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The Australian automotive industry has kicked off 2024 with a bang, recording a historic high in new vehicle sales for January.

According to the latest figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), a total of 89,782 new vehicles were sold. This marks a 5.8 percent increase compared to January 2023 and surpasses the previous January record set in 2018.

“2023’s demand for new vehicles has continued into 2024, with many businesses and families acquiring new vehicles in January. However, the outlook for 2024 is uncertain, considering the current economic climate,” said FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber.

Market Insights

Toyota secured its position as the market leader in January, with sales totaling 17,903, followed by Mazda (8,165), Ford (6,624), Hyundai (6,162), and Mitsubishi (5,911).

The Ford Ranger claimed the top spot as Australia’s best-selling vehicle, with 4,747 units sold, followed by the Toyota HiLux, Toyota Landcruiser, Isuzu Ute D-Max, and Toyota RAV4.

SUVs and Light Commercial vehicles, accounting for 55.5 percent and 22.9 percent of sales, respectively. Passenger vehicles made up 18.3 percent of the market.

Notably, low-emission vehicles maintained their popularity, with hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery-electric vehicles constituting 17.4 percent of total sales.

Weber emphasised the industry’s ongoing challenges in aligning with potential New Vehicle Emissions Standards (NVES).

“The continuing preference for SUVs and Utes demonstrates the challenges the Commonwealth Government is facing as it works to introduce an NVES,” he said.

“Industry wants an ambitious emissions standard without limiting the choice and increasing the cost of vehicles Australians need and want,” Mr. Weber added

Sales performance varied across states, with Western Australia leading the pack with a substantial 25.4 percent increase compared to January 2023. Queensland and South Australia followed with increases of 5.4 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the Australian Capital Territory experienced a 7.5 percent decrease in sales compared to January 2023.

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