EVs and Hybrids show resistance to negative new vehicle sales figures in April

In a result that was not unexpected new vehicle sales in Australia fell dramatically in April with a decrease of 48.5% over the same period last year. This is the largest single decrease of any month since VFACTs figures were first recorded in 1991.

Year to date figures to April show an overall decline in new vehicle sales in Australia by 20.9%. Toyota maintained it’s top spot, but overall they were still down by 6.7% for 2020. The biggest decreases in the major brands were seen by Fiat (49.8%), Citroen (42.1%), Jaguar (41.5%) and Renault (40.9%).

The Toyota Camry Hybrid.

But once again EV and hybrid vehicle sales have been increasing while ICE-powered vehicles sales have been decreasing. Passenger Electric Vehicles sales increased by 67% for the year to date, however SUV Electric Vehicle sales decreased by 25%. It should be noted that Tesla sales figures are not included, as they do not report their sales figures. While Hybrid passenger vehicle sales increased by 33% and Hybrid SUV sales increased by 1,396% year to date! This is compared to ICE-powered passenger vehicle sales that decreased by 35% and ICE-powered SUV sales that decreased by 18% year to date.

In a similar result to March, Haval (104.7% increase), MG (75.6% increase) and Great Wall (37.2% increase) sales are all up and interestingly RAM sales are also up by 27.2%. Ferrari was the only shining light of the luxury car manufacturers and saw a small increase of 3.9%.

“Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major influence on the April sales result, and reflects a downturn in the broader economy right across the country,” said Tony Weber, chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI). 

“Figures recently released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 31 per cent of Australian citizens have experienced a decrease in income due to the pandemic,” Mr Weber said.

“In addition 72 per cent of Australian businesses reported that reduced cash flow is expected to have an adverse impact on business over the next two months. These conditions inevitably impact consumer confidence and purchase decisions.”

The Australian new vehicle market has been under stress for some time, with April 2020 representing the 25th consecutive month of declining sales on a year-on-year basis (for example April 2020 compared to April 2019).  

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is the first Ferrari model that can drive on full EV mode.

According to Mr Weber, the automotive industry in Australia has focused on keeping dealerships open to ensure customers can access sales and important maintenance services for their vehicles, despite the current health and economic difficulties.

“Our member brands are working closely with their dealer networks to ensure dealerships are accessible and safe.  Enhanced hygiene protocols and contact-less sales and social interactions have been initiated to ensure personal protection for both customers and dealer staff,” said Mr Weber.

As the COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted it will be interesting to see if this upward trend of EV and Hybid vehicle sales continues?

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.