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VFACTS  New regime: Official new car sales segments will be revised for 2006.

New regime: Official new car sales segments will be revised for 2006.

Exclusive: FCAI reforms the official VFACTS passenger car sales categories for 2006

THE Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has redefined Australia’s official vehicle sales segments as part of the most comprehensive revision yet made to the VFACTS sales reporting service since its inception in 1997.

From January, the FCAI’s national VFACTS sales report will comprise a revised group of passenger vehicle market segments, based on vehicle size but also including at least two price categories.

The result, which FCAI president Peter Sturrock described as a more accurate and contemporary reflection of today’s available new-car model ranges, was formulated following input from Australian vehicle manufacturers and importers, and media representatives including GoAuto.

While the light and heavy commercial vehicle and SUV categories continue unchanged, gone from the revised passenger-car market report are the controversial and confusing Prestige and Luxury segments.

Instead, the VFACTS report will list sales figures for the Light, Small, Medium, Large, Upper Large, Sports and People Mover segments, each of which will contain at least two sub-segments based on a pricing threshold determined by the relevant parties. The Sports segment will comprise three price brackets.

This means that fierce mid-size market rivals like Honda Accord and Mazda6 will appear in the same (Medium) competitive sales segment, rather than separately as they do now (Prestige and Medium respectively) and that the 67 various models contained in the current overcrowded Luxury segment will effectively be split into categories based on vehicle size as well as price.

In other VFACTS changes, additional sales data will include a breakdown of vehicles via fuel type (comprising LPG, petrol, diesel and hybrid), purchase type (either private, fleet or government) and country of origin.

The FCAI’s next VFACTS report, due to be published on January 5, will contain both December and full-year 2005 results in both current and revised formats, plus a 2004 report in the new format for comparison purposes – before reverting to the new system for the January 2006 report and beyond.

"We have reformatted the VFACTS report to be as contemporary as today’s passenger-car model ranges and to reflect today’s explosion in passenger vehicle models and their various types, specifications and prices," Mr Sturrock told GoAuto.

"The passenger vehicle segments have been renamed and restructured to include price bandings, based on average vehicle prices and what is the most logical as judged by a working group representing manufacturers and imports.

"The new reporting system was put to the board mid-year, was endorsed enthusiastically and will be more valuable to the media, industry and the public," he said.

The new VFACTS categories:

Light Under $25,000
Light Over $25,000
Small Under $40,000
Small Over $40,000
Medium Under $55,000
Medium Over $55,000
Large Under $80,000
Large Over $80,000
Upper Large Under $100,000
Upper Large Over $100,000
Sports Under $80,000
Sports Over $80,000-$200,000
Sports Over $200,000
People Mover Under $55,000
People Mover Over $55,000








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