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by Tim Beissmann

Almost two-thirds of affluent young Australians would prefer to buy an imported vehicle to a locally made car, according to the results of a new study.

A Roy Morgan survey of more than 40,000 Australians found that just 35.8 per cent of successful, city-dwelling, early-adopting Australians (dubbed ‘Metrotechs’) would prefer to buy a locally built Ford, Holden or Toyota.

Conversely, the classic Aussie battler (including single parents, struggling young families and retirees on the pension, among others) is the most likely to prefer to buy Australian, with 55.4 per cent of ‘Battlers’ saying they favoured the likes of the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore over Asian and European imports.

Australians belonging to the ‘Leading Lifestyles’ demographic (described as high earners and high achievers) are the second least likely to have a preference for a locally made car, with just 39.7 per cent responding positively.

In more bad news for Australia’s car makers, more than 40 per cent of people planning to buy a car in the next four years belong to the Metrotech and Leading Lifestyle demographics, while less than one-quarter of those planning to purchase a new vehicle are either Battlers or those in their ‘Golden Years’, the two demographics with the highest preference for Australian cars.

Roy Morgan Research automotive group account director Jordan Parkes said buyers categorised as Battlers and Golden Years comprised a third of Holden’s market and almost a quarter of Toyota’s.

“Both makes need to consider how shutting down local factories will affect sales among these markets that value Australian-made cars,” Parkes said, alluding to the current uncertainty facing the local automotive manufacturing industry.

Sales of Australian-made cars are down 17.6 per cent so far this year to 94,865, representing less than 10 per cent of total new vehicle sales across the country.

Only a decade ago in 2003, Australians purchased 276,314 locally made cars, accounting for more than 30 per cent of all new vehicle sales.




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