A drop in new vehicles sales during October reflects the broader slowdown in the Australian and world economies as well as reduced access to wholesale and consumer finance.
Official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that 79,105 cars, trucks and buses were sold in October - down 11.4 per cent (10,184 vehicles) compared to the same month last year.
Year-to-date, new vehicle sales are down 0.9 per cent compared to the same period last year with a total of 864,037 vehicles being sold.
"These figures confirm that the global financial crisis is having an impact on broader economic activity, including the new vehicle market," FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.
"While it is clear that current economic uncertainties have affected consumer demand, the industry is also monitoring the impact of liquidity constraints on the availability of wholesale finance to dealers," he said.
"The industry is working systematically to find alternative solutions to this issue in an effort to avoid the risk of further disruption to the market.
"The most recent interest rate cut was well justified and will hopefully go some way to rebuilding confidence in the marketplace," he said.
Light commercial vehicle sales were positive in October, with the segment recording a 7.9 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.
All other segments recorded decreases during October: passenger vehicles down 13.8 per cent, SUVs down 19.1 per cent and heavy commercial vehicles down 15.9 per cent.
Toyota retained the top sales position in October with a market share of 23.6 per cent, followed by Holden with 12.9 per cent and Ford with 10.8 per cent.
Year-to-date Toyota sold 202,511 vehicles, followed by Holden with 109,771 vehicles and Ford with 89,983 vehicles.
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