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New year, new wheels? 2014 likely to build on 2013’s record-breaking new car sales

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia): April 2002 – December 2013, n=648,474 (avg. quarterly sample n = 13,523).

Long-term new car buying intentions finished 2013 on a high note, with 2,331,000 Australians intending to buy a new car in the next four years. This result is 4.8% higher than it was in December 2012 and amounts to more than 100,000 additional motorists in the market.

In the short term, approximately 647,000 Australians intend to buy a new car in the next year, a slight increase (1%) on December 2012. Toyota remains the most considered brand amongst those intending to purchase a car in 2014, with one in every four buyers setting their sights on a Toyota model. Mazda has moved into second place (overtaking Holden), with a consideration rate of almost 17%. Of the luxury brands, the big mover has been Audi, with close to 6% of the market considering one of their models — a whopping 64% increase over the last 12 months.

New Car Buying Intention


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia): April 2002 – December 2013, n=648,474 (avg. quarterly sample n = 13,523).

Jordan Pakes, Group Account Director – Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“New vehicle sales hit an all-time high in 2013 of 1,136,227 — an increase of 2.2% on the previous benchmark set in 2012, according to VFACTS. This growth came from the private buyer market, with 583,312 vehicles sold privately (an 8.1% increase on 2012). Apart from Heavy Commercial vehicles, all other categories were down. In fact, government new vehicle sales plummeted by more than 20%.

“This high private sales figure is not totally unexpected, with both long- and short-term new car intention metrics hitting record heights earlier in 2013. At a category level, the SUV market continues to grow — no fewer than 333,511 new SUVs left showrooms in 2013, up from 307,253 the previous year. Again, rising demand from the private market was responsible for this increase. In contrast, sales of traditional passenger cars continued to decline, falling below 50% of total new vehicle sales, thanks primarily to a decrease in business and government purchases.

“So what’s in store for the automotive market in 2014? Bearing in mind that short- and long-term intention metrics are up on the same time last year, interest rates are low and stable, and the ASX200 is comfortably above the 5,000 mark, marginal growth looks likely. Continued growth of the affluent 50+ sector (the only major age bracket in Australia that is growing) also bodes well.

 However, there are also some factors working against the market. These include ever-increasing petrol prices, rising unemployment, and softening consumer and business confidence. Furthermore, the lower Aussie dollar makes it more expensive for brands to import cars and, as a result, harder for them to offer ‘cash’ equivalent incentives/deals…”

For comments or more information please contact:

Jordan Pakes, Group Account Director – Automotive
Office:  +61 (3) 9224 5302

Related Research

Purchase our latest detailed Roy Morgan Automotive Currency Report to learn more about automotive intentions for the different vehicle types. This report covers intentions to purchase new vehicles, future brand intentions and recent sales, loyalty and satisfaction, brand health, automotive attitudes, car servicing and use of the internet for vehicle related content. Brands are reported individually within three distinct groups: Local Manufacturers (Toyota, Holden and Ford), Mid Volume Importers (Mazda, Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Volkswagen and Hyundai) and Luxury Brands (BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and Lexus).

Purchase from our extensive and detailed range of Roy Morgan new car intender profiles by make, model and segment covering brands like Honda, BMW, Holden, Mazda, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Volkswagen.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%