Car sales down across the board

Andrew Munro 15 March 2017 NEWS

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Overall sales are down, but SUV sales weather the decline.

Sales of new SUVs have once again bucked the trend while the overall market for new vehicle sales dips against predictions. The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures revealed that vehicle sales were down 0.5% between January and February 2017, but SUVs are accounting for about a third of new vehicle sales.

Nationwide there were 95,932 new vehicle sales, made up of 38,764 passenger vehicles and 36,688 SUVs. The sales gap between the two is about as tight as it's ever been. Overall, passenger car sales account for more of the overall decline than any other vehicle, dipping by 0.6% from the previous month.

Only the NT displayed an increase in overall sales over January, but only by 0.1%, along with a significant seasonally adjusted increase of 2.3%. Queensland also experienced a seasonally adjusted increase of 1.9% in sales month-on-month.

Compared to the previous year, the ACT and Tasmania are doing significantly more sales, even though both states experienced a dip last month.

The overall decline might be leaving some car lots behind schedule on their quotas, especially for passenger vehicles, and particularly in SA, NSW and WA which have shown marked drops.

If you're after a practical and affordable drive it might be time to consider financing for a new passenger car while the conditions are looking good. However, SUVs are still hot items and show no signs of cooling down.

SUV fans appear to still be upgrading despite the market dips, so there may be a few good used SUV deals around. Find out your options for a used car loan if you're in the market.

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