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2010 a game of two halves according to Deloitte Motor Industry Services report


17 March 2011: The annual 2010 Deloitte Motor Industry Overview has highlighted how the motor industry experienced startlingly different results during 2010. Results from the first six months of the year benefitted from the flow on effect of the investment allowance, production slowdown and lower interest rate, with record sales across the industry. However according to the report’s author, Danny Rezek, Deloitte Motor Industry Services partner, the second half of 2010 was a different game. Incentives were gone and interest rates started to increase causing a net profit decline of 30% over the last six months of the year for the average dealer.

Mr Rezek highlighted that despite Australian motor vehicle sales for 2010 eclipsing the million mark for the third time in history, dealerships experienced a decline in profitability for new vehicle sales, due to leaner margins, a competitive market, and higher overhead expenses.

The report attributes a range of factors including the government stimulus package ending, rising interest rates, fewer tax incentives, lower levels of inventory and tightening of expenses which produced declining growth profit margins for new and used vehicles.

According to Mr Rezek, 2010 was a challenging period for the automotive industry. Average dealers suffered with a profit margin decline of 30% over the last six months, from a high of 2.5% to around 1.8% for the most recent six months.

“It is the top 5% of performers who actually plan to make a 5% net profit on sales and these dealers commit to this target in writing and it is often agreed by the management team,” said Mr Rezek.

“It is clear from the report that management across the motor industry must focus their monthly management meetings on factors such as the non financial KPI’s like service retention, showroom statistics and client satisfaction so that better actions and processes can take place,” said Mr Rezek.

“Also the better performing dealers in the report focus on the customer and create sustainable and valuable customer interactions, which often lead to repeat business. It appears that training and coaching of staff is critical during this time in order to keep the customer in the client relationship management funnel, added Mr Rezek.

Key highlights of the 2011 report were:

  • Overall market leadership went once again to Toyota for the eighth consecutive year, selling 214,718 vehicles, up 6.8% on the previous year with a 20.7% market share.
  • Holden finished a distant second behind Toyota and the Holden Commodore achieved the title of Australia’s top selling model for the 15th consecutive year.
  • As economy and fuel considerations became more important for the consumer, the small and light car segments have significantly grown and now represents close to a quarter of total sales.
  •  The USA was eclipsed by China for the first time in 2009 relinquishing their title as the world’s largest automotive retail market and sales in the USA fell from 16.1 million in 2007 to just 11.5 million in 2010.
  •  China overtook the USA to claim the title of the world’s largest automotive market in 2010 with 18.1 million vehicles sold, ahead of the best market the USA has ever achieved.
  • Only 14% of vehicles sold in the Australian market in 2010 were locally produced. In the mid 1990s it was around 50%.
  • It is anticipated the Chinese domestic market will exceed more than that of the USA and European markets combined with over 35 million units by 2020
  • The strong Australian dollar has helped importers and the Australian market is now one of the most open and competitive in the world.
  • The long term future of the Australian automotive industry rests in successful export programs and the strong Australian dollar has made it challenging for exporters over recent times.

The report also detailed how successful dealers have had to change their work culture, cull inefficiencies, improve staff retention, tighten expenses and negotiate more competitive deals from suppliers.,

“The Global Financial Crisis has hit the industry hard and production has been dramatically pulled back to more realistic inventory levels across the industry. The gap between the average and Top 5% best performing dealers has widened, which highlights how these dealers do not become complacent during good times and have effective recruitment practices which incorporates staff development,” said Mr Rezek.

Deloitte Motor Industry Group launches ProfitFocus Smartphone application

The Deloitte MIS benchmark cards are a key tool in the motor industry as ProfitFocus are the market leaders in providing benchmarks. It identifies the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) motor dealers should measure their performance against. The application is an interactive benchmarking tool for all dealer types e.g. cars, motorcycles and trucks. It also includes copies of all the benchmark cards published.

The ProfitFocus Smartphone application has been tailored towards iPhones and iPads because market research shows that iPhone currently holds the largest market share of mobile web and application usage.

“This Smartphone application will make it easier for dealers to benchmark their business regardless of their location as the application will allow dealers to enter actual data per department and measure their performance against benchmark. The benchmark type will be set by the user upon initial use,” concluded Mr Rezek.

Last Updated: 


Jane Kneebone
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications
Tel: +61 3 9671 7389, Mobile: +61 416 148 845
Danny Rezek
Deloitte Western Sydney
Job Title:
Office Managing partner
Tel: +61 2 9322 3889; Mobile: 0412 627 781




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