buying new cars at almost the same rate as this time last year – to pre-coronavirus levels – as the industry remains hopeful the worst is behind it and there is a clear road ahead.
Official sales figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show new-car sales in October 2020 were down by just 1.5 percent compared with the same month the previous year, with 81,220 vehicles reported as sold versus 82,456 in October 2019.
Four of the Top 10 brands posted sales increases, as the industry grows optimistic about a market recovery.
“After a very challenging year, we are seeing ‘green shoots’ in the Australian new-vehicle market,” said Tony Weber, the chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, in a media statement.
Mr. Weber said the results were “welcome news”. “Every state and territory except Victoria and Tasmania have seen significant growth and, given the circumstances, Victoria’s result is seen as encouraging,” he said.
“However, the green shoots that we are seeing in October give us great hope that we may begin to see further recovery during the coming months.”
Mr. Weber said Federal Government initiatives “such as a constructive budget that included the instant asset write off, along with more accessible finance for consumers, is also acting as a welcome stimulus for the industry”.
The type of cars we are buying continues to evolve. SUVs and four-wheel-drives once again represented more than half of new vehicle sales for the month (50.8 percent, after an increase of 6.7 percent) while utes and van accounted for 23.6 percent of total sales (and as a category were up by 11.6 percent).
Passenger car sales, however, shrunk to 21.9 percent of the total market, down 24.5 percent from October 2019.
Market leader Toyota posted a 14.8 percent increase in sales in October 2020 compared to the same month the prior year, reporting 19,505 vehicles as sold after revealing its dealers had written 22,500 orders last month.
Toyota maintained a comfortable lead over second-placed Mazda which also posted a sales gain (of 17.1 percent), however third-place Hyundai was hit hard, down by 20.2 percent compared to the same month last year.
Ford, which was the last number one in Australia in 1997, ranked fourth in October 2020 after posting a 17.4 percent sales increase on the back of good supply of – and orders for – its Ranger ute.
Kia rounded out the Top Five after posting a 4.8 percent increase compared to the same month last year.
Mitsubishi (down by 6.3 percent) retained sixth place for the second month in a row after ranking fifth in August and third on the monthly sales charts in July for only the seventh time in its history.
The luxury-car sector continued to reveal mixed results in October 2020.
Mercedes-Benz made it into the Top 10 for the second month in a row – finishing in 10th in October after ranking ninth in September – despite posting a monthly decline of 11.5 percent.
BMW, which had earlier in the year made a strong showing in the Top 10 after registering a large number of demonstrator models and company cars to boost its numbers, again fell outside the Top 10.
BMW finished October in 13th spot – despite a 3.2 percent sales increase – ahead of MG, Audi, Suzuki, and LDV.
Holden continues to deplete showroom stock, with just 165 vehicles reported as sold (versus 522 in September and 555 in August), as dealerships continue to remove signage ahead of the shutdown of the brand at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, our appetite for US pick-ups continued during the pandemic, and fuel economy was clearly not a factor: Ram outsold Mini and Peugeot.
TOP 10 CARS IN OCTOBER 2020
Toyota HiLux: 4444, up 26.4 percent
Ford Ranger: 4217, up 33.4 percent
Toyota RAV4: 4084, up 91.6 percent
Toyota Prado: 2207, up 45.9 percent
Toyota Corolla: 1943, down 8.2 percent
Isuzu D-Max: 1932, up 51.5 percent
Mazda CX-5: 1912, up 11.9 percent
Hyundai Tucson: 1678, down 0.9 percent
Toyota LandCruiser Wagon: 1640, up 23.8 percent
Kia Cerato: 1619, down 11.4 percent
TOP 10 CAR BRANDS IN OCTOBER 2020
Toyota: 19,505, up 14.8 per cent
Mazda: 7457, up 17.1 percent
Hyundai: 5951, down 20.2 percent
Ford: 5744, up 17.4 percent
Kia: 5304, up 4.8 percent
Mitsubishi: 4510, down 6.3 percent
Nissan: 3539, down 11.8 percent
Volkswagen: 3112, down 26.3 percent
Subaru: 2902, down 12.1 percent
Mercedes-Benz: 2288, down 11.5 percent
New-car sales in October 2020 were down by 1.5 percent compared to the same month last year, with 81,220 vehicles reported as sold. It was the 31st month in a row of year-on-year decline.
Year-to-date, 726,111 new vehicles have been reported as sold, a decrease of 18.8 percent compared to the first 10 months of last year.