Weekly Dealer Car Enquiries: January 23, 2022

In this series, which we aim to bring to you every week, we’ll be detailing some of the key numbers and trends that we’re seeing in terms of dealer connections made through our site.

As this data is considered somewhat representative of broader industry activity, and serves as one of the more insightful leading indicators for potential car sales, we hope it will fulfil a few purposes for our broad audience. First, to document not just how we’re performing as a business, but how dealers and the wider market stand to perform, so you don’t have to wait til that next set of official sales data.

Without further ado, here’s what happened over the last week.

Total new car enquiries

For the second week in a row, the amount of new car enquiries via the PriceMyCar platform went backwards, with the seven-day period ending Sunday, January 23 seeing a total of just 1,250 dealer connections. Compared with the seven-day period ending Sunday, January 16, where there were 1,330 queries, this represents a week-on-week fall of 6%.

As we flagged last week, new car buying interest seems to be facing pressure in the wake of a slump in consumer confidence. Recent data confirms this, with last week’s ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence reading down 7.8% or 8.1 points to 97.9, the lowest level since Victoria was stuck in lockdown amid the second COVID wave. It is also the lowest January result since 1992.

This time around, it is the widespread transmission of the Omicron variant, as well as a shortage of Rapid Antigen tests that appear to be weighing on the minds of consumers, and that’s before you consider the broader supply chain issues unfolding. 

In particular, buying intentions for major household items was down. with the proportion of those saying now is a ‘good’ time to buy major household items down 5 percentage points to a total of 33%. In contrast, those saying now is a ‘bad’ time to buy major household items represented 39% of respondents, up 7 percentage points for the highest reading since August 2020.

All this comes despite surprisingly robust jobs numbers being released last week, with more than 60,000 jobs added to the economy in December, and the unemployment rate dropping to just 4.2%.

Screenshot 2022-01-24 6.10.25 PM

New car interest by brand

Kia maintained pole position last week as the most sought-after make of car, and in contrast with many of its closest peers, it was one of the only frontrunners that saw a week-on-week increase in the amount of inbound queries, albeit fractionally.

Hyundai was another name chalking up a positive week, which is something we also witnessed across brands like Nissan, Volkswagen, MG, Toyota and BMW.

On the other hand, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Isuzu all saw a comparable level of weaker interest compared with the week prior, dampening the momentum tied to their recent recoveries. Mercedes-Benz, which has followed Honda and adopted a fixed-price agency model, saw leads drop by roughly two-thirds.

 

Prospective New Car Buyer Numbers

Jan 17 – Jan 23 

Jan 10 – Jan 16 

% Change in Enquiries

Kia

148

146

1.4%

Mazda

119

147

-19.0%

Mitsubishi

104

127

-18.1%

Isuzu

98

117

-16.2%

Ford

90

101

-10.9%

 

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