Data compiled for the Leading Indicators Report showed consumer confidence and ‘intention to buy a new car’ levels increased for the first time in six months in September.
In the shorter term, the data shows approximately 625,000 Australians plan to buy a new car in the next 12 months (excluding fleet, government and rental buyers).
The figures historically overestimate the number of new cars actually purchased by private buyers, but generally give a good indication of the confidence of the market and the probability of industry growth or decline over the coming months and years.
Over the past 12 months (November 2010 – October 2011), private buyers purchased 476,855 new passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles. Private buyers account for just under half of the total new vehicle market.
The Australian automotive industry as a whole is on track to exceed one million sales in 2011, which will be just the fourth time in history we have cracked the seven-figure milestone.
A total of 837,324 new vehicles were sold in the first 10 months of this year – down 2.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2010.
Of the top 10 manufacturers, Volkswagen (up 17.2 per cent compared with 2010), Nissan (+8.2 per cent), Hyundai (+6.9 per cent) and Mazda (+2.3 per cent) have defied the downward trend. Honda (-25.2 per cent), Toyota (-14.5 per cent), Subaru (-13.0 per cent), Ford (-4.7 per cent), Holden (-4.5 per cent) and Mitsubishi (-2.1 per cent) have so far failed to match their performances in 2010.