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SUV, Utes Deliver Record January Sales - and Challenges for Proposed NVES

The strong performance of the new car market has continued into 2024 with record January sales of 89,782 new vehicles, 5.8 per cent more than January 2023 and breaking the previous January record of 88,551 set in 2018.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber, said 2023’s demand for new vehicles has continued into 2024 with many businesses and families taking ownership of a new vehicle in January, but there were concerns for the outlook of 2024 given current economic conditions.

The record January result was underpinned by continued customer preference for SUV and Light Commercial vehicles. SUVs accounted for 55.5 per cent of sales while Light Commercials were 22.9 per cent. Passenger vehicles made up 18.3 per cent of sales.

Low emission vehicles remained popular, with hybrids, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles making up 17.4 per cent of sales, while battery electric vehicles represented 5.4 per cent.

“The continuing preference for SUVs and utes demonstrates the challenges the Commonwealth Government is facing as it works to introduce a New Vehicle Emissions Standard (NVES),” Mr Weber said.

“Industry wants an emissions standard that is ambitious without limiting the choice and increasing the cost of the vehicles Australians need and want.

“Even with the current incentives offered by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments, sales of battery electric vehicles appear to have plateaued during recent months.

“For more than a year the industry has been sharing information with the Government about what is happening in the suburbs and regions around the country and the preferences and challenges facing families and businesses,” Mr Weber said. “Good policy must reflect reality rather than a desktop exercise that makes assumptions about what the world can look like, and we strongly urge the Government to share its modelling with us.”

Toyota was the market leader with recorded sales of 17,903, followed by Mazda (8,165), Ford (6,624), Hyundai (6,162) and Mitsubishi (5,911).

The Ford Ranger was Australia’s top selling vehicle with sales of 4,747, followed by the Toyota HiLux (4,092), Toyota Landcruiser (2,541), Isuzu Ute D-Max (2,541) and Toyota RAV4 (2,211).

Sales in Western Australia increased by 25.4 per cent compared with January 2023. Queensland was up 5.4 per cent; South Australia by 3.7 per cent; Victoria by 6.3 per cent and NSW by 1.2 per cent. Northern Territory recorded an increase of 11.6 per cent while sales in the ACT decreased by 7.5 per cent compared with January 2023. Tasmania also recorded a decrease of 1.1 per cent.

VFACTS JANUARY 2024

Summary by Class:

Key Points:

  • The January 2024 market of 89,782 new vehicle sales is an increase of 4,909 vehicle sales or 5.8% against January 2023 (84,873). There were 25 selling days in January 2024 compared to 24 in January 2023 and this resulted in an increase of 54.9 vehicle sales per day.
  • The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 168 vehicle sales (-1.0%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is up by 3,132 vehicle sales (6.7%); the Light Commercial Market is up by 2,055 vehicle sales (11.1%) and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is down by 110 vehicle sales (-3.6%) versus January 2023.
  • Toyota was market leader in January, followed by Mazda and Ford. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 9,738 vehicle sales and 10.8 market share points.