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New car intention looking up

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2002 – July 2015, n=730,354.

The number of potential new-car buyers in Australia has increased for the third consecutive month, with the latest figures from Roy Morgan Research revealing that 2,312,000 people are planning to buy a new car in the next four years. This is substantially higher than the same time last year, representing a growth of almost 150,000 potential new-car buyers.

Short-term intention has also increased year on year, but has declined slightly since last month. Australians in the market for a new car in the next 12 months now number 624,000, compared with 608,000 the same time last year.

New car buying intentions


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2002 – July 2015, n=730,354.

Which Helix community is most likely to buy which make?

With such a high number of people in the market for a new car, the question arises: what types of people are looking to buy which brands?

Viewing purchase intention through the lens of Helix Personas, Roy Morgan Research’s geo-digital psychographic and behavioural segmentation tool, some interesting trends emerge. For example, people belonging to different Helix Communities have quite distinct preferences when it comes to the brand of new car they’re likely to purchase next.

Top 4 automotive makes more likely to buy: New Car Intenders by Helix Community


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), August 2013-July 2015, n= 11,375. Base: Australians intending to buy a new car in the next 4 years

Among the more affluent communities, prestige brands are especially popular, but what’s critical to understand is how this differs between communities. New car intenders from the wealthy Leading Lifestyles community are more likely to have their sights set on a new Mercedes-Benz or Volkswagen, while their younger but similarly higher-earning Metrotech counterparts are more likely to be planning to purchase a new BMW or Audi.

Despite their Australian manufacturing operations winding down in coming years, national classics Ford and Holden are among the makes that family-oriented, suburban communities such as Today’s Families and Aussie Achievers are looking to buy. Their popularity is also higher than average among new-car intenders from the lower-income Golden Years and Battlers communities.

Meanwhile, motorists from the budget-conscious Getting By community are more likely to choose makes from Asia, which is consistent with the ethnic diversity of this community.

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

“Over the last few months, the size of the new-car intender pool in Australia has continued to increase steadily, with Toyota remaining Australia’s most intended brand. Despite the market’s continued growth, intention levels for Toyota have softened recently, with Mazda closing the gap on the market leader. Whereas 205,000 prospective buyers separated the two makes 12 months ago, this has since dropped to 102,000.

“This overall increase in car-buying intentions is consistent with the record sales numbers reported by VFACTS, with nearly all states and territories recording higher sales for the first seven months of 2015 compared to the equivalent period last year. This sales growth has largely been driven by the boom in private SUV sales, with brand new models such as the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V flying out of dealerships.

“When it comes to attracting more potential buyers to your brand, understanding which types of people or ‘personas’ are more likely to be considering your brand (or your competitors) is key. Helix Personas provides auto companies, agencies and marketers with a way to segment the market based on in-depth geo-psychographic profiles.

“Once the relevant personas/communities have been identified, media agencies are able to target them directly across an ever-increasing network of ‘Helixed’ media owners, including companies such as Mi9, Yahoo7, MCN and Facebook (via Axiom) to name just a few.

“Importantly, once agencies implement their tailored campaigns, brand owners can measure whether they are hitting the mark via media monitoring companies such as BigDatr, who now enable clients to measure media audiences by Helix Personas.”

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About Roy Morgan

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%