How COVID-19 Impacted the Automotive Industry in Australia?


This year the automotive market is lurching from the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic. So many people lost their jobs, in-house jobs turned into home-based, declining the use of transport.

With the new car sales in the first half of 2021, there is a resurgence seen. Consumers appear to have embraced the new reality after more than a year of living with the threat of a pandemic, which has helped them overcome some of the market instability we’ve witnessed for most of this time.

Check out the facts and figures of automotive trends in Australia:

Automotive Trends in Australia

  • According to IBISWorld, between 2016 and 2021, Australia’s Automotive Industry market size shrank by 4.9 per cent each year on average.
  • In 2020, car sales were down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, sales were 916.878, a decrease of 13.8 per cent from the previous year.
  • The Australian automotive market started the year well in 2021, with 263.648 car units sold in the first quarter, a 13 per cent rise over the same period in 2020.
  • In comparison to pre-pandemic levels, the auto market has rebounded well in 2021, with sales up 9% in January 2019 over the same month last year.


With COVID-19 limiting physical travel, it’s more important than ever for automotive companies and dealerships to understand the online experiences they provide customers, as more people are doing their auto shopping online.

As foreign travelling is not a good option in this COVID-19 epidemic, people are choosing to travel domestically, increasing demand for off-road and family cars.

These trends are mirrored in this year’s sales figures, which show a continuous improvement in SUV, LCV, and passenger car sales.

Because of the Coronavirus epidemic in 2019, factories across China were shut down. At the same time, China is Australia’s most important trading partner in the automotive industry, both in imports and exports. So, the automotive market has been most severely impacted by the epidemic in Australia.

The European auto market was also affected due to complete lockdown in China since many auto parts are manufactured in China. Almost 30,000 auto parts (from smallest screws to tyres) are needed for a car to be finished. And it just takes one missing component to disrupt the whole supply chain.

Changes in Auto Pricing due to COVID-19 Impacted the Automotive Industry

Because of shifts in vehicle supply and demand, prices fluctuate from high to low and vice versa following the epidemic. Because many people do not drive due to home-based work, prices will continue to fluctuate. Furthermore, given the current economic situation, many individuals are unable to pay as much and choose to use public transportation. However, in 2021-2022, prices will be rose again after increasing demand for new cars.

Impact of COVID-19 on Car Mileage

The coronavirus epidemic has not all the negatives but few positives as well. For individuals who purchased new vehicles in 2019-2020, with the implementation of lockdown, the car is as new as they were purchased because of the low mileage. Therefore, the demand for low-mileage secondhand automobiles will remain high.

Effects of Coronavirus in the Year of 2019-2020

Mr Weber talking to RACQ, believes that most Australians have been affected by stay-at-home policies, and many have lost their jobs. The underlying demand for new automobiles will continue to be high, particularly as many individuals avoid public transportation due to social distancing laws.

Mr Weber stated that the industry had experienced a 3% drop in new car sales in 2018, followed by a 7.8% drop in 2019, with the first two months of 2020 registering negative year-over-year growth.

Toyota and Ford Immediate Response to Covid-19 Auto Crises

Toyota has launched a new online sales platform to assist consumers who want or do not want to go out to shop for new and used cars. Users can personalise their choices by selecting a model, grade, and colour, then depositing a fully refundable $100 while providing pick-up information.

Ford has provided Health care professionals to apply for Ford’s 2nd Car complimentary leasing programme, which allows them to borrow a car for up to four weeks. The plan, which allows new Ford buyers to borrow a second Ford for 14 days over the course of two years.

Ford has also announced that it will provide customers with a pick-up/drop-off service for mechanical repairs and servicing. Customers can order the service on Ford’s official website, and their vehicle is picked up, serviced, and cleaned before being returned.

Top Car Selling Brands in Australia from 2020-2021

Vehicle Brands

2021 Jan-Jul Sale 2020 Jan-Jul Sale
1 Toyota 136,596 113,237
2 Mazda 69,365 46,653
3 Ford 43,452 32,224
4 Mitsubishi 42,745 33,470
5 Kia 43,096 31,083
6 Hyundai 43,696 35,421
7 Volkswagen 24,731 23,305
8 Isuzu 22,208 11,306
9 MG 22,857 6,857
10 Nissan 26,673 21,599


Increasing Demand for Used Cars

Compared to new car sales, used car prices saw less fluctuation after the Great Recession.

Consumers who were concerned about their expenditures opted to skip a more expensive new car in favour of a less expensive used one. Furthermore, a shortage of late-model used cars arose as a result of the lower supply of new cars, resulting in higher pricing in the used car market as a whole. As a result, demand for used cars was quicker to revive.

The automotive industry, like other sectors of the economy, confronts an uncertain future. Because the outcome of Covid-19 is unpredictable, it has an influence on everything else. Automobile manufacturers, for example, are required to restart manufacturing in the face of social distancing. This can hugely impact automobile manufacturing volume and speed.

The global economy has been thrown into confusion as a result of the lockdown. The auto market has already been confronted with significant obstacles like people were unable to leave their homes, vehicle dealerships or car showrooms were shut down.

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