Strong new car sales continued over the summer but cost of living pressures may put a dent in the sales, particularly the uptake of EVs.
The new car market had record January sales in 2024 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.
But EV sales declined slightly to 5.4 per cent, even though low emission vehicles which includes hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles now make up 17.4 per cent of sales
Utes and SUVs continued to dominate the market, making up almost four out five new vehicles with 22.9 percent and 55.5 per cent of sales respectively.
Four out of the five top sellers were large utes with the Ford Ranger again leading the pack
Toyota was unassailable as market leader ahead of Mazda, Ford and Hyundai.
FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber says there were concerns for the outlook of 2024 given current economic conditions and the impact of the fuel efficiency standard launched in February.
“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,” Weber says.
“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.”