The great Australian car crash of 2018

Peak car or perfect storm?


Since 1998 (when I was working at Nielsen) I have been forecasting new vehicle sales with a high degree of accuracy.  In 1998, I predicted sales of 770,000 to 820,000 when the industry was forecasting 720,000.  The outcome was 808,000.  This was reported in BRW on 26 January 1998.

Our models have been continuously improved but there are occasional surprises.  2018 was such a year.

I have now analysed sales and the causal factors for 2018 and identified a pair of factors which have had a larger negative impact than in the past.

Several other factors were influential to a lesser degree, but it was a perfect storm.  One factor may have a greater impact in 2019.

My report is available at

Charlie Nelson