A mere 13 units separated the Ranger (2884) and Hilux (2871) on the August 4x4 charts, and with four months left in the year just 88 units separate the Ranger (24,992) and Hilux (24,904) in year-to-date (YTD) terms, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) VFACTS figures.
However, a hesitation for Australians to spend big money on new metal is reflected in an increase in sales of the ‘budget’ utes. In August, the LDV T60 had a month-on-month increase of 6.9 per cent and a YTD hike of 20.9 per cent; the Great Wall Steed recorded a monthly increase of 13.6 per cent and a YTD bump of 25.4 per cent.
For comparison’s sake, the two best-sellers on the market recorded a drop (or a slight increase) in sales. The Ranger recorded -6.5 per cent (month-to-month) and +0.4 per cent (YTD); the Hilux recorded -10.5 per cent (month-to-month) and -0.8 per cent (YTD).
Fewer people are dropping their hard-earned on a new vehicle, with the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment in particular showing a downturn on 8.6 per cent compared to August 2018 – 19,165 last year versus 17,513 units this August.
Chief Executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, puts the sales decline – the 17th consecutive month of declining overall sales – down to a number of factors.
“It is well known that Australia is one of the most competitive markets in the world, and with the current economic environment it is also one of the most difficult markets in the world,” said Weber. “This environment stems from a slow start to the year, with tight financial lending, State and Federal elections and a general lack of consumer confidence, both here in Australia and on an international basis.”
Despite sluggish sales the Toyota Hilux was the best-selling overall vehicle (4x2 and 4x4 variants combined) in August, followed by the Ford Ranger, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30 and Toyota RAV4.