New car sales figures continue to plunge to record lows as the month of May represents the 26th month of falling sales amid a significant credit crunch.
Less than 60,000 cars were sold in the month representing a fall of more than 35 per cent over the same period last year, the biggest decline in May on record.
“The effects of the pandemic has taken its toll on Australia’s Dealers, and these businesses in cities and regional towns across the country are doing it tough,” AADA CEO James Voortman said.
“Usually May and June are our best months as we head into the end of the financial year. All I can say is thank goodness for the JobKeeper program which has saved so many jobs during these tough times,” he said.
“The biggest issue constraining the recovery in our industry is access to credit for consumers. So many people who would usually present no concerns to finance companies are getting denied credit to buy new cars. We need to get credit flowing in this economy and review our responsible lending laws which have simply gone too far,” he said.
“It is now clear that the Government should consider a stimulus for the sale of new cars. So many other countries are currently providing consumers with incentives to buy new cars which are safer, cleaner and more efficient than the cars they replace on our roads,” he said.
“The effect of today’s figures and the broader 26-month downturn should not be underestimated. Passenger cars are Australia’s third biggest import; dealerships employ nearly 60,000 people and the wider automotive industry employs more than 300,000 people,” Mr Voortman said.
“New car Dealers are so important to local economies, through the employment they provide, the many local businesses they use as suppliers, the advertising they undertake in local news, the sporting teams they sponsor and the billions they contribute to tax for Federal and State Governments,” he said.
The AADA has developed a number of measures for the Government to consider to assist the automotive industry in its recovery.