(Australian Associated Press)
New car sales recorded another slump in August, sidelining hopes that the previous month’s more moderate dip signalled a turning point.
The number of vehicles sold across Australia last month was down 10.1 per cent compared to August 2018, according to a tally issued by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) on Wednesday.
“There’s no doubt it is a very tough market at the moment. And despite the best efforts of the industry, the decrease in sales continues,” FCAI CEO Tony Weber said after the group catalogued the 17th consecutive month of declines.
A total of 85,633 new cars were sold during August, the country’s peak motor industry group said.
That contrasted with 95,221 in the eighth month of 2018, a decrease of about 357 vehicle sales a day.
The slide in August followed a 2.8 per cent drop in July and falls of 9.6 per cent in June, 8.1 per cent in May and 8.9 per cent in April.
“This environment stems from a slow start to the year, with tight financial lending, state and federal elections and a general lack of consumer confidence, both here in Australia and on an international basis,” Mr Weber said.
Sales fell in each segment in August, with passenger vehicles down 16.7 per cent, SUVs down 5.4 per cent and light commercial vehicles down 8.6 per cent.
Sales in the the month dropped by 22.9 per cent in the Northern Territory, 12.3 per cent in South Australia, 11.7 per cent in Victoria, 10.7 per cent in the ACT, 9.5 per cent in Queensland, 9.2 per cent in NSW and 8.7 per cent per cent in WA when comparing the figures to August 2018.
Only Tasmania posted an increase in sales, with purchases rising 2.0 per cent to a total of 1,761.
The VFACTS monthly retail sales figures listed the Toyota Hi-Lux as the best selling model in August 2019 followed by the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Corolla, with the Hyundai i30 the highest climber among the top 10.
Toyota was the most popular brand during the month, selling 19.5 per cent of all new cars in August, followed by Mazda and Hyundai with 8.5 per cent each and Mitsubishi with 7.3 per cent.