Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries CEO Tony Weber says the February result was weighed down by light-commercial-vehicle sales, which fell 14.5% to 15,090 units.
Mazda3 top seller in February, but brand distant second to Toyota.
Australia’s slow start to the year’s new-vehicle sales continued in February, with deliveries down 3.8% year-on-year to 86,818 units as buyers reacted to a slackening economy.
Australia’s mining and manufacturing states saw large declines, with Western Australia down 12.0%, Queensland off 5.7% and Victoria down 4.1%.
After two months, deliveries were down 3.7% to 169,103.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries CEO Tony Weber says the February result was weighed down by the light-commercial-vehicle market, which fell 14.5% to 15,090 units.
“We believe the significant decrease in Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, and the sharp decline in light-commercial sales are indicative of the slowdown in mining and uncertainty around manufacturing,” Weber says in a statement.
Australians purchased 17.4% more large cars (4,105 units) than a year ago. They also bought 5.2% more small cars (20,577) and 3.1% more midsize cars (5,749).
This raised February deliveries in all car segments 0.7% to 43,651 units for a 2-month total down just 18 to 85,277. The 2-month LCV total was down 13.8% to 15,090.
SUV sales fell 3.6% in February to 25,867 units for a 2-month total slipping 3.2% to 51,736.
Last month’s best-seller list comprised four cars and theHilux pickup. The Mazda3 led with 3,969 deliveries, followed by the Hilux (3,348), Toyota Corolla (3,332), GM Holden Commodore (2,777) and i30 (2,372).
continued as the No.1 brand with a 1.1% uptick to 16,200 sales in February, followed by Mazda (9,171), GM Holden (8,697), (7,802) and (6,287).
The result gave Toyota Australia its best new-vehicle performance for the first two months of the year since 2010, as sales rose 1.5% to 29,846 units.
Toyota’s 2014 tally already is more than 11,200 units ahead of its nearest rival, positioning it for a 12th consecutive year as Australia’s best-selling automotive brand.
Toyota Australia Sales and Marketing Executive Director Tony Cramb says the result is particularly pleasing in the face of an overall market that has softened.
“The Australian new-vehicle market remains strong, with seasonally adjusted figures pointing to another full-year result of 1.1 million sales,” Cramb says in a statement.
“Purchases by business are showing signs of improvement, which is a welcome sign as consumers continue to assess economic signals that suggest neither a surge in sales nor a downturn of any size.”
sidestepped the downturn to notch a February-record 9,171 deliveries as its models topped three key vehicle segments.
The Mazda3 topped the sales table for the month with its best-ever February result, giving it a year-to-date result up 26.9%. The CX-5 also set a February record with 1,752 deliveries and its 3,605 sales year-to-date made it the country’s most-popular SUV.
The Mazda2 stretched its lead in the light segment in February, finding 1,242 buyers, while the Mazda6 sold 616 units to remain the No.1 midsized import.
Australia Managing Director Martin Benders says the February result marked the first time the automaker sold more than 9,000 vehicles in successive months.
Theand Jeep brands recorded significant Australian automotive sales milestones.
Thecar division was the country’s fastest-growing brand in February with a 581% year-on-year jump to 538 units. This helped raise Fiat Automobiles sales 31% to 3,194 and outsell Subaru and for a second consecutive month.
FiatGroup President and CEO Veronica Johns says the market has seen 34 straight months of growth by the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands and 16 consecutive months of improvement by Fiat and Alfa Romeo.