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Australian made Preferred By Most Australians

Published exclusively in the Bulletin,cover date March 7, 2000.

Adventurer and businessman Dick Smith's plan to produce and market Australian made products as an alternative to brands now owned by overseas companies could be very well received, with a clear majority of Australians saying would prefer Australian made goods a special Bulletin-Morgan Poll finds.

When Australians were asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement "I try to buy Australian made products as often as possible", a large 61% said "agree".

Significantly, a majority of Australians of both genders (Men - 61% cf Women - 61%), all household income levels, and all age groups apart from the 14-17 and 18-24 age groups, agreed that they try to buy Australian made products as often as possible. Furthermore 66% of grocery buyers said they try to buy Australian made as often as possible.

The result, however, is less clear cut with regard to buying an Australian made car. A narrow majority of Australians (54%) agreed with the statement "If at all possible, I prefer to buy an Australian made car". Strangely, less than two-thirds (64%) of those who said they try to buy Australian made products as often as possible would prefer to buy an Australian made car if at all possible.

Older Australians were more likely to agree that they try to buy Australian made products than were younger Australians. More than three quarters (76%) of Australians aged 50 and over said they agree, with a majority of those aged 35-49 (68%) and 25-34 (52%) also saying they agree. Less than half those aged 18-24 (40%) agreed that they try to buy Australian made products with only 23% of those aged 14-17 saying they agree.

A majority of respondents from all states agreed they try to buy Australian made products, with more than two-thirds of Tasmanians (68%) surveyed saying they try to buy Australian made products. Respondents from New South Wales were next most likely to agree (63%), followed by respondents from Victoria (61%), South Australia and Western Australia (both 60%), and respondents from Queensland (58%).

There appears to be no clear pattern with regard to total household income and trying to buy Australian made products as often as possible. Those living in a household with a total annual income of between $40,000-$49,000 were most likely to agree they try to buy Australian made items (72%), followed by those with a household income of less than $20,000 (68%) and those with an income between $60,000-$79,999 (65%).

Analysis by Socio-Economic Scale Quintiles reveals, however, that Australians in the AB Quintile, representing the highest levels of education, income and job type, were clearly the most likely to agree that they try to buy Australian made products (67%). There was little difference between those in the other four Quintiles, with respondents in the FG Quintile (61%), C Quintile (60%), D Quintile (60%) or E Quintile (58%) all within 3% of one another.

When Australians were asked if they agree with the statement "If at all possible, I prefer to buy an Australian made car", men were more likely to say agree (55%) than were women (52%). The disparity may partially be explained by the fact that the four major models of car manufactured in Australia; the Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore, Toyota Camry and Mitsubishi Magna; are all family-sized cars, usually preferred by men. Men, in fact, make up 69% of those considering/intending to buy a Falcon, Commodore, Camry or Magna in the next four years.

Remarkably, of those Australians who said that they would prefer to buy an Australian car and are intending to buy a new car in the next four years, 50% said they would not buy or consider buying a Ford, Holden, Mitsubishi or Toyota. On the other hand, more than a quarter (26%) of those who disagree that they prefer to buy an Australian made car would consider one of the four Australian-based manufacturers. Overall 13% of Australians aged 14 and over intend to buy a new car in the next four years.

Analysed by age, Australians aged 35-49 were most likely to prefer to buy an Australian made car (59%), followed by respondents aged 50 and over (56%), those aged 25-34 (50%), and those aged 18-24 (49%). Respondents aged 14-17 were least likely to agree that they prefer to buy an Australian car.

Respondents from country areas were considerably more likely to prefer to buy an Australian made car than were their counterparts in the capital cities (Country Areas - 58% cf Capital Cities - 51%). Analysed by states, respondents from South Australia (60%) and Victoria (56%), where virtually all Australian made cars are manufactured, were most likely to prefer to buy an Australian made car if at all possible, followed by respondents from Queensland (55%), Western Australia (54%) and Tasmania (54%).

