Australians are less keen on cars than 12 months ago

Andrew Munro 13 July 2017

Cars in parking lot

We aren't as confident in our finances and it's affecting our car buying decisions.

After setting records earlier in the year, new car purchase intention numbers have slumped according to research from Roy Morgan.

However, despite numbers levelling, the automotive industry remains strong in general. Roy Morgan estimates 622,000 plan to buy a car in the next 12 months and 2,279,000 Australians intend to buy in the next four years. This is down from the February record of 2,490,000 but 15,000 ahead of last year's result.

New car purchase intention usually correlates strongly with consumer confidence, and the drop might be coming as Australians step back, re-examine their finances and come up short.

The slump in new-car-buying intention is especially pronounced among the more affluent groups and for passenger vehicle purchases. However, SUV purchase intention remains high.

Rob Heneghan Roy Morgan's automotive account manager said: "We could see SUVs overtaking passenger vehicles as the nation's favourite vehicle within the next 12 months."

Some of the biggest drops in purchase intention were among Roy Morgan's Leading Lifestyles persona group, who typically make up one of the biggest new car buying groups and have a solid preference for Japanese brands. This may signal a continued market shift away from the old leading brands.

Toyotas been coming out slightly under expectations recently, while Holden and Ford have been enjoying success with utes and other vehicles.

Purchase intention has shown to be an impressively accurate metric, and many of the previously leading brands are now seeing less likelihood of sales.

You probably won't find a deal on a new SUV, but might be able to take advantage of oversupply for top-selling Japanese brands, and Toyota and Mazda in particular.

In car news

Picture: Shutterstock

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