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Australia’s new car intenders hit the brakes

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) April 2002–July 2014, n=679,289 (avg. quarterly sample n = 13,479).
Over the last two months, the number of Australians planning to buy a new car in the next four years has tumbled by almost 13%. Since hitting an all-time high of close to 2.5 million potential new car buyers in May this year, the market has decreased to 2.17 million Australians — the lowest result since November 2012.

In the short term, the number of people intending to buy a new car in the next 12 months has also declined and now sits at 608,000: 14,000 below the long-term average of 622,000 and well down on May’s result of 721,000.

New Car Buying Intention


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) April 2002–July 2014, n=679,289 (avg. quarterly sample n = 13,479).

Jordan Pakes, Industry Director – Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Since hitting a record high of close to 2.5 million potential new car buyers in May this year, the industry has taken a substantial hit, with more than 300,000 people deciding to exit the market. With the average new car buyer looking to spend around $34,500 on their next car, this equates to a loss of almost $10.4 billion in potential revenue for the auto industry, unless the market improves soon.

“Given that total new vehicle sales for the industry are already down for the year to date according to VFACTS, these latest car-buying intention results would be of concern.

“The recent decrease in car-buying intention coincides with a strong decline in consumer and business confidence since the May federal budget announcement. The main factor influencing this decline in consumer confidence is a growing proportion of Australians who expect to be worse off this time next year.

“In addition to the local economic issues worrying many Australians, there have also been a number of major international events such as the unstable situation in the Ukraine (resulting in the downing of MH17) that are also adversely impacting on consumer certainty.

 “So which Aussies are more likely to be reconsidering their new car purchase? While the number of potential car buyers has declined across all seven Helix Communities, the most marked decreases have occurred among the ‘Getting By’, ‘Today’s Families and ‘Battlers’ communities.  

“At a brand level, almost all major brands have lost share since May, with only KIA, Subaru, Hyundai, Honda and BMW bucking the trend…”

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan Research’s automotive data, please contact:

Jordan Pakes, Industry Director – Automotive
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5302

Please click on this link for more information about Helix Personas

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%

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 Thumbnail image: copyright Greg Neate (Flickr Creative Commons)