A total of 92,561 new vehicles were sold in May, a drop of  8.1 per cent on the same month last year according to figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).
The yearly tally now sits at 436,649, down from 475,222 for the same period in 2018, again representing a decrease of 8.1 per cent. The market has now experienced 14 consecutive months of declining sales.  
Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, said the May results followed the trend in the first quarter of the year in the automotive market.
“The Australian market has seen the same trend throughout 2019, resulting in an overall decrease of around eight per cent for the first five months of the year.
“We have attributed this trend to known market factors such as an economic downturn, drought, political events, the tightening of financial lending and lack of confidence in the market.
“Now that the Federal election has been finalised, we are optimistic that the market will improve over the next few months,” Mr Weber said.
SUVs continued to hold the largest share of the market with 40,937 sales (down 4.1 per cent), followed by passenger cars with 28,890 sales (down 31.2 per cent) and light commercial vehicles with 19,178 vehicle sales (down 9.0 per cent).
Unsurprisingly, Toyota remains the market leader with 18,820 sales (down 3.8 per cent), followed by Mazda with 8578 sales (down 8.8 per cent), Hyundai which recorded 8106 sales (down 8.0 per cent), Ford 5788 and Kia 5533.
Kia is the only top ten brand to buck the downward trend, keeping pace with last year’s result.
Former highflyer Ford managed to record 5788 sales, a slight improvement on the corresponding month last year, while Mitsubishi lost momentum and fell out of the top five despite 5120 registrations (down 26.0 per cent).
Relaunched Korean brand SsangYong sold 125 cars, the majority of which were utes, the Musso and Musso XLV accounted for 55 and 29 sales respectively. It’s a slower than expected start for SsangYong but more products are coming.
The luxury brands are also finding the conditions difficult, Audi remains out of form and finished May down 36.4 per cent (1177 sales), Mercedes-Benz dropped 9.6 per cent (2621 sales) while BMW fell 2.3 per cent (2052 sales).
On a brighter note, May was fruitful for Lexus, its best month of the year so far with 860 sales (up 5.9 per cent).
The Toyota HiLux remains the best-selling model with 4206 sales, followed by the Ford Ranger (3972), Toyota RAV4 (2917 sales), Hyundai i30 (2901 sales) and Toyota Corolla (2467).
A combination of new metal and run out stock allowed the RAV4 to jump a whopping 41.4 per cent to record 2917 sales.
The Kia Cerato also recorded significant gains to be up 9.8 per cent with 2024 sales, a strong result in the context of the current market.
Top 10 selling new vehicles - May 2019
Mazda 3 - 2359
Mazda CX-5 - 2100
Kia Cerato - 2024
Top 10 selling vehicle brands - May 2019
Toyota - 18,820
Mazda - 8578
Hyundai - 8106
Ford - 5788
Kia - 5533
Mitsubishi - 5120
Volkswagen - 4520
Holden - 4392
Nissan - 3970
Honda - 3697
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