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New vehicle sales figures for the month of August 2019 have been released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the peak body for the automotive industry.

Total sales for the month were reported at 85,633 units, a 10.1 per cent drop over the same month in 2018.  Each segment of the market recorded a downturn, with passenger vehicles dropping 16.7 per cent with 25,783 sales, SUVs down 5.4 per cent with 39,040 sales and light commercial vehicles down 8.6 per cent with 17,513 sales.

Announcing the results in Melbourne today, Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, noted that the August results mark the seventeenth consecutive month of declining sales.

“There’s no doubt it is a very tough market at the moment,” Mr Weber said, “And despite the best efforts of the industry, the decrease in sales continues.”

“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.”

“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.

“The question needs to be asked about whether the current regulatory approach to financing is appropriate, and if not, what harm it is doing to both the sector and the economy more broadly,” Mr Weber said.

Toyota remained the top-selling marque for the month with 16,700 sales for 19.5 per cent market share, followed by Hyundai (7,320 sales for 8.5 per cent market share) and Mazda (7,291 sales for 8.5 per cent market share), Mitsubishi (6,242 sales for 7.3 per cent market share) and Ford (4,916 sales for 5.7 per cent market share).

The top-selling vehicle for the month was again the Toyota Hi-Lux (3,674), followed by the Ford Ranger (3,181), Toyota Corolla (2,863), Hyundai i30 (2,813) and the Toyota RAV4 (2,006).