COVID-19 drastically slowed down the global economy, hitting the auto industry with another blow – probably the worst – in an already long-drawn-out financial crisis. As has been the trend since January, new car sales for September 2020 in Australia had again gone down by 21.8% selling a total of 68,985 vehicles. Last year, same time, a total of 88,181 new cars were sold.
A decline of 20.5% has been seen year-to-date compared to the first nine months of 2019 where only 644,891 vehicles have been sold so far this year.
Due to the strict lockdown, we have seen sales going down tremendously, with the state of Victoria, again, being the most significant contributor to the slowing down. It sold a total of only 10,447 new cars in comparison to 24,686 new vehicles, same time, last year, bringing it to a dangerous 57.7% decline.
The Bright Side on New Car Sales in Australia
The automotive industry is hopeful this time in terms of an increase in sales. FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber mentioned how COVID-19 restrictions were now starting to ease across Australia, especially in Melbourne.
Another glimmer of hope is the announcement from the Federal Government about the easing of lending conditions for private buyers and small businesses in Australia. According to Weber, freeing up restrictions on lending will act as a stimulus for the Australian industry.
In another surprising turn of events, Ford Ranger took the first place this month in Australia’s new car sales, bringing down Toyota RAV4 from its top spot to third. Ford Ranger also went past Toyota Hilux, Australia's all-time favourite vehicle, which bagged second place this month.
Fortunately, some states have even showed improvement in their sales compared to September 2019. This included a 10.6% increase in new car sales September in the Northern Territory and a 3.4% increase in the new car sales in the ACT.
Ford Ranger Outruns Toyota RAV4!
This is the first time in three years that Ford Ranger has taken the first place in new car sales. Of course, it’s not something that happened overnight but instead, something that had been picking up pace. Where on the one hand, Toyota ran short on stock while upgrading to a new model of Hilux, Ford aimed to increase stock in the showrooms. Ford made this possible by implementing overtime hours in their Thailand factory.
In comparison to these two models, Toyota RAV4, which had been in the lead for the past two months, took a step back to third place after its backorders were completed in July and August.
Leading Brands in the September 2020 New Car Sales Top Chart
Throughout the pandemic, Toyota has not once lost its charm. It remains at the top of the chart this month, though facing a decline of 14.7% compared to the same month, last year. With 12,936 new car sales this month, Toyota walked away again this month with an 18.8% share.
Mazda with 7,000 sales, followed Toyota, then Hyundai and Kia in a neck-to-neck competition. Hyundai sold 5,273 vehicles, just 181 more units than those sold by Kia, which posted 5,092 sales.
Ford took fifth spot with 4,816 sales.
Leading Models for September 2020
As mentioned numerous times in this article, Ford Ranger took the first place with 3,726 vehicles sold, an increase of 19.6% from September 2019. This change was also brought about by Ford’s introduction of some new variants in recent months, such as XLT Fully Loaded, FX 4 Max, and XL Special Edition.
Australia's most loved vehicle and Ford's toughest competitor, Toyota Hilux (read: Toyota Hilux vs Ford Ranger), took second place this month with 3,610 cars sold, a 7.3% increase from the same time, last year.
Even though Toyota RAV4 was beaten by Ford Ranger this month, it still managed to bag a respectful third place with 2,433 new cars sold.
The other top picks for the month were Hyundai i30 and Mazda CX-5 with 1,786 and 1,765 sales, respectively.
What’s Next for the New Car Sector?
While Toyota RAV4 is not at the top of the charts this month, the popularity of SUVs in general remains on the rise, claiming 47.3% of the market share and a total of 32,647 sales. It is still safe to say that crossover sales are at an all-time high and, looking at the trends, will keep positively increasing.
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By Wajeeha Sabih