Friday, August 23rd, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

It seems the government’s recent changes to the Fringe Benefit Tax policy are already causing ripples, with long-term new car buying intentions softening in July.

Long-term new car buying intentions have softened in July, with an estimated 2,310,000 Australians intending to buy a new car in the next four years, a decrease of 16,000 since June. It seems the government’s recent changes to the Fringe Benefit Tax policy are already causing ripples.

The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research also reveal that short-term intention has fallen. There are now an estimated 671,000 Australians intending to buy a new car in the next 12 months; also down by 16,000 since last month, but remaining well above the long-term average of 619,0001*.

Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia): April 2002 – July 2013, n=629,060 (avg. quarterly sample n = 13,602). * Long Term Average = One year new car buying intention, June 2002 – July 2013.

Jordan Pakes, Account Director – Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“After a record start to the year, both long and short-term buying intentions have declined in July. Due to these early record intention levels, the total market is up on sales by almost 5% year to date. The private market has driven much of the overall sales gain, accounting for more than half of all new car sales so far this year; the category is up by almost 10% compared to this time last year.

“With the government’s July 16 announcement of changes to fringe benefits tax (FBT) deductions for vehicles likely to impact business and government vehicle sales, and fewer ‘private’ consumers in the market now than earlier in the year, it will be interesting to see if 2012’s sales record will be eclipsed in 2013.

“Not all brands have been adversely affected, with Subaru posting their strongest short-term result in more than 12 months. Surprisingly, given the recent negative media buzz, Volkswagen has also had a strong month, with Golf accounting for more than 60% of the brand’s overall intention.”

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