Rich Lister doubles down on slow recovery in car sales

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said while small rise in total sales to 84,461 vehicles was positive, the logjams in the global vehicle manufacturing sector still meant lengthy waiting times.

“Once again Australia is following the global trend of demand for new vehicles exceeding supply,” he said.

The NSW market was up 10.9 percent in July compared with a year earlier, while South Australian sales were up 13.3 percent. But all other states and territories suffered a decline in sales.

Victoria was down 5.8 percent, Western Australia 9 percent, Queensland recorded a decline of 1.1 percent, and Tasmania 13.2 percent.

Sydney and Melbourne were headed into extended COVID-19 lockdowns in July last year.

The Toyota HiLux ute was again the biggest selling vehicle in Australia in July, with 6441 vehicles bought. This was more than double the next model, the Ford Ranger ute, which recorded 2934 sales.

Toyota’s RAV4 was in third place, with 2437, followed by the Mazda CX-5 SUV at 2346, and Hyundai’s Tucson SUV at 2186.

Toyota was the clear market leader, with 23.2 percent in July, with Mazda a distant second with 9.3 percent.

Mr. Politis holds a 27.3 percent stake in Eagers Automotive and was ranked No. 51 on The Australian Financial Review Rich List in 2022 with an estimated wealth of $2.23 billion.

He also has extensive private interests in the vehicle industry.

Eagers Automotive last month acquired its privately owned dealerships in the ACT for $193 million.

The ACT dealerships and 10 properties being acquired make up more than 30 percent of the total number of new vehicles sold in the ACT each year, and generate $450 million in sales annually.

In February, Eagers Automotive signed a five-year agreement to be the exclusive retailer in Australia for Fast-growing Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD.

Last month, BYD Overtook industry pioneer Tesla as the world’s biggest electric vehicle producer by sales. BYD is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

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