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New car market starts 2016 with intention uptick

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2002 – January 2016, rolling monthly average quarterly sample n=13,405 Australians 14+

2,210,000 Australians intend to buy a new car sometime before 2020—including 585,000 hoping to be huffing that new car smell by the end of 2016, the latest automotive currency data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

The number of Australians who intend to buy a new car in the next four years recovered slightly over the summer after decreasing throughout most of 2015. Four-year intention is now back above the long-term average since 2002. 

Near-term intention to buy a car in the next 12 months also showed signs of recovery in the last two months after weakening from June to November last year. 

New car buying intentions

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2002 – January 2016, rolling monthly average quarterly sample n=13,405 Australians 14+

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

“In line with sales according to VFACTS, car buying intentions have increased in January – with around 2.21 million Australians in the market for a new car privately in the next four years. This is marginally down on 12 months ago, but remains above the long term average of 2.13 million. 

“Around 30% of Australia’s new car intenders plan to buy either a Toyota or Mazda in the next four years—up almost 3% points compared with a year ago. So although there are still slightly fewer intenders in the market overall, these top two makes have actually gained around 50,000 potential buyers between them. Other volume makes with more potential buyers now than a year ago include Ford and Hyundai.

Helix Personas gives auto companies, agencies and marketers a way to segment the market based on in-depth geo-psychographic profiles—so each potential buyer can be better understood and more accurately targeted.”

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Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

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%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%