Australia’s new car sales decline by half in April

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New car sales across Australia slumped almost 50% in April in the wake of COVID-19, according to the latest figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

The drop has been the sharpest decline in sales figures since they were recorded, and are at their lowest level in more than 30 years.

The decline is thought to be due to the COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty around job security and market trends.

“I think we have performed relatively well versus most other countries and this gives us some optimism that we can drive out of this,” Chief Executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, said.

“Anecdotally, we’ve seen an increase in sales enquiries in the second half of April versus the first half of April, and we’re hoping that trend continues. I’m hoping the worst is behind us.”

April saw a decline in sales of 48.5% compared to March, with even top selling models such as the Toyota Hilux and Ford Rangers seeing a decrease in sales.

The sales figures for April 2020 are also the lowest April figures since 1991, as well as the fifth-worst performing month over the same time period.

Interestingly, the ACT was the only state in Australia to show sales growth in April, increasing by almost 25% in comparison to March, following on an increased sales trend since the start of the year due to increased hail storm insurance claims.

Top selling car brands April 2020

The majority of brands reported a decline in car sales across all models in comparison to April 2019, with the top 10 car brands by sales recorded below.

  • Toyota – 10,325 sales in April 2020, down 31.8% compared to April 2019 figures
  • Mazda – 3,022 sales in April 2020, down 60.5% compared to April 2019 figures
  • Kia – 2,492 sales in April 2020, down 44.9% compared to April 2019 figures
  • Ford – 2,251 sales in April 2020, down 53.1% compared to April 2019 figures
  • Hyundai – 2,247 sales in April 2020, down 65.3% compared to April 2019 figures
  • Mitsubishi – 1,734 sales in April 2020, down 63.2% compared to April 2019 figures
  • BMW – 1,703 sales in April 2020, down 5.7% compared to April 2019 figures
  • Holden – 1,501 sales in April 2020, down 56.9% compared to April 2019 figures
  • Nissan – 1,468 sales in April 2020, down 51.5% compared to April 2019 figures
  • Volkswagen – 1,328 sales in April 2020, down 62.1% compared to April 2019 figures

With the news earlier in the year of General Motors’ plans to axe the Holden brand, it has been a tough few months for the Australian car industry.

Mr Weber said that the car industry will begin to bounce back once the health crisis subsides.

“The quicker we can address the public health issues, the quicker the economy is allowed to respond,” he said.

If you’re interested in buying a new car, check out our guides to the top selling cars, SUVs and utes of the previous months.

Photo credit: KELENY/shutterstock.com

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