Market Trends: Sales Slump Continues But Utes and SUVs Show Steady Growth

As of the end of July, Australia’s new car market remains 2.1 per cent behind 2013’s figures, although industry observers anticipate sales to increase in final quarter.

July new-car sales figures of 89,867 are down 0.4 per cent on July 2013, marking the sixth month of the year where sales figures have dragged behind. However, this gap is not dramatic and a number of factors towards the end of the year are anticipated to generate more interest in showrooms.

These include the strengthening of the Australian dollar and continued low interest rates, which are expected to give Dealers sharper deals and consumers added motivation to purchase.

Not that the Australian market is a particularly tough place for consumers.

New car affordability is at a 38-year-high while prices are at 20-year lows.

While the market in July was down overall, the Ute segment was strong. In fact, the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Holden Colorado all found their way into the top ten strongest selling models with a combined figure of
6,606 units.

Meanwhile, SUVs have continued to demonstrate their popularity with the Australian public, up 12.7 per cent for July and 4.1 per cent for the year. Smaller SUVs such as the Subaru XV, Nissan Qashqai and Mitsubishi ASX have proved especially popular, while the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Kluger are selling strongly in the larger SUV segments.

In terms of sales performance across Australia, New South Wales is the only  state which has grown its year to date sales (by 1.3%), while Western Australia has experienced the sharpest drop (8.1%).

New South Wales also sold the most cars in July (28,587), with Victoria (24,756) and Queensland (17,767) in second and third position.

The ever-popular Toyota Corolla — 2013’s biggest seller — has leapt ahead and is now leading the new-car sales race for the first time this year, albeit only 21 cars ahead of its most formidable opponent, the Mazda3.

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