For the 26th consecutive month new car sales have declined in Australia. Across the nation, 59,894 vehicles were sold during May 2020. This represents a 35.3 per cent reduction in sales when compared to the May 2019 figure of 92,561 vehicles.
Compared to 2019 new car sales for the year to date are down 23.9% and the vast majority of marques have seen a 20-40% decline in sales. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries states the past few months have seen a contraction of household income and consequently household spending. This, combined with the uncertainty of the pandemic outcome, has severely curtailed retail activity.
There were some positives to be found in the May data with the less expensive cars seeing increased sales for companies like Haval, Great Wall and MG. The other marque to see consistent growth has been RAM with an average of a 30% sales increase over each of the past three months. RAM Trucks Australia is the only factory authorised, full-volume manufacturer of right-hand drive trucks in the world, backed by a full factory warranty, and a 50+ strong National dealer network.
According to a RAM Trucks Australia Spokesperson it’s likely to be a combination of tradies, business owners and those who need to tow something who are buying RAMs at present. “In fact over 50% of RAM customers use their trucks for towing – be it trailers, jet skis, boats or horse floats,” added the RAM Spokesperson.
We asked what the breakdown of male/female buyers for RAM Trucks were and although it is difficult to determine according to the RAM spokesperson it’s “probably more female buyers than you’d expect.”
Once again electric and hybrid vehicle sales have increased in the midst of the overall declining sales figures. However EV/hybrid sales still only represent just over 6% of total vehicles sales in Australia according to VFACTS.
Of the four big German luxury car manufacturers BMW have seen the least decline in sales for 2020 so far with minus 6.2%, followed by Porsche minus 7%, Audi with minus 14.7% and Mercedes-Benz with minus 20%. Of the most expensive cars on sale in Australia Ferrari was once again the best performer with a sales decline of just 2.9% for the year to date.
Mr Weber, the chief executive of the FCAI noted that the combination of the stimulus initiatives and the gradual easing of the pandemic-enforced restrictions have introduced some optimism into the market.
“The Instant Asset Write Off initiative has real potential to help stimulate the market, and we would like to see it extended in its current form beyond 30th June 2020,” Mr Weber said.
“Anecdotally, we may be beginning to see some ‘green shoots’ in the marketplace. With people venturing out a little more, dealers have advised of a slight uptick in floor traffic through dealerships. Additionally, we are hearing from some brands that website traffic is on the rise – a sure sign of increased purchasing interest. And finally, brand End of Financial Year campaigns have started, meaning the opportunity to snare a bargain has increased significantly,” Mr Weber said.
So if you are in the market for a new vehicle, now’s the time to visit your local dealer.
Photographs by The Ateco Group.