04/03/2015 - 11:49

Petrol fall hasn’t fuelled vehicle sales

04/03/2015 - 11:49

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Lower petrol prices have not accelerated new vehicle purchases in Western Australia, with sales down 6.1 per cent in February on the same period in 2014.

Car sales were up 4.2 per cent for the month nationally.

Lower petrol prices have not accelerated new vehicle purchases in Western Australia, with sales down 6.1 per cent in February on the same period in 2014

Car sales, as a consumer discretionary item, are generally seen as a leading indicator of economic activity; with last month’s figures showing buyers in WA are still pessimistic about the economy.

WA was the only state to record a fall, with a national increase of 4.2 per cent led by Tasmania, up 11.6 per cent.

Sales were 8,551 for the month, bringing year to date sales to 16,952, down 6.5 per cent.

Only the ACT joined WA in negative territory for the year, down 2.3 per cent, with a national increase of 2 per cent.

Passenger vehicles led the dive, 17.2 per cent lower compared with this time last year, but SUVs, which are generally consume more fuel, were up 14.7 per cent.

Almost 3,300 SUVs were sold for the month, compared with 3,670 passenger vehicles, a substantially narrower gap than previously.

Most of the expansion in SUV demand was driven by private and business purchases, with government purchases, a much smaller section of the market, falling.

Toyota remains the state’s most popular brand, with 1,714 sold, down 14.6 per cent on February 2014, while Hyundai was 13.6 per cent lower on 1,006 sales.

Ford dropped substantially, 29 per cent down to 503, while Holden slid 13.6 per cent to 823.

Light and heavy commercial vehicles sales fell 10.3 and 16.7 per cent month-on-month, respectively.

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