CHART: Ford and Holden's failure to build an Aussie SUV might have destroyed local manufacturing

Getty/Tim Boyle

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the new motor vehicle sales data for June this morning with total sales up 3.8%, close to an all-time high of 97,620, seasonally adjusted.

The data continues to tell the story of the changing nature of Australia’s motor vehicle market, with SUV sales hitting an all-time high in original terms of 42,256 out of a total 125,850 sales.

June is always a big month, which is why the seasonal adjustment has dragged total sales back below 100,000. But even with the seasonal adjustment back to 33,223 for SUVs, it’s obvious there has been a paradigm shift in the types of cars Australians drive.

The monthly gap in sales between passenger cars and SUVs was stuck in the mid-to-high 30,000 range until the middle of 2008. Since then it has dropped precipitously with SUV sales as a ratio of passenger vehicles sales peaking at 77% in February this year.

Is it any wonder that a local industry, focused mainly on passenger cars, has lost its relevance and is now being shuttered? But to be fair the speed of the change in Australian preferences would have caught almost any business manager by surprise.

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