Ford and Holden recently announced they are joining the long departed Nissan, Chrysler, Leyland and others from the Australian automobile production landscape.
It was a decision born of changing consumer tastes which Craig James, chief economist at CommSec, brought into stark relief with his analysis of the current state of the car market in Australia.
James looked at the total number of vehicles registered in Australia as at January 2014. Remarkably, James reports that in a country of 23 million people there were 17.633 million motor vehicles registered.
But it is the changing break-up which is the big story of Ford’s exit. James said:
Highlighting the changing nature of Australian society, the number of Ford and Holden vehicles on the road over the past year has continued to fall. Only six of the top 30 makes recorded declining registrations over the past year and Holden and Ford were amongst those. In contrast, the heavy marketing of Jeep vehicles has proved successful – Jeep numbers soared by 20.5 per cent over the past year, ahead of a 14 per cent gain by Audi and the fastest growth of any top 30 make of car recorded in at least the past eight years.
And here is our big three brands – Toyota’s everywhere and Ford in an inexorable decline: