Will 2017 be another record year for car sales?

Andrew Munro 20 February 2017 NEWS

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More than 600,000 Australians plan to buy a new car in 2017, but brand preferences may be changing.

According to research from Roy Morgan, an estimated 2,373,000 Australians plan to buy a new car in the next 4 years, with over 600,000 making plans to drive off the lot in 2017 alone.

2016 was a record year for car sales, as was 2015, and it’s looking like 2017 might be more of the same. These new car New Year’s resolution match the all-around positive economic outlook many Australians are holding, as well as the overall growing strength of the market in Australia.

Based on consumer reports, in line with near-record high consumer confidence, 2017 is well on track to be another bumper year for car sales.

Which car brands are performing?

The benefits aren’t equally distributed, and it’s looking like higher-end brands are performing more strongly at the start of the year, with brands including BMW, Volkswagen and Mazda experiencing strong sales to kick things off.

This might signal a shift in the market, with brands like Toyota, long one of Australia’s highest performers, starting to shrink in the market. High end buyers are taking up an increasing portion, and Australia’s traditional middle class (according to Roy Morgan’s consumer segmentation models) have shrunk from 24% of the new car market to only 21% of buyers since 2016.

How to take advantage of it

Naturally, these figures don’t include the evergreen used car market, while the “intention to buy” does. This means 2017 might be the right time to sell your old car and get a better price with more potential buyers competing for it.

2015 and 2016 were record breaking years for car sales, and despite some signs of waning, it's possible that 2017 might deliver more of the same.

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