Car sales make a slow start to 2014

The new car market has made a modest start to 2014, according to the latest sales figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

Australia's new car market enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2013 and many are expecting much of the same this year.

However, the FCAI revealed in a February 5 press release that vehicle sales totaled 82,285 in the first month of this year, a figure that is 3.7 per cent lower than in January 2013.

A drop in purchases by businesses contributed significantly to this decline in sales, as business sales were down by 7.8 per cent. The light commercial vehicle segment was hit the hardest, experiencing a drop of 26.1 per cent.

Of the cars that were sold during the month, Toyota unsurprisingly claimed the most units, selling a total of 13,646 vehicles. Other perennial favourites such as Mazda, Holden, Hyundai and Ford followed close behind.

Tony Webber, chief executive of the FCAI, did note that the small SUV segment performed comparatively well despite the low January sales results.

"Sales in this segment reached 6,146 in January 2014, which is a 17.6 per cent increase on January 2013 small SUV sales," he noted.

These new figures could be worth looking into if you are a fleet manager looking to extend your fleet this year.

With the constant need to optimise your fleet to ensure it has the most efficient number of vehicles, any disposal or acquisition decision must be carefully weighed. Specialised fleet services such as an outsourced fleet management program can help you identify areas of excess or deficiency to make sure you're getting the most out of your fleet.