The Stage 4 restrictions imposed again on the state of Victoria left Australia’s new car sales a slim chance of recovering. Historically, Victoria has been a significant contributor to the country’s new car sales figures, and its 6-week lockdown has severely impacted sales.
This month, Victoria sold only 8,347 new vehicles in comparison to 24,476 units sold the same month last year, which adds up to a devastating 65.9% decline.
Nationwide, new car sales in August 2020 reflects a decline of 28.8% with 60,986 units sold in comparison to 85,633 units sold in the same month last year.
As mentioned by FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber, the auto industry has swiftly implemented safety and health protocols for employees and customers in response to the pandemic. However, the Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria significantly reduced the sales figures in August.
According to James Voortman, the CEO of Australian Automotive Dealers Association, the combined effects of reduced showroom foot traffic and severe stock shortages make it difficult to assess how long it will take for the industry to recover.
Is there hope for this downward trend?
Amidst this disappointing trend, Toyota RAV4 continues to celebrate its victory as it tops the new car sales for August 2020 with its hybrid version accounting for the majority of the sales. RAV4 sold a total of 4,825 vehicles out of which 4,405 were hybrid vehicles!
RAV4 did not only top the sales chart; its hybrid version also outdid any other vehicle sold this month. This petrol hybrid vehicle has moved forward and bagged the first place for the first time in the history of Australia's automotive industry!
In the first 8 months of 2020, Toyota has already sold more hybrid vehicles than it did in the whole of 2019. With a figure of 33,400 hybrid vehicles sold in these 8 months, we have seen a significant increase from last year, where a total of 27,000 were sold throughout the year.
While this reflects a change in the consumer pattern, we need to observe further before we can conclude that there’s a new trend.
Toyota tops the chart in the August 2020 new car sales
It seemed like Toyota Hilux was poised to maintain its position as the most popular vehicle for the 5th consecutive year. Instead, it took an enormous step back. Its sales came down by 66.9% with 1,217 new car sales in August 2020. Perhaps, the runout of the old Hilux to bring in the latest updated version was not as smooth as promised by Toyota.
Even after this unfortunate turn of events and with a 25.5% decline versus the same month last year, Toyota manages to bag the top position with a clear margin by selling 12,449 vehicles. It's amazing how this brand is still going to be on the top of the charts as Australia's most favourite brand for the 18th consecutive year!
It is followed by Mazda with 6,921 vehicles, showing a 5.1% decline from the same time, last year. Hyundai and Kia continue with their cut-throat competition. Hyundai takes the third place selling 4,525 vehicles, and Kia competes fiercely, landing only four spots behind with 4,521 units sold.
Also seen in the market as a strong contender is Mitsubishi taking fifth place with a total of 4,308 vehicles sold.
Toyota RAV4 takes the first place for the second consecutive month and brings around a new shift in trend to consider. While selling a total of 4,825 vehicles, the hybrid version accounted for 4,405 sales. This number is decidedly a show of hands that Aussies are moving towards hybrid cars.
On the heels of Toyota are Ford Ranger (2,935 units) and Mazda CX-5 (1,884 units).
Following the top 3 are Toyota Corolla (1,464), Hyundai i30 (1,429), Mitsubishi Triton (1,406), and Mazda CX-3 (1,355).
Coming in 8th, 9th and 10th places are: Kia Cerato (1,264), Toyota Hilux (1,217), and Kia Seltos (1,046). Toyota Hilux came down from the third position to ninth in just a month! It’s difficult to predict anything just yet, but we need to see if the tenure of Toyota Hilux has finally ended.
What does the future hold for the industry?
As predicted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), 58% of global passenger vehicle sales in 2040 will come from electric vehicles. Currently, according to BNEF, EVs make up 3% of global car sales. Do you think that the August 2020 new car sales in Australia reflect this change in consumer patterns? Is Toyota RAV4 going to stay at the top?
Stay tuned to find out! You may also want to visit our website, Carpart.com.au for more exciting updates.
By Wajeeha S.