Tasmanians skipping overseas and mainland holidays because of coronavirus are boosting the car sales industry and the wider economy with their spending.
That is the view of Buckby Motors dealer principal Ben Newman.
“With people not being able to travel this year, we’ve found a lot of the Baby Boomer generation are putting new bathrooms in or upgrading their cars,” Mr Newman said.
He said people spending their money locally rather than travelling outside of Tasmania had helped the state’s economy during the pandemic period.
Tasmania’s new vehicle sales industry has recovered some of the ground it lost in a terrible April-May period at the height of movement restrictions.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ VFACTS report said just 618 new vehicles were sold in the state in April, compared to 1241 in April 2019.
Sales recovered slightly to 844 in May, then leapt to 1688 in June before settling back to 1298 in July.
There were 1676 sales in July last year.
The pandemic-induced shutdown of vehicle manufacturing plants overseas led to industry concerns about supply.
Mr Newman said much of the industry had cut down on orders earlier in the year because of the economic uncertainty, leaving some outlets short when demand picked up more recently.
He said vehicles were still coming and expected production would catch up to demand by the end of the year.
The July VFACTS report said Tasmania’s 8291 year to dale sales of new vehicles were down by 25.3 per cent compared to the first seven months of 2019.
National sales were down by 19.2 per cent on the same measure.
Tasmania’s July sales comprised 210 passenger vehicles, 644 SUVs, 392 light commercials and 52 heavy commercials.
Light commercial sales were slightly ahead of July 2019, with the other three categories down significantly.
Toyota was Tasmania’s strongest selling marque in July, with 281 units shifted and a 21.6 per cent market share.
Other stronger July sellers were Mitsubishi (113) and Ford (100).