The home-grown Holden VF Commodore.
The home-grown Holden VF Commodore.

Oi! Why won't you buy an Australian-made car?

WOULD an Australian made car be on the top of your wish list?

It seems Aussies are voting with their tyre prints. So far this year, locally produced cars from Holden, Ford and Toyota have accounted for 106,722 sales, according to VFACTS statistics. Imported cars have notched up 932,749 sales in a growing market.

Australian made cars are down 16.5% year to date.

Have we lost our lustre for home grown cars?

Recent Roy Morgan research says we have. Their survey found less than half of Australia's 15.6 million drivers prefer to buy a car made in Australia.

And only those on low incomes still want to fly the green and gold flag.

As segmented and defined by the Helix Personas profiling tool, the majority of "Battlers" (55.4%) prefer to buy Australian Made cars - 10% points above the norm. 49.7% of "Golden Years" older suburban or rural homeowners say they prefer to buy cars manufactured here. 

Battlers are defined as families/couples living in cities/towns earning low income from their skilled jobs, secondary school education.

The Golden years segment are older married household/retirees who are family proud - confident as they have paid off their suburban or rural home.

But support for Aussie-made is at just 35.8% among younger, inner city, high-earning and early adopting "Metrotechs".

Wealthier and established families in the "Leading Lifestyles" community aren't far behind, with just 39.7% favouring Australian made vehicles.

More than 40% of new car purchase intenders (in the next four years) belong to one of these two higher income communities, compared with less than one in four who belong to Battlers or Golden Years.

"Ford's decision earlier this year to cease local production from 2016 spelled for many the beginning of the end for the Australian auto manufacturing industry. Now with talk of Holden and Toyota following suit, it seems like the writing's on the wall," Roy Morgan Research's Jordan Pakes said.

"When it comes to buying Australian-made cars, the less-affluent Battlers and Golden Years communities have above-average preference. However compared with the average Australian, Battlers and Golden Years are less likely to be in the market for a new car in the next four years; combined, they make up only around a quarter of the 2.3 million intenders in the new car market.

"Nevertheless, Battlers and Golden Years comprise a third of Holden's market and almost a quarter of Toyota's. Both makes need to consider how shutting down local factories will affect sales among these markets that value Australian Made cars." 


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