The Australian new car market has now experienced 23 consecutive months of decline according to VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).
In February, a total of 79,940 new vehicles were recorded as sold representing a drop of 10.3 per cent over the same month in 2019.
Chief executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, said the sales results continued a trend of negative growth in the local market.
“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.
“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 Australian market,” Mr Weber said.
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 concerns regarding a global pandemic from the coronavirus.
It's something of a perfect storm when you consider wages growth remains low, the Australian dollar is getting smashed and financial institutions are continuing to hold the line in regards to tighter loan criteria.
February was a difficult month all round, passenger cars fell by -16.6 per cent ( down 4503 sales), light commercials fell by a whopping 21.7 per cent (down 4308 sales), while SUVs dropped by 5.4 per cent (down 2012 sales).
SUVs remain the dominant segment with 39,304 sales (49.2 per cent market share), followed by passenger vehicles with 22,648 sales (28.3 per cent market share), and light commercials with 15,523 sales (19.4 per cent market share).
It’s also worth noting, February was the second month of sales data to fall under the new counting regime which promises to more accurately reflect sales numbers.
Toyota has again crowned the market leader with 17,679 sales which translate to a 22.1 per cent market share. Mazda finished second with 7230 (9.0 per cent market share) followed by Hyundai with 5945 sales (market share of 7.4 per cent).
Further back was Mitsubishi with 5513 registrations (6.9 per cent market share) and Kia with 5120 sales (6.4 per cent market share).
On the back of GM’s announcement about Holden’s future, the lion brand fell a massive 49.8 per cent to record just 1367 sales with the Colorado ute accounting for the bulk of the sales.
The Toyota HiLux remains Australia’s best-selling model with 3421 sales, closely followed by its stablemate, the RAV4, which had a blinder with 3375 sales, relegating the popular Ford Ranger to third place with 3202 sales.
Top 10 selling new vehicles - February 2020
Toyota HiLux – 3421
Toyota RAV4 – 3375
Ford Ranger – 3202
Hyundai i30 – 2152
Mazda CX-5 – 1969
Kia Cerato – 1873
Top 10 selling vehicle brands - February 2020
Toyota – 17,679
Mazda – 7230
Hyundai – 5945
Mitsubishi – 5513
Kia – 5120
Ford – 4856
Nissan – 3804
Volkswagen – 3633
Honda – 3522
Mercedes-Benz – 2673
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