The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has blamed the Federal Government’s proposed changes to the fringe benefits tax (FBT) for August’s poorer than expected new vehicle sales figures.
Sales slipped to 93,336 across the country last month, down 0.2 per cent compared with August 2012, and almost 5000 off the FCAI’s 98,000-unit prediction based on year-to-date trends.
Prior to the government’s FBT changes on July 16, vehicle sales increased by an average of 4.8 per cent per month compared with the same period in 2012.
FCAI CEO Tony Weber says the “disappointing” sales figures shows the impact the FBT change is having on the industry.
“Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, the FBT change is impacting on sales data, Weber said.
“This indicates consumers are having to stall or forgo their purchases of new vehicles.
“Without the return of the statutory formula method for salary-sacrificed and employer-provided cars, the FCAI and its members expect sales will continue to decrease through the rest of the year and into 2014, as the full impact on fleet sales works its way through the system.”
Official VFACTS data released today by the FCAI shows business purchases were down 10 per cent compared with August 2012, with light commercials in particular down 23.4 per cent.
The convincing result pushed the 3 back into second position on the annual sales leaderboard ahead of the Toyota HiLux, leaving it trailing its ever-popular Japanese small-car rival by fewer than 900 units heading into the final four months of the year.
Mazda’s annual M-Day sale played a role in the brand’s strong August figures. The brand sold 9825 cars for the month, up 27.8 per cent over the same month in 2012, with the Mazda 2 (1380) and CX-5 (1914) joining the 3 in leading their segments.
Another solid month from the new Holden Commodore (2809) saw it fall just short of the podium, while the Cruze (2369) and Toyota Camry (2281) ensured three locally made cars featured inside the top seven.
The news was less positive from Ford. The Falcon plummeted to another record low, recording just 573 sales across the country – again outsold by the Toyota Aurion (655) – while the Territory limped to 834 sales, more than 500 fewer than in the corresponding month last year.
Top 10 Best-selling Vehicles – August 2013
Top 10 Best-selling Vehicles – 2013 to date
Top 10 Best-selling Brands – August 2013 (growth over August 2012)
Top 10 Best-selling Brands – 2013 to date (growth over 2012 to date)