May 2022 New Car Sales Review - Part 1

While the level of interest in new cars remains robust across the nation, dealers continue to face an uphill battle in terms of securing stock to keep up with queries. As has been the case for some time now, shortages of semiconductors and other critical components, as well as global shipping delays have weighed on the market. 

This global problem is something that Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Tony Weber has touched on in recent comments: “Car makers continue to report high demand across dealer showrooms and online marketplaces. Pandemic interruptions continue to impact manufacturing and conflict in Ukraine has disrupted vehicle component supply.” 

Mr Weber went on to say: “Monthly sales figures are also dependent on shipping arrivals which continue to be uncertain. We do not expect supply chains to stabilise until these issues are resolved.”

Total new car sales

New car sales fell 6.4% in May, coming in at a total of 94,383 units. A year earlier, there were 100,809 vehicles registered as sold. However, there is a slightly positive note to the official data. Last month was an election month, and if we look back at the last May result involving a federal election, back in 2019, there were more than 10,000 vehicles sold last month.

Regardless, it is safe to say that the new car industry is currently hamstrung by supply constraints. And those constraints are being felt right around the country. Sales in Queensland were down 11.3% last month, while New South Wales recorded a 6.3% decrease. Things were slightly better in Victoria, where sales dropped 0.8% but still, all regions bar the Northern Territory saw sales shrink last month.

On a year-to-date basis, new car sales are 437,884, which is 4% lower than the same period in 2021. That result is not too bad an outcome given the deterioration in global supply chains since that time.

may categories

New car sales by segment

SUVs increased their market share last month, hitting a high of 54.5% thanks to 51,459 units registered as sold. Passenger vehicles are sitting at a low 18.3% market share, with light commercial vehicles at 22.8%, and heavy commercial vehicles rounding out the rest.

In terms of the most-popular subcategories, the results were as follows: Medium SUVs (19.4%); 4×4 Utes (17.3%); Large SUVs: (15.2%); Small SUVs: (12.8%); and Small Cars: (8.9%).

Buyer activity last month was as follows:

  • Private buyers: 50,910 (-2.9%)
  • Business fleets: 31,353 (-14.2%)
  • Rental fleets: 5,458 (-0.8%)
  • Government fleets: 2,518 (-0.4%)

Lastly, hybrids and electric vehicles bucked the trend last month, up 11% and 112.2% respectively, while Japanese-sourced cars remain the most popular in the country, ahead of those produced in Thailand, Korea, China, and the US.

 

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

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