The Australian car market is growing at a nominal rate and is expected to be unaffected by the winding up of local car production. Car sales have reached records levels, though the growth going forward will not be as fast as it was previously. Although new car sales are on the rise, they continue to be outpaced by used car sales. The CommSec car affordability index has hit the highest level since 1976, and vehicle sales are expected to reach 1.2m by 2023.
Auto advertising is a major contributor to advertising expenditure. Auto advertising contributes 18% to total display advertising and 16% to the classifieds market. Vehicle advertising expenditure totalled A$689mn in 2016 and is expected to grow 21.3% to A$835mn in 2017.
Carsales continues to be the dominant player in the online marketplace for cars. The company has over half of all car listings, and was the key beneficiary of the print to online shift.
Although dealerships are expected to survive the closure of domestic production, they are facing a new threat in the form of digital disruption. New players are selling new and used cars online at relatively lower prices. Dealers would be required to incorporate digital into their value proposition in order to sustain their business.