Chapter 4 of this issue of MESI contains
information on new motor vehicles sales (NMVS) for the first time.
These sales figures replace the discontinued Australian Bureau of
Statistics (ABS) new motor vehicle registrations (NMVR) data.
NMVR figures have been used as an indicator of
economic activity and are seen as a proxy for new motor vehicle
These registration figures are readily available
from each motor vehicle registry in Australia, where they are
produced as a by-product of the registration process; ABS has been
collecting and publishing these figures on a monthly basis since
the early 1950s.
Motor Vehicle Sales
From 1992, the Federal Chamber of Automotive
Industries (FCAI) has compiled and published monthly sales data
from its VFACTS collection.
VFACTS data is based upon the retail sales of
all FCAI member companies and these numbers are used by the
industry for supply and marketing purposes.
Sales or Registrations?
Registrations data have been provided as a proxy
for sales data. However, if sales data were available it would seem
more appropriate to publish them.
ABS compared its total registrations data with
the total sales information from VFACTS and found that both sets of
information tracked each other very closely at the national level.
Since the sale and registration of a new vehicle usually occurs in
the same month this is not an unexpected outcome.
With VFACTS data considered by ABS to be
- of assured quality, through FCAI members pressure
- accurate, with almost 100% coverage of the industry and with
revisions to published data needed only rarely
- more timely than the registrations data because of daily
electronic feeds from data suppliers
- assured of future supply of data, and
- of sufficient length to enable seasonally adjusted and trend
series to be produced as well
ABS decided that providing NMVR data was
unnecessary duplication and discontinued its NMVR collection after
the release of December 2001 statistics.
The NMVS figures will be published monthly by
ABS commencing with the January 2002 figures and with series back
to January 1994. The NMVS data will only be available
Monthly Economic and Social Indicators
Table 4.2, on page 16, tabulates monthly,
seasonally adjusted sales of new passenger motor vehicles, along
with annual totals, as well as annual percentage changes for data
Passenger motor vehicles are those designed
primarily for the carriage of people and include cars, station
wagons and people movers. Sales of passenger vehicles do not
include four-wheel drive passenger vehicles and, therefore, are not
directly comparable with the ABS registrations data.
The graph below shows the difference in annual
levels between the passenger vehicle sales and registrations series
for the last seven financial years.
This feature was prepared by Stephen Barber.