– By Victoria Nelson –
The VFACTS results have been released for December and 2017 was another record year for new cars. The official number was 1,189,116. It’s the fourth record in five years as consumers and businesses continue to drive demand for new vehicles.
Though in 2017 there were some interesting trends that emerged as car buyers turned to vehicles that suit their lifestyles (or what they imagine their life to look like) and the end of local manufacturing changed the range of vehicles that were on offer.
State by state the results varied with New South Wales showing a decline of 290 vehicles compared to 2016, yet in Victoria there were 13,074 more vehicles purchased. South Australia grew by a minuscule 1% and West Australia was down, as most would have expected, by 2.5%.
SUVs have dominated passenger vehicles in the full year numbers which is a trend that was developing throughout the year so no one is really surprised. SUV sales were 465,656 compared to passenger vehicles at 450,012. The one to surprise was People Movers. Maybe families are getting bigger because there was a 5% rise in this group over the previous year.
Light Commercial vehicle sales were up by 8.6% which is no surprise when you look around in traffic. Every second person is either a Tradie or 4X4 enthusiast judging by the number of dual-cab utes. The 4X4 ute segment grew by 12.8% to become the third biggest segment after small cars and medium SUVs.
And the mid-life crisis for Baby Boomers is still going strong because the sports segment maintained sales of 27,000 vehicles thanks to the continued revival of the Ford Mustang which was up 47.6% in 2017. But it’s not fair to only target Baby Boomers because the range of exciting cars in this segment is probably better than it has been for 10 years. I would be happy to rotate between a Toyota 86, MX-5, BMW 2 Series Coupe, Hyundai Veloster, Subaru BR-Z, Mustang or Nissan 370Z (all under $80k) every two months.