ADELAIDE, AAP – Australia’s new car market continues to battle supply issues, with sales falling by 15 per cent in November.

But the sector remains on track to retail more than one million vehicles this year, a significant improvement on 2020.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries says 80,639 new cars and trucks were sold last month compared to 95,205 in the same month last year.

That took the annual demand to the end of November to 971,429, an 18.3 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2020.

“Demand across the sector remains strong with (November’s) drop in sales reflecting well recognised international supply-chain issues,” FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.

“This includes constraints around microprocessor supplies as well as the ongoing impact of the pandemic restricting factories.”

Mr Weber said car makers were competing with other sectors, such as white goods manufacturers, for microprocessors across the globe.

“Some new vehicles sold in the Australian market can require up to 3000 of these parts, so this shortage is definitely being felt by the industry,” he said.

Toyota was the market leader in November with 15,239 sales ahead of Hyundai with 6854 and Ford on 6215.

The Ford Ranger was the top-selling model on 4429 ahead of the Toyota Hilux on 4228 and the Hyundai i30 on 2254.

Sports utility vehicles, or SUVs, continued to dominate the market, accounting for almost 50 per cent of all purchases.

Sales of electric vehicles also surged last month to 568, up from 178 in November last year, taking demand for the year-to-date to 4597, a 190 per cent improvement.

The increase follows a recent survey of 1000 Australians conducted by financial broking firm Savvy, which found 40 per cent would consider buying an electric vehicle in the future but 79 per cent said affordability was a key issue.

With 37 per cent of respondents saying they would spend up to $40,000 on their next car, most EVs would still be well out of their price range.

“There is a taste for EVs in Australia, but I wouldn’t say that it’s what everyone is clamouring for just yet,” Savvy Managing Director Bill Tsouvalas said.

“We need an economy of scale and infrastructure before we hit anything nearing critical mass.

“But there are shoots rising out of the ground, and that’s a good start.”