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March 5, 2020

Sales slide continues in Australia

February 2020 new vehicle sales continued a trend of negative growth in Australia, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said.

By Olly Wehring

February 2020 new vehicle sales continued a trend of negative growth in Australia, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said.

Volume fell 8.2% year on year to 79,940 new vehicles.

Passenger vehicle sales fell 16.6% to 22,648 (28.3% share) while SUVs continued their rising trend, up 5.4% to 39,304, and accounted for a 49.2% slice of the market and 15,523 were light commercial vehicles (19.4%, down 21.7%).

"The Australian new vehicle market has now seen a downturn each month for the past 23 months.  In economic terms, a recession is declared after two quarters of negative growth and this industry has now seen seven consecutive quarters of negative growth," said Weber.

"There is no doubt that this is an extraordinarily difficult time for the automotive industry – a situation sadly underlined by the recent announcement of Holden's withdrawal from the market."

The FCAI attributes the difficult market conditions to a number of adverse factors directly affecting consumer confidence over 2018, 2019 and the beginning of 2020.

These include political and financial uncertainty, environmental factors such as floods, drought and bushfires and, more recently, the growing concern regarding a global pandemic from the coronavirus.

The Toyota Hilux, with 3,421 sales, was again Australia's best-selling vehicle followed closely by the RAV4 (3,375). Ford's Ranger (3,202), the Corolla (2,520) and Hyundai i30 (2,152) completed the top five models.

Toyota was, as usual, market leader, with 17,679 vehicles sales last month and a 22.1% share. Mazda (7,230, 9%), Hyundai (5,945, 7.4%), Mitsubishi (5,513, 6.9%) and Kia (5,120, 6.4%) followed.

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