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New vehicle sales in Australia decline 7.8% y/y in July

13 August 2018 Jamal Amir

IHS Markit perspective

  • Implications: The decline in the Australian new vehicle market during July was mainly due to a high base of comparison and end-of-financial-year promotional campaigns.
  • Outlook: IHS Markit forecasts that light-vehicle sales in Australia will slip by 0.3% year on year (y/y) to 1.17 million units in 2018.

Vehicle sales in Australia stood at 85,551 units during July, down 7.8% y/y, according to data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI). The leading segment during the month was sport utility vehicles (SUVs), which accounted for a 42.8% share of the total market, followed by passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with 33.4% and 19.9%, respectively, reports Caradvice. During the month, Toyota was the leading automaker with a market share of 19.8% and sales of 16,195 units (down 5.7% y/y), followed by Mazda with a 10.4% share and sales of 8,920 units (down 6.4% y/y), Hyundai with a share of 8.3% and sales of 7,061 units (down 5.9% y/y), Mitsubishi with a 6.9% market share and sales of 5,908 units (down 1.9% y/y), and Ford with a 6.4% share and sales of 5,481 units (down 12.6% y/y). The Toyota Hilux was the top-selling model during the month with 3,747 units, followed by the Ford Ranger (2,950 units), Toyota Corolla (2,594 units), Mazda3 (2,443 units), and Mazda CX-5 (2,233 units). For the year to date (YTD), vehicle sales in the country now total 691,073 units, down marginally by 0.2% y/y. SUVs account for 42.7% of the YTD market, while passenger vehicles and LCVs account for 33.7% and 20.2%, respectively.

Outlook and implications

New vehicle sales in Australia remained in negative territory for the fourth consecutive month during July, mainly due to a high base of comparison and end-of-financial-year promotional campaigns. This has resulted in a decline in the YTD. IHS Markit currently forecasts that sales in the Australian light-vehicle market, including passenger vehicles and LCVs, will slip by 0.3% y/y to 1.17 million units in 2018. Despite falling iron ore prices, the Australian dollar continues to be supported by the rollback of expectations for US fiscal and monetary policy, but this support will wane as 2018 progresses. The Australian market is being driven by low oil prices and interest rates, combined with favourable business conditions arising from lower car prices as a result of a trade pact between Australia and Japan. Vehicle sales in Australia will be led in 2018 by the SUV body type with 489,656 units, up 8.1% y/y, giving this segment a market share of 42.0%. Sales in this category will be led by the Mazda CX-5 with 27,058 units, up 4.8% y/y. Hatchbacks will follow as the second most popular body type in the country this year, with sales in this segment expected to rise by just 0.5% y/y to 249,234 units, giving them a market share of 21.4%. The Toyota Auris will be the segment leader with sales of 31,418 units (down 0.4% y/y). During the year, pick-ups will be the third most popular body type in the country with a market share of 19.0% and sales of 221,277 units (up 6.4% y/y). The Toyota Hilux will lead the pick-up segment with sales of 50,252 units, up 6.7% y/y.

Posted 13 August 2018 by Jamal Amir, Research Analyst

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