Just like everyone else, Australian’s love their luxury cars. Luxury car sales in the Australian market are up and down however, with 2016 hitting a record high before plummeting in 2017. We’re excited to see what the market does this year. Either way though, Australian’s have their favourites. Which luxury car is outperforming the rest?
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the number one luxury car you’re likely to spot in Australia. It’s the second most popular mid-size car on the market so you’re likely to spot one around on any given day in the inner cities.
After four years of double digit growth, sales of luxury vehicles went down 6 per cent last year. This is the first time it’s sunk since the global financial crisis. However, interestingly enough, this has happened in a year when more new vehicles were sold than any other.
According to Commsec, Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s brokerage unit, luxury car sales made up 104,277 of all cars sold in 2016. This was an increase of over 15 per cent.
“What we’re also seeing over the past decade is an improvement in car affordability, which is at a record high in Australia, causing more buyers to ‘rate up’ when they update their vehicle. Australian wages continue to outpace luxury car prices which, in turn, improves car affordability.” – Craig James, Chief Economist of Commsec.
Unfortunately, 2017 and 2018 are telling a different story, so if you’re looking for an affordable luxury model, you may want to look at buying used. CommSec’s Luxury Vehicle Index shows that while overall new vehicle sales are at record highs, luxury car sales have fallen dramatically. The biggest annual decline in five years.
According to CommSec’s Luxury Vehicle Index, luxury vehicles account for 11.21 per cent of annualised passenger cars and SUVs, down from 11.5 per cent in December. Annual growth of new luxury vehicles has slowed markedly over the past year. In April 2016, annual growth was 19.7 per cent. In August 2017 sales were down 1.8 per cent on a year ago – the slowest growth in five years.
Mercedes-Benz Australia senior manager of public relations, David McCarthy agreed it has been a tough year.
“We haven’t had real wage growth in Australia for a number of years. Banks are getting tougher and tougher on home equity loans where a lot of people are financing cars. People don’t feel complete confidence in the economy.”
That being said, in 2017, Mercedes-Benz had its best year ever in Australia, reporting 3.1 per cent growth in luxury sales of its passenger cars and SUVs. Mercedes-Benz accounted for 29.9 per cent of all luxury vehicles sold in the country. That’s almost one in every three. You’re likely to spot quite a few Mercedes in your travels.
Beyond Mercedes, these other brands upped the ante with fantastic growth:
Alfa Romeo (+48.7%)
Aston Martin (+25.2%)