Australia breaks its new car sales record once again in 2012


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Australia breaks its new car sales record once again in 2012

New car sales in Australia passed the 1 million mark in 2012i, with car manufacturers operating in an increasingly competitive market. We take a look at the shifting trends in the automotive industry in Australia.

Over one million new cars were sold in Australia in 2012.

According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry, new car sales in Australia peaked at 1,112,032 sales in 2012i. This is the fifth year since 2007 where new car sales have passed the one million mark. The 2012 figures are a 10.3% increase from new vehicle sales in 2011i, and sales data also indicates an increased preference for Asian car brandsii, iii, iv.

There were 16.7 million registered motor vehicles in Australia in 2012v, equivalent to 745 vehicles per 1,000 residentsv. The number of registered motor vehicles in Australia in 2012 is 2.3% higher than in 2011v and is a significant increase from a decade ago: in March 2002 there were 12.8 million registered motor vehiclesvi. In 2002, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) stated that over the last thirty years, Australia's motor vehicle fleet had increased by 150% while the population had only increased by 50%vii.

According to the ABS, in 2011, there was on average 1.7 vehicles per private dwelling: 35.8% of occupied private dwellings claimed to have 1 registered vehicle at their address, 36.1% had 2 registered vehicles and 16.5% had 3 or more registered vehiclesviii.

In 2012, the average age of a registered vehicle in Australia was 10 yearsv. This was a decrease from both 2002, when the average age was 10.5 years, and nine years before that in 1993, when the average age was 10.4 yearsix. In 2011, Tasmania had the oldest vehicles, at 11.9 years on average, while the Northern Territory had the youngest at 8.8 yearsx. The strong new car sales figures in recent years contribute to limiting the increase in age of Australian registered vehicles.

Australia's economic environment has been favourable for the sale of new motor vehicles in recent years, particularly factors such as the strong Australian dollar, low global interest rates, and increased imports from foreign manufacturersxi.

New car sales by volume in Australia 2011 and 2012.

Currently in Australia there are 64 automotive brands on the marketii and it is one of the most competitive car markets in the worldxii. Of these brands, in 2012, Toyota, Holden and Mazda held the top three spots respectively. Combined they held 39.2% of the Australian motor new vehicle marketii with a combined total of 436,727 sales in 2012ii. Toyota experienced a growth in sales of 20.1% with fellow Japanese brand, Mazda, seeing an increase of 17.6%. Holden, despite having the second highest sales volume of the year, experienced a decrease of 9.1% compared to 2011ii.


i Weber, T., 2013, 'Full Year VFacts Announcement', Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry, http://www.fcai.com.au/library/speech//vfacts_full_year_results.pdf

ii Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry, 2012, Key facts about the Australian auto industry, http://www.fcai.com.au/news/news/all/all/321/new-record-set-in-2012-new-motor-vehicle-sales

iii The Sydney Morning Herald, 2013, Holden, Ford fall behind Asian competitors, http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/holden-ford-fall-behind-asian-competitors-20130416-2hxfg.html#ixzz2ST4ity8Z

iv Deloitte Motor Industry Services, 2012, Deloitte Motor Industry Services Australian Industry Overview 2012, http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-Australia/Local Assets/Documents/Services/Deloitte Private/Deloitte_Motor_Industry_Services_Industry_Overview_2012.pdf

v Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012, 9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/9309.0/

vi Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2002, 9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/4D5098BC9257F222CA256DEA007F2BBA?OpenDocument

vii Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2002, 9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mediareleasesbytitle/5524F039A8F4F64FCA256C740074E550?OpenDocument

viii Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011, Census QuickStats, http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2011/quickstat/0

ix Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1993, 9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census, http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/free.nsf/0/E08DC12C323F5620CA2578FD001778F7/$File/93090_1993.pdf

x Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010, 9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census - Average Australian vehicle is 10 years old, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mediareleasesbytitle/9905F48DA7E8B640CA257A6100170609?OpenDocument

xi Janda, M., 2013, ‘Car dealers post record breaking sales in 2012’, ABC News, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-16/car-dealers-have-best-sales-on-record-in-2012/4631896

xii Deloitte Motor Industry Services, 2012, Deloitte Motor Industry Services Australian Industry Overview 2012, http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-Australia/Local Assets/Documents/Services/Deloitte Private/Deloitte_Motor_Industry_Services_Industry_Overview_2012.pdf, p.24