Rich Lister doubles down on slow recovery in car sales

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said while the small increase in total sales to 84,461 vehicles was positive, traffic jams in the global vehicle manufacturing sector still meant long wait times.

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

The New South Wales market rose 10.9% in July from a year earlier, while sales in South Australia rose 13.3%. But all other states and territories suffered a drop in sales.

Victoria fell by 5.8%, Western Australia by 9%, Queensland recorded a fall of 1.1% and Tasmania by 13.2%.

Sydney and Melbourne were heading into extended COVID-19 shutdowns in July last year.

The Toyota HiLux ute was again Australia’s top-selling vehicle in July, with 6,441 vehicles purchased. That was more than double the next model, the Ford Ranger ute, which recorded 2,934 sales.

Toyota’s RAV4 was in third place, with 2,437, followed by the Mazda CX-5 SUV at 2,346 and Hyundai’s Tucson SUV at 2,186.

Toyota was the undisputed market leader with 23.2% in July, followed by Mazda a distant second with 9.3%.

Mr Politis owns a 27.3% stake in Eagers Automotive and was ranked No. 51 on the Australian Financial Journal’s rich list in 2022 with an estimated wealth of $2.23 billion.

He also has many private interests in the automotive industry.

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

ACT dealerships and the 10 acquired properties account for more than 30% 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 deal to be the exclusive Australian retailer for fast-growing Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD.

Last month, BYD overtook industry pioneer Tesla as the world’s largest producer of electric vehicles by sales. BYD is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.