Ironically, while respondents from NSW were the second most likely to agree they try to buy Australian made products as often as possible, they were the least likely (49%) to say they prefer to buy an Australian made car. Similarly, Australians in the AB Socio-Economic Scale Quintile were least likely to say that they prefer to buy an Australian made car if at all possible (50%). Respondents in the lowest Socio-Economic Scale Quintile, the FG Quintile, were most likely to say they prefer to buy an Australian made car if at all possible.

Of those intending to buy a new car in the next four years, 31% would consider/intend to buy a Holden, 29% would consider or intend to buy a Toyota, 17% would consider/intend to buy a Ford and 13% would consider/intend to buy a Mitsubishi. Honda leads the fully-imported brands with 10% of those intending to buy a car in the next four years saying they would consider/intend to buy that brand, followed by Subaru (9%).

This data comes from Roy Morgan Single Source for which about 55,000 Australians aged 14 and over are interviewed annually. The data was collected in November and December 1999.

1. Australian Made Products

Respondents were asked whether they agree or disagree with the following statement:

"I try to buy Australian made products as often as possible."

Buy Aust. 
Made Products
Total Analysis by Gender and Age
Nov/ Dec '99 Men Women 14-17 18-24 25-34 35-49 50+
  % % % % % % % %
Agree 61 61 61 23 40 52 68 76

 

Buy Aust. 
Made Products
Total Analysis by City versus Country and State
Nov/ Dec '99 Capital Cities Country Areas NSW Vic Qld SA WA Tas
  % % % % % % % % %
Agree 61 60 63 63 61 58 60 60 68

 

Buy Aust.
Made Cars
Total Analysis by Household Income
Nov/ Dec '99 Less Than $20,000 20,000- 29,999 30,000- 39,999 40,000- 49,999 50,000- 59,999 60,000- 79,999 80,000 & Over No Answer
  % % % % % % % % %
Agree 61 68 64 59 72 54 65 65 52

 

Buy Aust.
Made Cars
Total Analysis by Socio-Economic Scale Quintiles
Nov/ Dec '99 AB Quintile C Quintile D Quintile E Quintile FG Quintile
  % % % % % %
Agree 61 67 60 60 58 61

 2. Australian Made Cars

Respondents were asked whether they agree or disagree with the following statement:

"If at all possible, I prefer to buy an Australian made car."

Buy Aust.
Made Cars
Total Analysis by Gender and Age
Nov/ Dec '99 Men Women 14-17 18-24 25-34 35-49 50+
  % % % % % % % %
Agree 54 55 52 37 49 50 59 56

 

Buy Aust.
Made Cars
Total Analysis by City versus Country and State
Nov/ Dec '99 Capital Cities Country Areas NSW Vic Qld SA WA Tas
  % % % % % % % % %
Agree 54 51 58 49 56 55 60 54 54

 

Buy Aust.
Made Cars
Total Analysis by Household Income
Nov/ Dec '99 Less Than $20,000 20,000- 29,999 30,000- 39,999 40,000- 49,999 50,000- 59,999 60,000- 79,999 80,000 & Over No Answer
  % % % % % % % % %
Agree 54 57 60 56 61 55 52 53 48

 

Buy Aust.
Made Cars
Total Analysis by Socio-Economic Scale Quintiles
Nov/ Dec '99 AB Quintile C Quintile D Quintile E Quintile FG Quintile
  % % % % % %
Agree 54 50 54 51 55 58

  3. New Car Buying Intention: (People intending to buy a new car in the next four years)

Would Consider/Intend To Buy Ford, Holden,
Toyota or Mitsubishi In Next Four Years
"I prefer to buy an Australian made Car"
Total Agree Disagree
  % % %
Would Buy Australian Car 38 50 26
Would Buy Other Car 62 50 74
Total 100 100 100

The Morgan Poll is conducted by the 
ONLY Australian or New Zealand member of the Gallup International Association.
No other public opinion poll taken in Australia or New Zealand 
has this qualification.