2017 a record year for car sales

Mark Bristow
Jan 16, 2018( 3 min read )

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Australia’s sales of new motor vehicles rose at the end of December 2017, wrapping up a strong year for the nation’s automotive market.

According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), 2017 was a record year for sales in the Aussie motor industry – the fourth in five years.

It was also found that 2017 was the first full year in which the sales of SUVs (465,646, or 39.2% of the total market) outstripped those of passenger cars (450,012, or 37.8% of the total market).

According to the December 2017 figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the December 2017 trend estimate (99,756) increased by 0.2% when compared with November 2017. Sales of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and Other vehicles were up 0.5%, while passenger car sales were down by -0.3%.

Region December sales (trend) Monthly change Annual change
NSW 33,161 0.1% 0.6%
VIC 28,323 0.2% 3.3%
QLD 19,419 3.2%
SA 6128 0.6% 3.9%
WA 8549 0.4% 8.8%
TAS 1826 2.2% 10.9%
NT 837 -1.9% -1.8%
ACT 1513 -0.3% -3.8%
National 99,756 0.2% 2.8%

Source: ABS

Going state by state, the largest bump in new car sales was recorded in Tasmania, where the 2.2% growth on last month continued an upward trend that commenced in April 2017. On the other hand, the downward trends recorded in the Northern Territory (-1.9%) and the Australian Capital Territory (-0.3%) continued a trend which commenced in July 2017.

In annual terms, new car sales around the nation were up 2.8% from December 2016 on a trend basis, according to the ABS.

According to FCAI chief executive, Tony Weber, the market growth in 2017 can be partially attributed to the stability of the Australian economy and low interest rates, though it was the fierce competition between brands within the market place which provided the momentum:

“Clearly Australian consumers recognise the value for money that is on offer in the new vehicle market, and responded accordingly.”

“To have eight record months out of 12 in 2017 speaks volumes for how brands successfully placed new products and incentives into the market which kept attracting buyers into the showrooms right through the year.”

According to FCAI, Australia’s top-selling car for 2017 was the Toyota Hilux, for the second year in a row. Toyota was also found to be the top-selling brand of 2017 with an 18.2% market share, followed by Mazda (9.8%), Hyundai (8.2%), Holden (7.6%) and Mitsubishi (6.8%).


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