Australia new vehicle sales up in July, but impact of FBT announcement is slowly being felt

Sales of new vehicles in Australia were strong in July 2013, totaling 90,235 units but still lower than expected according to a report from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

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The latest VFACTS data shows that July sales are 4.6 higher than in the previous period with Toyota Corolla taking the spot as the top selling vehicle last month with 3,945 units sold. The Mazda 3 came in second at 3,464 units sold followed by June bestseller Toyota Hilux at 2,971 units sold. The Holden Commodore and the Holden Cruze took fourth and fifth place respectively.

Despite the increase in sales FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber says it is disappointing that sales are already being impacted by the announcement of changes to the Fringe Benefits Tax. According to Weber it will take some time before the full impact of the policy change completely makes its way through the sales figures.

“Anyone looking at the July figures needs to put them in context and look at what the new-car market was doing before the FBT announcement. Even though sales were at an all-time high for a July, we had good reason to expect them to be even higher given our members’ tracking of the market in the first half of the month,” says Weber.


The report also shows Government purchases of SUV’s and passenger vehicles dropped around 24 percent compared to the same period last year. While purchases of light commercial vehicles rose 3.2 percent, total Government purchases show a decline of 26.1 per cent (or 8,093 vehicles) compared to the same period in 2012.

The latest VFACTS data comes in the same time as the Labor Government announced its $200 million industry assistance for the Australian automotive industry.

On Monday the Government announced that it will include more Australian-made cars in the Commonwealth fleet.

Innovation Minister Kim Carr says the sales of Australian-made vehicles could grow by over 18,000 units a year if the policy is implemented at all levels of the government. This would represent an 8 percent increase on 2012 production volumes.

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