Motor (Australia)

REVERSE ENTRY

Sales slide as lockdowns bite

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SPORTS CAR SALES continue their sharp decline as much of Australia’s east coast has scrambled to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 525 new registrati­ons for the segment over the month of August, down from 649 in July and off the back of 1215 which saw out the fiscal year in June. There is always a natural lull immediatel­y following a new financial year, however August figures fail to match that of the 671 sports cars registered in August 2020.

Buyer confidence within the small-volume sports sector is always more volatile when it comes to external market factors, but this fails to reflect the recovery shown amongst the wider new-car market.

Despite displaying the softest figures for a month of August since the GFC in 2009, the overall market actually exceeded its August 2020 figures by 33%.

The traditiona­l volume sub<$80k segment shrank by 58% (664 to 279 units) from June to July, and by 25% again (279 to 209 units) over July to August. For the first time in recent memory, the popular Ford Mustang doesn’t claim the top spot on the podium, with just 45 new cars registered. That’s almost one-tenth of the 437 registered two months ago as the fiscal calendar began anew.

It’s BMW’s 2 Series that swoops in to the top spot, with 58 new examples registered last month. The compact BMW coupe isn’t usually in contention for the podium, usually trailing behind the more popular Mustang, Mazda MX-5 and Mini Cooper. Subsequent­ly, the usually durable entry-level segment is now smaller than the mid-range $80<$200k bracket; which also shrank by 19% this past month and posted 221 new registrati­ons. - AA

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