The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has reported sales of 87,102 new vehicles during the month of February 2019. This represents a decrease of 9.3 per cent on the same period last year, but is 6,000 more sales than in January.

On a year-to-date basis, the industry reported 169,096 sales, or a decrease of 8.4 per cent over the same period in 2018.

Tony Weber, CEO of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), attributed the results to lower levels of consumer confidence.

“Given the current challenging economic conditions, including a downturn in the housing market, the automotive industry is not surprised by the slower start to the year,” he said.

The light commercial vehicle market is the only segment that reported an increase during February, with an upswing of 6.0 per cent. Other segments showed a decline: the passenger vehicle market decreased by 21.3 per cent and the sports utility market fell 6.3 per cent versus February 2018.

The three top selling vehicles in the market – the Toyota Hi-Lux with 4,431 sales, the Ford Ranger with 3,377 sales and the Mitsubishi Triton with 3,155 sales – supported the increase in the light commercial vehicle market.

The top selling passenger vehicle was the Mazda 3, with 2,655 sales during the month.

January 2019 signalled a cautious start to the year for new vehicle sales in Australia, according to results released by the motor industry’s statistical service, VFACTS. A total of 81,994 new vehicles were sold during the month, down 7.4 per cent on the same period in 2018.

“The current economic environment is a challenging one, with an imminent federal election, a declining real estate market and tighter lending practices,” Mr Weber said.

“However, Australia’s love affair with SUVs continues. January was a solid sales period for these vehicles, with the segment claiming 43.8 per of total market sales.

“Passenger sales were strong in the small car segment, with the Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30 leading the pack.”

During January, the top three brands were Toyota leading the market with 19.5 per cent market share and 15,961 sales, followed by Mazda in second place with 11.6 per cent market share and 9,490 sales. In third place was Mitsubishi with 8.1 per cent market share and 6,669 sales.

Key Points:

The January 2019 market of 81,994 new vehicle sales is a decrease of 6,557 vehicle sales or -7.4% on January 2018 (88,551) vehicle sales. January 2019 (25) had the same number of selling days as January 2018 and this resulted in a decrease of 262.3 vehicle sales per day.

The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 3,810 vehicle sales (-12.0%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is down by 1,949 vehicle sales (-5.1%); the Light Commercial Market is down by 967 vehicle sales (-5.8%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 169 vehicle sales (8.3%) versus January 2018.

Toyota was market leader in January, followed by Mazda and Mitsubishi. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 6,471 vehicle sales and 7.9 market share points.

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