Car sales August 2017: NSW and VIC still driving the market

Andrew Munro 19 September 2017 NEWS

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2017 is breaking car sales records, but dealers may not be feeling the impact.

Passenger car sales have been dropping off in recent months, but the increase in SUV sales has been enough to see 2017 breaking all kinds of car sales records. However, not all states have seen the same results.

According to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), overall, new car sales in Australia increased by 0.3% compared to the previous month and by 2.7% compared to a year ago.

The Northern Territory might be moving the needle more than any other state, with car sales up by 9.4% compared to the previous year. However, sales are flagging in Tasmania, with new car sales down by 0.6% compared to the previous month, and -8.8% from the previous year.

2017 has been a bumper year for car sales overall, with most states and Australia overall showing considerable growth compared to the previous year. The largest shifts were in Tasmania and the NT, but it's worth remembering that these account for a very small portion of the total market in Australia.

However, hard sales numbers Australia-wide haven't shifted quite as much as the percentages might indicate. So, despite it being a record-breaking year, it's possible that dealers won't be feeling the difference.

In hard numbers, the mild shifts around NSW, VIC and QLD are more than enough to compensate for the big changes, both up and down, in SA, WA, TAS, NT and the ACT.


It's likely that used car sales account for a significant portion of vehicles moved in August 2017, and that the apparent declines in the passenger car market might be a reflection of these buyers increasingly looking at used vehicles rather than new.

However, Australians are generally wary of buying used cars and figures show they have reason to be, so the new car market might well continue on the up and up.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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