Australian car market in a world of its own

It seems that the Australian car market is in a world of its own, compared to the rest of the world.

For a number of years, the national market has been strong and despite the departure of several high-profile manufacturers, the momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) recently collaborated with IHS Automotive, to investigate Australia’s place among other strong right-hand drive markets – the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Analysing prices and other benefits, the companies found Australia has a very competitive car market.

With 67 brands selling over 350 models nationwide, Australia’s heavily-congested market lends itself to offering cheaper prices for high quality vehicles.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber explained Australian consumers get excellent value for the ongoing benefits of purchasing a vehicle.

“[This includes] the level of support provided by the brand (e.g. servicing), the access they have to the dealer network, and the inclusion of features specifically designed for the Australian landscape and lifestyle (e.g. Australian GPS maps, appropriate towing capacity, reversing cameras, cruise control and high-temperature air-conditioning systems),” he said.

While the report did not include data in relation to stamp duty, registrations or other taxes, Mr Weber believes Australians have a significant advantage against the British and Kiwis.

Increase collaboration

An effect of a competitive car market is the revelation from the FCAI that more local manufacturers are working together on technology to improve safety, security and environment features. As manufacturers don’t want to be left behind when the market is so hot, vehicles made on-shore are likely to feature a number of clever, innovative pieces unseen worldwide.

Motorists interested in where their new vehicle stacks up internationally can view the full report on the FCAI website.

Growth in July car sales

Released a few days after the report, the latest Australian motor vehicle statistics reveal that locals do believe they are getting a good deal for their new car.

Close to 90,000 vehicles were sold in July 2014 which was just 0.4 per cent or 368 cars off the all-time July record set last year.

Private sales once again grew, this month increasing 1.4 per cent. In particular, SUV seem to driving high sales as they rose 16.9 per cent from the same point last year.

State by state growth

Figures released by FCAI suggest a number of the states and territories, including New South Wales have increased their overall vehicle sales. ACT (5.4 per cent), NSW (2.9 per cent), South Australia (0.5 per cent) and Victoria (0.7 per cent) all saw positive July growth compared to 2013.

The statistics do reveal that the Northern Territory (-13 per cent), Queensland (-4.6 per cent), Tasmania (-11.2 per cent) and Western Australia (-3 per cent) all saw sales decline during July, however.

Toyota dominates for another month

The FCAI data highlights Toyota’s clear dominance in the ultra-competitive Australian car market. For the fifth month in a row, the Toyota Corolla (3,800 sales) led all other models. This was followed by the Mazda3 (3,421), Toyota Hilux (3,140), the Holden Commodore (2,469).

Toyota also maintained its solid lead in the overall market share. With over 18 per cent, the Japanese manufacturer is clearly ahead of Holden (10 per cent), Hyundai (9.3 per cent) and Mazda (9 per cent).

Toyota’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb believes there is strong demand for vehicles and this could continue for months to come.

“New-vehicle sales remain close to record levels, which is extremely encouraging for the industry’s prospects in the second half of the year,” he said.

“All the signs are that the economy and consumer confidence are solid with no indications of a major upswing or a downturn of any significance.”

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