While June is one of, if not the biggest month for new car sales every year, the industry remains hamstrung by stock shortages and lengthy delivery delays that all but put a line through most EOFY discounts last month. At the same time, rising interest rates are also starting to have an effect on new car buyers, with sentiment shaken by the RBA’s aggressive rate hike cycle.
Speaking about last month’s results, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Tony Weber said: "Globally, car makers are continuing to suffer from plant shutdowns. In Europe we have component supply heavily impacted by the conflict in Ukraine. Microprocessors continue to be in short supply and global shipping remains unpredictable.”
Although new car demand is still looking somewhat robust, Mr Weber also went on to predict that ”it is unlikely we will see supply chain issues resolve in the near future".
Total new car sales
Last month’s sales figures point to yet another slump in new car registrations, with Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) data indicating 99,974 vehicles were sold in June, 2022.
Compared with the same month last year, this result was 9.7% weaker. On a longer-term horizon, the result is 21.5% off the five-year average preceding the pandemic, which stands at 127,300 units.
By way of comparison, the all-time sales record for June took place in 2017, and 134,171 vehicles were reported as sold.
Year-to-date, the new car market is lagging pre-pandemic results, with sales thus far clocking in at 537,858 units, down 3% on the same period in 2019. Nonetheless, the current pace of sales suggests we may still see over one million car sales in 2021, which is a feat that has occurred across 11 of the last 12 years.
New car sales by segment
Light commercial vehicles gained ground in the sales stakes last month, growing their market share to 24.1% of the Australian new car market. On the other hand, SUVs as a proportion of all sales eased slightly to 52.9%, and passenger vehicle sales stood at 18.6%.
Up until the mid-point of the year, there has been weakness across each of the major buying groups. This can be summarised as follows:
- Private buyers: -1.0% YTD (down 6.8% in June; 50,914 sales)
- Business fleets: -12.8% YTD (down 18.7% in June; 34,672 sales)
- Rental fleets: -4.6% YTD (down 18.3%; 6,628 sales)
- Government fleets: -1.5% YTD (down 7.3%; 2,595 sales)
Across the different car formats, hybrid and electric vehicle sales continue to ramp up, increasing 9.7% and 116.2% respectively, while petrol and diesel are recording negative growth - in this case, down 15.3% and 7.8% respectively. Across the half, electric vehicle sales are 337% higher than a year ago, and now command a market share of 1.8%.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our review into new car sales for June 2022, covering vehicle makes and models.