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New light passenger sales continue steep yearly decline

There are fears of more dealership closures looming due to the sales of new light passenger vehicles continuing their downwards spiral in 2024.  May registrations marked the fifth straight month of steep decline.   At 10,186 registrations, the May 2024 figures are 23.7% lower than May 2023 (3,168 units) and 23.6% lower than May 2022 (3,151 units).
 |  Jack Biddle  | 

Year-to-date, 2024 is 13.3% lower than 2023 (8,198 units) and 23.8% lower than 2022 (16,703 units).

Toyota continue to be the leader overall year-to-date with 23.3% market share followed by Ford (14.4%) and Mitsubishi (10.8%).

If the current sales slump continues, there are fears within the industry that some dealers around the country will simply not survive. There have already been reported closures and restructuring across the country and with little to no reprieve in sight, it appears there is every chance more drastic change will follow according to reports and rumours within the industry. For many of those who have been in the motoring game for a while, the current new vehicle sales decline is as bad as it gets.    

While the overall slowing of the economy combined with the hardship many consumers are currently facing has had a significant negative impact on the industry, so too has the recent Governments policy changes such as the removal of the Clean Car Discount incentive scheme followed by the introduction of road user charges for EV’s and Plug-in hybrids.

Sales of these vehicles have dropped to a point where some distributors must be looking closely at their short- and long-term options as the predictions for the remainder of year do not look overly promising.

There is now a major swing in direction with consumer focus turning back toward the non-plug-in hybrid and the more conventional internal combustion engine powered vehicles (21.1% and 72.8% of sales respectively). Even then they continue to take a back seat in comparison to the commercial sector where the top selling diesel ute numbers remain relatively strong and healthy.     

The industry as a whole is definitely on its knees currently and must be looking at every opportunity to make a sale including offering large discounts. Those consumers still in the market would be wise to look beyond s prices however, with extended warranties, service plans and roadside service just some of the other benefits to be considered long term along with purchasing a vehicle fit for purpose.   

The bottom line is to still look at the big picture and seek sound independent advice as required.

Top 10 new car/SUV models for May:

Toyota RAV4 766

Mitsubishi ASX 328

Suzuki Swift 246

Mitsubishi Outlander 224

Kia Seltos 201

MG ZS 185

Ford Everest 154

Mazda CX-5 151

Kia  Stonic 143

Hyundai Kona 136

Top 10 new commercial vehicles for May

Ford Ranger 1067

Toyota Hilux 709

Mitsubishi Triton 444

Toyota Hiace 234

Ford Transit 179

Nissan Navara 114

Isuzu D-Max 104

VW Amarok 51

Toyota Landcruiser 47

Fiat Ducato 44