04/02/2015 - 10:16

Vehicle sales continue to plummet

04/02/2015 - 10:16

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New car sales in Western Australia have had a poor start to the year, with the passenger and heavy commercial markets contracting sharply and indicating that consumers and local businesses alike are tightening their belts.

Vehicle sales continue to plummet
Ford sales were among those lower in January.

New car sales in Western Australia have had a poor start to the year, with the passenger and heavy commercial markets contracting sharply and indicating that consumers and local businesses alike are tightening their belts.

At 8,101 vehicles in January, sales were down 7 per cent compared with the same period in 2014, according to the latest data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

Nationally, sales fell just 0.2 per cent, with the Northern Territory the only market performing more poorly than WA, down 7.2 per cent.

It was heavy commercial vehicles, the smallest segment of the WA market, which contracted most substantially, falling 21.1 per cent to just 191, while passenger vehicles were down 11.8 per cent to 3,459.

WA’s most popular brand of passenger vehicle continued to be Toyota, with 1,556 sold in January, down 8.8 per cent on last year.

Holden was 5.7 per cent lower at 820, while Hyundai dropped 13.6 per cent to 878.

Ford was smashed, falling 23.5 per cent to 574.

Positive news was recorded by both Nissan and Mitsubishi, however, up 16.1 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively.

Suzuki also surged 49.7 per cent to 223 for the month.

Isuzu is the largest heavy commercial seller with 48 sales in the month, although it contracted by 40 per cent.

At this level, Isuzu represents just more than a quarter of the heavy commercial market.

The move towards rental cars was strong across the market, more than tripling its very small portion of the light commercial market and doubling in the passenger market.

Notably, only three electric passenger cars were sold in WA in January.

The falls follow a tough 2014 for the industry, which endured a collapse in sales of around 8.1 per cent.

Car sales, as a consumer discretionary item, are usually hit hard when consumer confidence is down.

The state government predicted state final demand, which measures domestic absorption, would fall by around 1 per cent in this financial year.

 

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