The rise of automobiles in Australia

Australia has the highest volume of drivers out on the roads ever and as a result, car sales are on the rise.

A recent study conducted by Roy Morgan showed that over the last decade in Australia, the amount of motorists has increased by 2.6 million to a high of 15.9 million.

The increase in motorists outpaced population growth from 2005 to 2015. During this period, there was a 17.3 per cent increase in the number of people living in Australia, while the number of motorists rose by 19.5 per cent. These figures suggest that there is now a higher usage of motor vehicles per capita in Australia.

This development is supported by a higher volume of car sales, as recent data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries shows. June figures for car sales were up 6.4 per cent from the same month last year, with 125,850 cars sold across all states. This brings the yearly figure so far to 578,427 total cars sold.

While the sales data was positive overall, there were fluctuations between states, with some reporting a decrease in cars sold. Particular states of note were Western Australia and the Northern Territory, which showed decreases in sales of 7.5 and 5.5 per cent respectively. The highest sales increases were recorded in Tasmania with a highly notable 14.1 per cent more sales and in New South Wales with an increase of 12.1 per cent.

Future outlook for car sales

With more cars out on the road, a common fear brought up is that this will lead to an increase in accidents and fatalities from motor accidents. However, the Roy Morgan research proved this fear was ungrounded as rates of accidents remained stable in Australia overall in the last decade. While 20.8 per cent of drivers surveyed by Roy Morgan in 2005 reported being in a crash, 19.1 per cent reported were involved in an accident in 2015.

In order to keep these figures low, Jordan Pakes, Automotive Industry Director cited the important role of the government.

“As the number of motorists on Australian roads continues to climb, it is crucial that government authorities keep campaigning to raise awareness about road safety and ensure that drivers who endanger others are penalised appropriately,” he said.

While there is potential for sales growth in the automotive industry in most states, dealers in Western Australia and the Northern Territory may have to work harder to find out why their local market has become more reluctant to buy recently.