9314.0 - Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia, Jul 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/08/2008   
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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

The New Motor Vehicle Sales statistics 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. VFACTS data have been produced monthly since 1992.

In January 2002, the ABS ceased collecting motor vehicle registration data and began publishing monthly statistics on sales of new vehicles (based on the VFACTS collection). The ABS calculates seasonally adjusted and trend series for publication in New Motor Vehicle Sales.


The New Motor Vehicle Sales 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.

Whereas the purpose of the VFACTS collection is to meet industry needs for timely, detailed statistics for marketing. FCAI disseminates detailed data to its paying members using CUBES tailored to individual needs. Limited broad level data are made available publicly, usually in the form of press releases.

          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 data are provided electronically to FCAI by motor dealers on a daily basis. FCAI advises coverage is virtually 100%.

          The scope of the collection includes:
        • passenger vehicles
        • four wheel drive vehicles
        • vans
        • trucks
        • buses
        • vehicles with diplomatic and consular plates
        • state/territory and commonwealth owned vehicles
        • vehicles belonging to the defence forces

          The vehicle types are aggregated into 3 data items for publishing by the ABS: passenger vehicles, sports utility vehicles and other vehicles.


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 8th calendar day following the reference period and calculates the seasonally adjusted and trend series for inclusion in New Motor Vehicle Sales. The ABS publication is released monthly and within 15 working days of the end of the reference period. This is usually about 12 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. A number of checks are made with various sources before monthly releases are made but revisions are rarely made to published outputs.


The New Motor Vehicle Sales data 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 the New Motor Vehicle 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.

In 2004, the classification used by VFACTS was expanded to include sports utility vehicles. Data on SUVs was backdated to 1994.


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.


The New Motor Vehicle Sales publication is an electronic publication and includes spreadsheets with monthly time series from 1994.

New Motor Vehicle Sales data are also available from the ABS National Regional Profile (NRP). Data is purchased from VFACTS at postcode level and concorded to statistical local area and broader ABS Geography for inclusion in the National Regional Profile.

More detail from the VFACTS series is available if you are a member of FCAI.