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July 2022 New Car Sales Review - Part 1

Supply chain constraints continue to weigh on overall new car sales across the nation, with dealers writing more orders than they have stock for deliveries. With that said, sales increased, even as the impact of rising interest rates begins flowing through to consumer buying activity, with foot traffic lower among the buyers that normally depend on finance to purchase a new vehicle.

Commenting on the result, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries CEO Tony Weber said: “Vehicle and component manufacturing operations remain affected by plant shutdowns caused by COVID-19. Logistics, including shipping, remain unpredictable. While small growth on the same month in 2021 is encouraging, we do not expect the supply of vehicles to Australia to stabilise in the near future. Once again Australia is following the global trend of demand for new vehicles exceeding supply.

Total new car sales

After three months of declining sales, the new car market recorded its first increase last month, with sales up 0.4% versus the prior corresponding month in 2021. In total, there were 84,461 cars registered as sold last month.

By way of comparison, year-to-date there have been 622,319 vehicles reported as sold, which is down 4.5% versus the numbers from 2021.

If we look a little further back, the result is 8.9% off the all-time record for July, which was set in 2017 when 92,754 vehicles were reported as sold. The five-year average from before the pandemic was 89,026, so last month’s result also fell short of that figure as well.

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New car sales by segment

With all the momentum trending towards utes, light commercial vehicles hit a fresh high of 25.2% market share last month, even though it was a slow start for the new Ford Ranger when first deliveries began last month. Meanwhile, SUVs are also now well clear in majority territory, as passenger vehicle sales sit at a lowly 19.5% market share.

The top segments by market share were: medium SUVs (19.9%); 4x4 utes (18.0%); small SUVs (12.9%); large SUVs (12.8%); small cars (9.2%).

Sales to private buyers throughout July were up 1.8%, yet it was sales to business fleets and government agencies that felt the heat, down 5.6% and 8.9% respectively. Rental fleets also fared well, with sales up 28.5% year-to-date.

Hybrid sales totalled 6,779 last month, up nearly one-third, while electric and PHEV are also seeing growth continue, with sales surging 18.3% and 77.8% respectively. Petrol sales are starting to go backwards, down 4.2% last month, while diesel sales were broadly flat with a year ago.


Stay tuned for Part 2 of our review into new car sales for July 2022, covering vehicle makes and models.

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