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Monday, 18 May 2015

Highest ever April for new motor vehicle sales

Record April for motor sales

The ABS released its Sales of New Motor Vehicles data for April today.

The April 2015 trend estimate of 95,288 units sold increased by 0.5 per cent when compared with the prior month of March 2015. 

Low interest rates are slowly but surely encouraging households to get out and spend.

This was the highest ever trend April result on record, a statistic which doesn't sit comfortably with the widely held notion of stretched household budgets.

Total sales trend higher

On a trend basis the series is not quite at its highest ever level, but the record high is in the post.

On a seasonally adjusted basis there were 94,888 sales in the month, comparing very favourably with the 92,288 units shifted in the prior comparative period of April 2014.

Smoothing the figures on a rolling 12 monthly and rolling 6 monthly basis shows that sales of new motor vehicles are now heading up again and will soon surpass the rolling annual record high of 1.15 million.

SUVs dominate product sales

Unsurprisingly the month of April saw another sizeable surge in Sports Utility sales to 34,225, well ahead of the 28,501 seen in April 2014 only one year ago.

Wealth effect

The wealth effect of appreciating dwelling prices in Sydney and Melbourne has seen new motor vehicles sweeping to their highest ever level in New South Wales (361,065) and Victoria (308,252) in rolling annual terms.

However, the end of the investment mining boom is certainly taking its toll on Western Australia and the Northern Territory where sales are declining sharply.

On a trend basis new motor vehicle sales are rising again in Queensland after a lull as mining contractors relocate back from whence they came.

Finally, a direct year-on-year comparison of sales by state shows just how dramatically Western Australia has tanked.

Tasmania, on the other hand, is enjoying a very healthy upturn in demand.

Recently announced budget measures allowing instant tax deductions for business assets priced under $20,000 could see the series romping to new record highs in the months ahead.