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New vehicle buying intentions up in September for the fourth consecutive month

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2002 – September 2017, 3 month moving average. Quarterly sample n= 13,316 Base: Australians 14+.
New research from Roy Morgan shows that 2.491 million Australians intend to purchase a new vehicle in the next four years. This is an increase of 184,000 intenders over the last four months and is as a result of four consecutive months of increases. This big improvement has left intentions only marginally lower than the fifteen year high recorded in February 2017.

These are the latest results from Roy Morgan’s ‘Automotive Currency Report’ which is based on a survey of over 50,000 consumers per annum.

New Vehicle intenders are more confident than the population average

In addition to four year vehicle buying intentions being close to record levels, one year intentions are up by 14,000 (1.5%) over the same period last year to be currently on 626,000.

New Vehicle Purchase Intention: September 2017

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2002 – September 2017, 3 month moving average. Quarterly sample n= 13,316 Base: Australians 14+.

A major driver of increased intentions over the next four years is that intenders have a much higher level of consumer confidence than the population average. Over the September quarter, the consumer confidence level for all Australians was 113.3, whereas those intending to purchase a new vehicle in the next four years had a higher confidence level with 121.8. Those intending to purchase in the next twelve months also had higher than average confidence on 120.9.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan says: 

“Over the last four months, there has been considerable optimism in the new vehicle market as shown by the steady increase in buying intentions over the next four years and strong confidence among new vehicle buyers. Although VFacts sales to September are only up marginally on last year, strong intention levels indicate that it is likely to be another good year for the industry.

“The increase in new vehicle intentions for the next four years that we have seen over the last month has come mainly from passenger vehicles. Although intention for passenger vehicles has been on a long-term downward trend, they remain the most popular type of vehicle among intenders, with 1.036 million, up 87,000 over the last month. SUV intenders continue their long term growth but only showed a gain of 8,000 for the month and are now on 914,000.

“Not all brands have participated  in these rising four year intentions, with the major growth in share over the last twelve months coming from Honda, Mazda, Tesla, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Volvo and Skoda.

“Analysis using Roy Morgan’s Helix Personas segmentation has shown that the biggest gains in buying intentions have come from three very diverse groups-Leading Lifestyles, the most affluent group; Today’s Families and Battlers. These three groups have very different brand and price preferences as well as attitudes and values, which can all be analysed in detail using the extensive data covered in the Roy Morgan Single Source survey.

“Roy Morgan automotive data is invaluable for those involved in this market as it covers a very extensive range of information which enables a truly holistic understanding of this industry from the consumers perspective. Applications of this database include the identification and understanding of key market segments, including their brand perceptions, level of interest in motoring and much more”.

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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%