New car sales continue slide in May 2020… but it’s not all bad news

ByDean MellorJune 3, 2020
New car sales continue slide in May 2020… but it’s not all bad news

Figures released today show new car sales continue to slide in May 2020… but there’s been a marked improvement on last month’s numbers.

New car sales continue slide in May 2020 according to new VFACTS figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), continuing the steep decline in sales witnessed in April this year.

A total of 59,894 new vehicles were sold in May 2020, which is a 35.3 per cent decline on the same month last year (92,561 sales). In year-to-date terms, a total of 332,181 vehicles have been sold to the end of May 2020 compared to 436,649 for the first five months of 2019, which is a drop of 104,468 vehicles, or 23.9 per cent.

New car sales Everest

New car dealers aren’t exactly packed with buyers right now.

According to the FCAI, the May total sales figures represent the largest drop in May sales since VFACTS statistics began recording in 1991.

“May 2020 is the 26th consecutive month of negative growth for the market, and the causative factors are well documented – droughts, floods, bushfires, tight lending conditions, unfavourable exchange rates and political uncertainty,” Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI said.

“Now, we add to that the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three months.

“While COVID-19 is primarily a health crisis, it has brought about an economic crisis as well.  These are difficult times for the global and domestic economy, and this of course has repercussions for the local sales sector, including the automotive industry,” Mr Weber said.

New car sales LC200 and LC70

Toyota led the market with four of the top five 4×4 nameplates in May 2020.

The 4X4 market hasn’t escaped the carnage, with SUV sales down 30 per cent in May 2020 compared to May 2019, and 4X4 ute sales down 23.4 per cent for the same period.

The best-selling 4×4 in May 2020 was the Toyota HiLux ute which recorded 2800 sales for the month, followed but the Ford Ranger with 2499 sales. Toyota took the next three spots in May 2020 with Prado recording 1358 sales, LC200 1260 sales and LandCruiser PU/CC 872 sales.

While the figures don’t make for great reading, on a more positive note overall new vehicle sales are up in May 2020 compared to the previous month, with the 59,894 figure in May 2020 a 20,968 increase on the 38,926 vehicles sold in April 2020. The 4×4 ute segment was up from 7082 sales in April 2020 to 10,979 sales in May 2020, while the SUV segment was up from 18,023 sales to 28,652 sales.

Regarding the sales increase in May compared to April, Mr Weber noted that the combination of the stimulus initiatives and the gradual easing of the pandemic-enforced restrictions has introduced some optimism into the market.

new car sales Amarok

“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.




Top 10 4X4 Ute Sales May 2020 (compared to May 2019)

  1.  Toyota HiLux: 2800 (-10.7%)
  2.  Ford Ranger: 2499 (-30.7%)
  3.  Toyota LandCruiser PU/CC: 872 (-3.38%)
  4.  Holden Colorado: 729 (-51.9%)
  5.  Mitsubishi Triton: 728 (-35.3%)
  6.  Isuzu D-Max: 662 (-33.7%)
  7.  Nissan Navara: 625 (-29.2%)
  8.  Mazda BT-50: 589 (-15.3%)
  9.  Volkswagen Amarok: 512 (-30.5%)
  10. LDV T-60: 287 (-6.5%)


Top 5 4X4 Wagon Sales May 2020 (compared to May 2019)

  1.   Toyota Prado: 1358 (-23.5%)
  2.  Toyota LandCruiser 200: 1260 (-9.9%)
  3.  Mitsubishi Pajero Sport: 437 (-28.9%)
  4.  Isuzu MU-X: 429 (-39.6%)
  5.  Ford Everest: 271 (-24.7%)