Weekly Dealer Car Enquiries: October 17, 2021

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

The unpredictable nature of late across the new car market continues to be hard to read, with dealer connections falling in the week ending Sunday, October 17. Despite a promising increase the week prior, that momentum waned last week, with new car enquiries down by 6.1% to 1,453.

In light of last week’s employment data, there was some data to shape the narrative around the uncertain numbers we’ve been seeing in terms of dealer connections. The unemployment rate increased from 4.5% to 4.6%, however, it was the details behind this that were far more telling. 

First, the participation rate decreased from 65.2% to 64.5%, which helped cushion the unemployment rate, but underscores how many people have stopped looking for work. Secondly, the number of unemployed people increased by just shy of 9,000, or 1.4%. And thirdly, the number of people in work slumped by 138,000, in what was perhaps the most eye-opening number. 

In conjunction with the jobs report from August we can see that the labour market is certainly a long way off from being in a strong position. While lockdowns are now coming to an end across east-coast states, it may take some time for this to be ironed out and lead to stronger consumer buying sentiment, especially towards discretionary purchases like cars.

Screenshot 2021-10-18 12.18.48

New car interest by brand

Other than Kia and Mazda, which switched positions, plus Hyundai and Nissan, which also swapped rankings, there were no major movements when it came to new car interest in the major brands.

There is still a rather concentrated level of interest in the top 10 most sought-after brands, and we don’t expect this to change any time soon given these brands have distanced themselves from others across the market.

MG is one brand that has made a strong move in recent times, perhaps gaining the most traction throughout the pandemic alongside Kia, with interest in the Chinese brand also matched by strong sales growth. It remains to be seen whether the brand can take that next step and power up the list, but the auto-maker’s affordable range of SUVs are certainly finding favour.

  

Prospective New Car Buyer Numbers

Oct 11 – Oct 17 

Oct 4 – Oct 10 

% Change in Enquiries

Ford

162

179

-9.5%

Kia

157

156

0.6%

Mazda

147

171

-14.0%

Isuzu

137

141

-2.8%

Mitsubishi

127

121

5.0%

Nissan

108

94

14.9%

 

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