New vehicle sales figures for February 2020 have been released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

According to the FCAI, a total of 79,940 new vehicles were sold during February. Of the recorded sales, 39,304 were Sports Utility Vehicles which accounted for 49.2 per cent of the market, 15,523 were Light Commercial Vehicles (19.4 per cent of the market) and 22,648 were Passenger Vehicles (28.3 per cent of the market).

Chief executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, said the sales results continued a trend of negative growth in the local market.

“The Australian new vehicle market has now seen a downturn each month for the past 23 months.In economic terms, a recession is declared after two quarters of negative growth – and this industry has now seen seven consecutive quarters of negative growth.

“There is no doubt that this is an extraordinarily difficult time for the automotive industry – a situation sadly underlined by the recent announcement of Holden’s withdrawal from the Australian market,” Mr Weber said.

The FCAI attributes the difficult market conditions to a number of adverse factors directly affecting consumer confidence over 2018, 2019 and the beginning of 2020.These include political and financial uncertainty; environmental factors such as floods, drought and bushfires; and more recently, the growing concerns regarding a global pandemic from the coronavirus.

The Toyota Hilux, with 3,421 sales, again claimed the title of Australia’s best-selling vehicle, closely followed by its stablemate, the Toyota RAV4 with 3,375 sales. Australia’s third favourite vehicle during February was the Ford Ranger, with 3,202 sales, followed by the Toyota Corolla (fourth) with 2,520 sales. In fifth place was the Hyundai i30 with 2,152 sales.

Toyota claimed the status of market leader, with 17,679 vehicles sales for the month and 22.1 per cent market share.

Mazda, with 7,230 sales was the second highest brand for the month, claiming 9.0 per cent market share.Third was Hyundai, with monthly sales of 5,945 and market share of 7.4 per cent; closely followed by Mitsubishi with 5,513 monthly sales and 6.9 per cent market share; and Kia, with 5,120 monthly sales and 6.4 per cent market share.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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