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November 2021 New Car Sales Review - Part 1

It’s the issue that won’t go away at the moment, however, the global semiconductor shortage is having an ongoing impact on new car sales across Australia, with sales recording their worst result since the height of the Global Financial Crisis back in 2008.

Commenting on the matter, Tony Weber, Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, had this to say: “Demand across the sector remains strong with the drop in sales reflecting well-recognised international supply chain issues. This includes constraints around microprocessor supplies as well as the ongoing impact of the pandemic restricting factories”.

Mr. Weber also went on to outline the competition that the automotive industry is facing from other manufacturing sectors, with semiconductors an integral part in so many different goods.

Total new car sales

Last month saw a total of 80,639 cars registered as sold, which represented a significant drop versus the comparable month in 2020, when 95,205 units were sold shortly after Victoria emerged from a multi-month lockdown.

This time around, however, it was Victoria, alongside Queensland and Western Australia, where sales tumbled sharply compared with last year. In fact, each of the trio recorded a more than 20% drop in sales. New South Wales fared only marginally better, with sales down 9% year-on-year, and the ACT was the strongest-performing market, albeit sales still slipped 3%.

As at the end of November, year-to-date sales across the industry tallied 971,429, on track to pass one million despite the dramatic slowdown over recent month

Screenshot 2021-12-29 23.46.50

New car sales by segment

While SUVs still make up around half of all units registered as sold, sales of light commercial vehicles have remained incredibly buoyant. They retain a market share of slightly more than one-quarter, however, the flip side to that is the fact that passenger vehicle sales are now truly on the outer. Last month they accounted for just 20.9% of all new cars sold.

Meanwhile, the five most-popular categories of car all recorded a decrease in sales in November. Breaking down the results, 4x4 utes remain in first place, with 14,273 sales. That category is followed by medium SUVs (13,967 units), small SUVs (11,064), large SUVs (10,191) and small cars (7617). Among the areas where there was growth, it was mostly off a low base, with sales of micro cars up 137%.


Stay tuned for Part 2 of our review into new car sales for November 2021, covering vehicle makes and models.

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