Increased interest in alternatives to petrol

More than 2.2 million Australians intend to buy a new vehicle in the next four years, according to Roy Morgan research, and only 61.9 per cent think their next vehicle is most likely to have a petrol engine.

The results are from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey of more than 50,000 consumers per year. The latest data is for the three months ended December 2017.

Alternatives to petrol all showed higher preference levels among intenders compared with their share of current sales, with diesel 5.3 percentage points higher on 29.2 per cent, hybrid (petrol and electric) higher by 4.7 percentage points (to 5.2 per cent), fully electric higher by three percentage points (to 3.1 per cent) and LPG 0.6 percentage points higher (to 0.6 per cent).

Roy Morgan Industry Communications Director Norman Morris says there has been considerable growth in the new vehicle market over the past decade or more. But this is now facing the real challenge of rapidly changing technologies with the resultant fuel preferences.

“Most manufacturers are ramping up their development in areas such as electric vehicles and driverless cars, but it will ultimately be the consumer that will determine who the winners are,” he said.

“We’ve already seen some early signs of changes in this industry, particularly in the very rapid changes in fuel preferences, the move aware from cars to SUVs, and the speed and range of new models entering the market.”

Some 2.26 million Australians say they intend to buy a new vehicle in the next four years. This is just below the same period last year (2.29 million), which led up to the record sales in 2017, making it a very positive outlook for 2018.

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