Why it’s the perfect time to buy a new car
ALREADY discounted new-car prices are about to get even sharper as preliminary sales figures for August show demand is slowing down.
Five of the top 10 brands posted a sales decline in August versus the same month last year - and the top 10 sellers overall are down by about one per cent in what was tracking as a record market until a few months ago.
Because the year started strong and dealers expected demand for new cars to continue, the slowdown in sales means many showrooms will be overstocked.
"Each day a car sits in stock it costs us money," said a leading metropolitan car dealer, who wished to remain anonymous.
"We can see the slowdown and we can see the cars we've still got coming, so that means you'll start to see some desperate deals so we don't get caught holding too much stock."
The recent dip in housing prices has had an impact on new-car sales, says Subaru Australia boss Colin Christie.
"In July we saw the market struggle … August has been slow as well, so there is no doubt there is pressure in the market."
Mr Christie added: "the housing market across the eastern seaboard in particular we're seeing some pretty significant impacts. I don't think were going to see a recovery in the (car) market in the next three or four months."
Market leader Toyota still has a handful of superseded Corollas available from $22,990 drive-away, about $4000 less than the new model.
Mazda is continuing to offer free on-road costs on its popular Mazda3 hatch and sedan, a saving of about $2000. And Hyundai has a $500 bonus on top of the already discounted price on the Hyundai i30 hatch, bringing the total savings to about $2500.
The Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger utes continue to top the sales charts, largely on the back of massive discounts of up to $5000 off the full retail price on their flagship models, to about $55,000 drive-away.
However, the sharpest-priced double-cab 4WD ute from a top 10 brand remains the Mitsubishi Triton, from $32,990 drive-away - plus a $2000 fuel card.
The one category that is yet to succumb to widespread discounting is the booming SUV class, however deals have begun to appear on certain models.
The Toyota Kluger seven-seat family SUV is available up to $4000 off the full price, from $42,990 drive-away.
The Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage mid-size SUVs are available with similar savings on certain models - with popular variants available from $31,990 drive-away - despite being recently updated.
Ford has trimmed about $2000 from the Escape mid-size SUV to $29,990 drive-away with 0.9 per cent finance, ahead of a new model next month.
For families who truly want to head off the beaten track the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is available from $44,990 drive-away - plus a $2000 fuel card - a combined saving of about $6000 off full price.
Top 10 brands: August 2018
Toyota 18,800, down 1.6 per cent
Mazda 10,700, up 25 per cent
Hyundai 8000, up 2.6 per cent
Mitsubishi 7090, up 6.6 per cent
Ford 5960, down 10.2 per cent
Volkswagen 4630, down 2.1 per cent
Kia 4600, up 2.2 per cent
Nissan 4440, up 8.4 per cent
Holden 4350, down 37 per cent
Subaru 3840, down 16 per cent
Top 10 cars: August 2018
Toyota HiLux 4275, down 0.2 per cent
Ford Ranger 3515, down 2.0 per cent
Toyota Corolla 3030, up 2.8 per cent
Mazda3 2970, up 37 per cent
Mazda CX-5 2600, up 27 per cent
Hyundai i30 2320, up 8.3 per cent
Toyota Prado 2020, up 79 per cent
Hyundai Tucson 1995, down 9.4 per cent
Nissan X-Trail 1910, up 89 per cent
Mitsubishi Triton 1750, down 10.9 per cent
* Preliminary new-car sales figures for August 2018 versus the same month last year, rounded.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling