New car sales continued to decline in January, according to VFACTS figures released this week a total of 81,994 new vehicles were sold during the month, down 7.4 per cent on the same period in 2018.
Tony Weber, CEO of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) attributed the results to lower levels of consumer confidence, “The current economic environment is a challenging one, with an imminent federal election, a declining real estate market and tighter lending practices.”
It’s worth noting January is famous for clearing stock that was registered in December in order for dealers to achieve sales targets.
In terms of the split, SUVs hold the largest slice of the action with a 43.8 per cent market share, ahead of passenger cars with 34.2 per cent and light commercials with 19.3 per cent.
The three largest segments in January were medium SUVs (18.8 per cent), small cars (18.1 per cent) and 4x4 utes (14.5 per cent). It’s good to see quality small cars still getting attention in the age of the SUV.
Perennial market leader Toyota defied the downward trend to record 15,961 sales, up 4.3 per cent on the same month last year. Toyota holds an incredible 19.5 per cent market share.
Also securing a podium finish was Mazda in second place with 9490 sales, followed by Mitsubishi with 6669 sales.
As always, we like to keep an eye on Ford and Holden, the former highflyers finished sixth and seventh which represent massive drops of 21.7 and 27.1 per cent respectively.
Other brands that suffered significant slides were Nissan (down 19.2 per cent), Subaru (down 19.1 per cent), Hyundai (down 12.9 per cent) Isuzu Ute (down 12.2 per cent) and Honda (11.8 per cent).
The premium end of the market Mercedes-Benz copped a whack falling by 27 per cent, Audi was down 18.7 per cent while BMW was relatively unscathed with a 2.4 per cent drop. Lexus is off to a flyer in 2019 recording 705 sales (up 15.8 per cent). The Japanese luxury marque says it’s their best January ever.
While in business class, Jaguar was up 53.5 per cent after a big advertising spend. Stablemate Land Rover went in reverse to fall 51.8 per cent.
The biggest-selling vehicles were the Toyota HiLux (as usual), the Mazda 3 and the Ford Ranger.
Top 10 selling new vehicles – January 2019
Mazda 3 - 2831
Mazda CX-5 - 2347
Top 10 selling vehicle brands – January 2019
Toyota - 15,961
Mazda - 9490
Mitsubishi - 6669
Hyundai - 6205
Kia - 4651
Ford - 4421
Holden - 4167
Honda - 4042
Nissan - 3803
Volkswagen - 3617
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