VFACTS: Slow start to 2019 continues

Thomas Stelzer 5 March 2019 NEWS

February sales are down 9.3% on 2018 levels.

Australian car sales remain significantly down in 2019, according to the latest VFACTS report released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries released today.

Total car sales for the month of February reached 87,102, which is a 9.3% decrease on sales from the same month last year. With January sales also down 7.4% compared to the same period in 2018, it marks a worrying trend for the local car market, following years of record growth.

Tony Weber, CEO of the FCAI, believes the slowing sales are to be expected in this financial climate.

"Given the current challenging economic conditions, including a downturn in the housing market, the automotive industry is not surprised by the slower start to the year," Weber said.

Car sales by year
SUV sales are slumping

The light commercial vehicle class was the only one to record positive sales growth, up 6% on 2018 levels, but the passenger vehicle market dropped a considerable 21.3%. Even SUVs, which dominated last year's sales market, fell 6.3% compared to February 2018.

Despite the negative growth, SUVs still outsold their class rivals, accounting for 37,292, or 42.8%, of total February sales.

Toyota still on top

Some things haven't changed in the new year, with Toyota again dominating the car sales charts. The Japanese automaker accounted for 18.8% of total February sales, followed by Mazda on 10.6% and Mitsubishi on 9.8%.

Toyota also had 4 models make the top 10 by sales volume, with the HiLux cementing its status as Australia's bestselling car, with 4,431 sales in February. The Toyota Corolla came in 7th with 2,070 total sales, while the Toyota LandCruiser and Toyota Rav4 rounded out the top 10.

The state of the market

Tasmania and the Northern Territory were the only states or territories to record positive February sales growth, with New South Wales and Victoria both seeing double-digit drops compared to this time last year, down 11% and 11.7% respectively.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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