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Vehicle sales slump in July


New car sales drop 7.8% during July 2018.

According to the latest VFACTS figures compiled by the motor industry’s governing body, new vehicle sales have dipped significantly for the first time this year.

July 2018 new car sales slump

When compared with July 2017, July 2018 is down 7.8% for new cars sold by a good 7,203 units. Car buyers placed 85,551 orders in total; the lowest numbers posted this year. As both July months had the same amount of sales days, car dealers shifted 277 fewer cars per day.

It’s not all bad news though since the year's booming start means 2018 is currently only down 0.2% on 2017.

2018 new car sales at a glance

Here’s a summary of new car registrations, broken down by vehicle class.

Sales buoyed by SUVs, utes and microcars

Passenger cars suffered a hard-hitting decline in popularity during July, with a 20.2% fall in sales. The general SUV market also shrunk uncharacteristically by 1%, which in real terms is a mere 353 vehicle difference. Large cars took a massive hit of 56.3% and sports car figures dove 38.2%. Large passenger car orders plummeted by 46.1%.

Fortunately for the automotive industry, microcars like the Kia Picanto and Mitsubishi Mirage bucked the downward dip with a 31.8% sales surge. Small SUVs and the largest SUV class also continued to prove popular with drivers, with a 3.5% and 4.1% improvement in orders against the same month last year. 4x4 pickups remained unchallenged as the king of the new car sales charts, benefiting from a higher 6.4% demand.

Best-selling car models

There are no surprises here. Australia’s favourite vehicle is the Toyota Hilux ute. The Japanese car making giant sold 3,747 in July. Biting at the heels of the Hilux was the Ford Ranger, garnering 2,950 sales. Last month, there had been a 3-way ute lockout of car sales, with the Mitsubishi Triton enjoying a sales upswing. However, this month, the Triton sank 11 places to 14th overall. Rounding out the top three for July 2018 was another Toyota model, the Corolla hatch.

For 2018 so far, Toyota can claim 18.6% of the entire new car market. Mazda ranked second thanks to sought-after models like the Mazda3 and CX-5. Hyundai rounds out the top three with 8.2% market share.

State/territory sales

Across the country, only Tasmanian motorists purchased more cars than last year. All other states and territories recorded declines.

Good time to buy a car?

July’s disappointing new car sales could encourage dealerships to launch competitive promos and tasty discounts. If you’re willing to negotiate, and in a position to purchase a car, you could get a new set of wheels with added-extras to sweeten the deal.

Make sure you compare car financing offers before you head to a dealership and don’t get caught out with sneaky car dealer tricks – read our guide on how to handle car salespersons.

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Picture: Ford Australia

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