The Australian motor vehicle industry experienced a 7.8 per cent decline in sales during July 2018 compared with July 2017, according to the latest data released by the motor industry’s statistical service VFACTS.

Only four light vehicle sales segments produced gains during the lean July in which the industry recorded total sales of 85,551, down from 92,754 for the same month in 2017. Passenger car sales fell by 20.2 per cent and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) by 1.0 per cent, although the light commercial segment produced an incremental gain of 0.1 per cent in comparison with the same month last year.

Two light commercial vehicles again led the market for the month, the Toyota Hilux, posting sales of 3,747, and the second-placed Ford Ranger with 2,950 sales.
Going against the general market trend in July were sales in the micro car segment (+31.8%), small SUVs (+3.4%), 4X4 pick-ups (+6.4%) and upper large SUVs (+4.1%).

Hardest hit by the July decline was the large car segment (-56.3%), together with medium passenger cars (-31.3%), sports cars (-38.2%) and upper large category passenger cars (-46.1%).

The July fall has seen the total market slip below record-setting pace for the first time this year. Total sales for the first seven months of 2018 reached 691,073, which is 0.2 per cent below the same year-to-date result for 2017.

All states and territories, bar Tasmania, felt the July decline. New South Wales slipped 9.6 per cent, Victoria by 6.3 per cent and Queensland dropped 5.8 per cent. The remaining States were as follows: Western Australia (-8.1%), South Australia (-11.3%), the ACT (-12.2%) and the NT (-18.8%). Tasmania’s sales grew by 5.9 per cent.

Sales to business declined by 9.1 per cent during July compared with the same month last year, while private sales also fell by 9.0 per cent. Rental fleet sales dropped 4.8 per cent but sales to government went against this trend and lifted 0.3 per cent.

Toyota was the market leader in July with a dominant 19.8 per cent share, followed by Mazda (10.4%), Hyundai (8.3%), Mitsubishi (6.9%) and Ford (6.4%). The Toyota Hilux continued its market leadership and even improved its sales on July last year. The Hilux led July with 3,747 sales, followed by the Ford Ranger (2,950), Toyota Corolla (2,594), Mazda3 (2,443) and Mazda CX-5 (2,233).

Key points:

  • The July 2018 market of 85,551 new vehicle sales is a decrease of 7,203 vehicle sales or -7.8% on July 2017 (92,754) vehicle sales. July 2018 (26) had the same number of selling days as July 2017 and this resulted in a decrease of 277 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 7,425 vehicle sales (-20.6%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is down by 354 vehicle sales (1.0%); the Light Commercial Market is up by 19 vehicle sales (0.1%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is up by 377 vehicle sales (12.7%) versus July 2017.
  • Toyota was market leader in July, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 7,995 vehicle sales and 9.4 market share points.

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