Australian new car sales dived 18.0% year-on-year in December on the back of the supply disruptions, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).
Only 78,402 new cars were sold in December compared with 95,652 in December 2020 and 84,239 in December 2019.
The next chart plots new car sales in rolling annual terms and shows the COVID rebound has well and truly ended:
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It’s not all bad news, however. Since bottoming in October 2020, annual new car sales have still rebounded by 17.3%, driven by a 22.7% increase in SUV sales.
New car sales are also up 17% in calendar year 2021 compared to 2020, with 1,049,831 sales this year compared with 916,998 sales over 2020.
According to Tony Weber, CEO of FCAI:
In the context of pandemic restrictions limiting access to dealerships and international supply issues, the new vehicle market in Australia remains positive.
“Despite the pandemic restricting access to showrooms in 2021, Australian consumers found ways to purchase new vehicles and did so in solid numbers,” Mr Weber said.
“The global shortage of microprocessors, compounded by the pandemic, had an impact on the number of cars sold throughout Australia. Automotive manufacturers are continuing to work to strengthen supply chains in 2022.”
New car sales should be booming now that lockdowns have ended. However, the global shortage has thrown a spanner into the works.