Auto Dealer Chief In Used Car ���Pull Out���

The scheme has been a big win for buyers and a large contributor to sales records for five of the past six years.

However, according to confidential industry documents that audit dealer demonstrator models, the car industry has been inflating its true sales figures for years by about 10 per cent, although it varies from brand to brand.

New-car sales data is used by the Reserve Bank, CommSec and the Australian Bureau of Statistics as an indicator of economic activity and consumer confidence on a monthly basis – even though the confidential documents show there is often a lag of months and years when “demonstrator” cars are actually delivered to a paying customer.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the car industry lobby group responsible for publishing new-car sales figures, employs analyst firm IHS Markit to collate the data.


FCAI chief executive Tony Weber says the industry is in the process of developing more robust reporting practices.

“We have a long-term contract with IHS Markit which compiles VFACTs (new-car sales numbers),” said Mr Weber. “Written into that contract is continuous improvement … and that leads to better data. That’s what we’ve always been after. This is just part of the evolution. A whole raft of organisations look at our data, it needs to be as valid as possible, there’s no doubt about that.”

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