For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
Sales of New Motor Vehicles are compiled for publication using data provided by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI). The collection is known as VFACTS and is based on retail sales by all FCAI member companies.
The ABS calculates seasonally adjusted and trend series for publication in Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia.
This publication presents statistics on sales of new motor vehicles by vehicle type at the state/territory and national level. Consumer and business expenditure on new motor vehicles is one of the main economic indicators published by the ABS. It is considered to be a key item to assist in measuring economic activity and its change over time.
VFACTS, the source of the motor vehicle sales data for the ABS, measures vehicles sold by all Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) members.
The vehicle types are aggregated into three data items for publishing by the ABS: passenger vehicles, sports utility vehicles and other vehicles. Refer to Explanatory Notes for further information about vehicle types.
The VFACTS collection is compiled for publication on a monthly basis, with the data being provided electronically to FCAI by the motor dealers on a daily basis. VFACTS data is released on the third working day of the following month.
The ABS receives data from VFACTS on the fourth working day following the reference period and calculates the seasonally adjusted and trend series for inclusion in Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia. The ABS publication is released monthly and within fifteen calendar days of the end of the reference period. This is usually about eight working days after FCAI publishes the original series.
FCAI advises coverage of motor vehicle sales in VFACTS is virtually 100%.
Data quality is assured through peer pressure as there is strong competition between dealers/manufacturers. Members are prepared to challenge information that does not accord with expectations. VFACTS data are processed by an independent company and the industry regards the output as very reliable.
Sales of new motor vehicles are directly comparable over the collection cycles. The estimates are available at the state and territory level from 1992 for original, seasonally adjusted and trend series.
As part of the seasonal adjustment and trend analysis, dramatic movements in sales are highlighted for investigation and explanation. The ABS seeks advice or explanation from VFACTS in these matters.
The ABS confronts the VFACTS data each month against other statistical indicators to ensure it is accurate and a good indicator of the motor vehicle sales market.
The major series estimates for this collection are available in original, seasonally adjusted and trend series.
Seasonal adjustment removes the estimated effects of normal seasonal variation from the original time series estimates. This is done to reveal the underlying non-seasonal features of the series. Seasonal adjustment does not aim to remove influences such as the impact of the introduction of new models or industrial disputes. The seasonal adjustment factors are reviewed and revised on a regular basis.
The smoothing of seasonally adjusted estimates to produce trend estimates reduces the impact of the volatile component of the seasonally adjusted series.
Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia is an electronic publication and includes spreadsheets with monthly time series from 1994.
More detail from the VFACTS series is available if you are a member of FCAI.