11 Jun 2020

Firstmac data shows car market bouncing back

New lending data from Firstmac shows the car market is recovering strongly after heavy falls in April and May as buyers shrug off fears over the COVID-19 crisis and start borrowing to buy cars again.

In the month of May, Firstmac recorded a record number of car loan applications, strengthening towards the second half of the month and continuing into June.

Managing Director Kim Cannon said the current crisis was unlike any other that he had lived through in his 40 years in the industry.

“In previous crises people hunkered down and stopped buying anything but this time around, despite the continuing weak economy, they seem to have kept shopping by moving online and are now snapping up discounted cars,” Mr Cannon said.

“As the End of Financial Year car sales start, many people are now getting pre-approved for car loans from us and then visiting dealerships which are packed with buyers.”

In the month of May, Firstmac took 1051 car loan applications across its Firstmac and loans.com.au channels, setting a new monthly record for both brands. This compares to 721 in March and just 657 in April.

Firstmac-branded car loans are distributed through mortgage brokers and specialist car brokers while loans.com.au offers car loans online.

The rising number of applications came against a backdrop of very weak car sales in the month of May overall, compared to previous years.

New-car sales across Australia were down 35.3 per cent in May 2020 compared to the previous year – with 59,894 vehicles reported as sold versus 92,561 in May 2019.

Online car broker Georgie, which was recently acquired by Firstmac, said that while the number of sales actually settled had been low in May, it had picked up sharply in the first week of June to be higher now than before the COVID-19 lockdown.

According to Georgie, if the current trend continues vehicle demand is likely to outstrip supply before the EOFY sales are over.

Media contact: Duncan Macfarlane on 0434 184 264

Firstmac Limited is an independently-owned, Australian financial services provider with more than four decades of experience in home and investment loans. Firstmac has written in excess of 130,000 home loans and manages approximately $12.8 billion in mortgages and $300 million in cash investments. Firstmac is a premier sponsor of the Brisbane Broncos.

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