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November 2020 New Car Sales Review - Part 1

Finally, the new car industry has seen a turn in fortunes, showing its first sign of recovery after what seems like an eternity. The 31 month losing streak is officially over, providing much-needed optimism to dealers, while also giving some reason for hope as far as the broader economic recovery across Australia goes.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber had this to say in the wake of the results – “With the Australian economy showing improvement, it’s good news to see new vehicle sales trending in a more positive direction…This increase in consumer confidence is backed by government support programs during the pandemic (such as the extension of the Instant Asset Write-off scheme), the easing of lending restrictions, and the current competitive automotive market.”

Total new car sales

Throughout November there were a total of 95,205 cars reported as sold, representing a 12.4% increase when measured year-on-year. After November’s results, that brings the total number of cars sold year-to-date to the end of November to 821,316, which unfortunately, is still down by a significant margin of 16.1%.

Nonetheless, there is good reason to be pleased with last month’s results, with a large portion of sales from last month actually representing pent-up demand amid orders beforehand. That indicates supply is starting to flow through again, and that demand has in fact been there, just with some limitations as far as being met.

In any case, the November result is the best in four years, with Toyota recording its fourth-best monthly result ever. More on that later. It’s also worth pointing out that sales growth came across the board, with all states and territories, bar Tasmania, joining in on the action.


New car sales by segment

SUV sales were up more than 25% on the corresponding month last year, leading the resurgence of new car buying activity. In contrast, passenger vehicle sales still seem to be lagging, down around 10% from November 2019. Finally, light commercial vehicles continue to be popular amid the tax breaks on offer, with sales rising by approximately 11.5% over the course of the last 12 months.

In the emerging segment categories, electrified vehicles saw 67.6% growth in sales to a total of 7,200 units reported as sold. As we’ve become accustomed to seeing, however, hybrid cars were responsible for this growth. In fact, sales for pure electric vehicles were lower by around 8.7%.


Stay tuned for Part 2 of our review into new car sales for November 2020, covering vehicle makes and models.

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