after record sales over recent years. “Total sales so far in 2018 are a modest 1.3 per cent below the same number during the 2017 record year. This demonstrates that the market is broadly holding firm despite evolving consumer preferences demonstrated through the shift from passenger vehicles to SUVs” he said.

“Given the slowing housing market and the current drought, the overall result demonstrates the resilience of Australia’s competitive automotive market.”

The Toyota Hilux was the highest selling vehicle in October 2018 with sales of 4,401, followed by the Ford Ranger (3,511), the Toyota Corolla (2,663), the Mazda 3 (2,094) and the Hyundai i30 (2,049). Toyota led the market in sales volume for October with 19.6 per cent of the total market, followed by Mazda (9.0 per cent), Hyundai (8.2 per cent), Mitsubishi (6.9 per cent) and Ford (5.9 per cent).

Key Points:

  • The October 2018 market of 90,718 new vehicle sales is a decrease of 5,045 vehicle sales or -5.3 per cent on October 2017 (95,763) vehicle sales. October 2018 (26.4) had one more selling day than October 2017 (25.4); however, this resulted in a decrease of 333.9 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 8,594 vehicle sales (-23.6 per cent) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is up by 2,978 vehicle sales (8.1 per cent); the Light Commercial Market is up by 199 vehicle sales (1.0 per cent), and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 372 vehicle sales (10.9 per cent) versus October 2017.
  • Toyota was market leader in October, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 9,639 vehicle sales and 10.6 market share points.

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