Expectations for the Australian car market in 2024

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Mazda CX70
Mazda CX70

The Australian car market, despite downturns during the pandemic period, has bounced back in a big way. Australian appetite for new cars is consistently healthy evidenced by an average car age of about eleven years; and this is despite little to no emissions requirements or restrictions. More than 1.21 million cars were sold in Australia during 2023, an increase of 12.5% and breaking the previous record of 1.18 million set in 2017.

However, is this indicative of a growth in the market, especially as Electric Vehicles (EVs) become a more popular alternative, or will proposed emissions standards and taxes slow growth for the car market in Australia?

Let’s look at the numbers and projections for where the car market in Australia is headed.

 

Recent sales figures

Australian sales figures of new vehicles show that 106,371 units have been in March, an increase of 13.6%. This makes year-to-date sales at 296,115, an increase of 13.9%.

Toyota again is the market leader with a 19% share, an increase of 37.4%.

During 2023, the Ford Ranger was the bestselling car in Australia with sales figures increasing by 33.4%, followed by the Toyota Hilux despite a 5.1% dip in sales, and the Isuzu D-Max taking third place, up 28.2% over last year.

In January 2024, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) remained the most popular type of passenger vehicle, with a share of 55.5% of sales. Light Commercial sales stood at 22.9%. Other passenger vehicles encompassed 18.3% of sales. 46,624 electric vehicles (EVs) were sold in Australia the year-to-date June 2023, which was more than the entire calendar year of 2022.

 

Projections for the Australian car market

As mentioned, Australians maintain a significant demand for new vehicles. The Australian Bureau of Statistics says that 93.1% of households have at least one registered vehicle, with 55.1% saying they have more than one registered vehicle. The total number of registered vehicles hit 21.2 million in January 2023.

950k registrations were recorded sold in 2010 and 2011. Light car sales topped 1 million in 2012 with a 12.6% gain and stayed above this level until the epidemic, which saw only 880k registrations country wide. In 2016, sales peaked at 1.17 million and dropped to 1.04 million in 2019.

Toyota Australia says that sales will cool compared to last year, with 1.05 to 1.1 million sales expected during 2024. They also expect an expansion in sales of BEVs and hybrid vehicles as consumers look towards cheaper fuel sources for their cars as petrol prices continue to remain at record highs.

According to Statista, passenger car revenue is expected to reach $16.1 billion (USD) in 2024, with an annual growth rate of 8.53% over 2024-2028. The volume weighted average price for a passenger car in Australia is expected to settle at around $43,326 (AUD).

The market for passenger cars is expected to reach 789.2k vehicles in 2028. Unsurprisingly, Toyota will maintain its dominance in the passenger car segment with a 24.9% market share.

If there is a slowdown in sales, it won’t be big – and Toyota will be the ones on top for the foreseeable future.