New car sales fail to reach record levels in 2018

New vehicle sales declined over a challenging 2018, according to results released by the motor industry’s statistical service, VFACTS.

National vehicle sales for December fell by 14.9 per cent from the corresponding month in 2017 to 87,528 vehicles, which took sales for the year to 1,153,111 vehicles.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Chief Executive Tony Weber acknowledged the lower result in 2018, which represents a reduction of three per cent from the 2017 record sales year.

“New vehicle sales results in 2018 reflect a challenging climate across the Australian economy including a slowing housing market, tightening of money lending and the drought” Mr Weber said.

Mr Weber also highlighted 2018 as a year of continuing adjustment for motoring consumers, with the year seeing a further shift to SUV sales at the expense of passenger vehicles.

“Australian consumers continue to value the comfort, flexibility and utility of SUVs, which collectively accounted for 43 per cent of the market in 2018. We predicted this trend to continue last year, and this has certainly been the case” Mr Weber said.

Breakdown of 2018 new car sales by vehicle type.

In addition to the rise of SUV sales, sales of light commercial vehicles continued to climb, with the Toyota HiLux again the number one selling vehicle in 2018 across all categories with 51,705 sales.

The HiLux was followed by the Ford Ranger, again number two in the market with 42,144 sales, followed by the Toyota Corolla (35,320), the Mazda 3 (31,065) and the Hyundai i30 (28,188).

Across the brands, Toyota again led the market in 2018 with 18.8 per cent market share, followed by Mazda (9.7 per cent), Hyundai (8.2 per cent), Mitsubishi (7.4 per cent) and Ford (6 per cent).

Mazda, Hyundai, Holden, Ford and Volkswagen all recorded lower sales figures than in 2017, but still remained in the Top 10. Honda had a good 2018 moving up into the Top 10 and displacing Subaru.

The Honda CR-V.

Images by Driven Women Magazine.

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