Frizelle guest specialist Alexandra Yates says Ferrari’s history is a perfect fit for Gold Coast’s ‘vibe’. Picture: Annette Dew
Frizelle guest specialist Alexandra Yates says Ferrari’s history is a perfect fit for Gold Coast’s ‘vibe’. Picture: Annette Dew

We’re a tribal mob when it comes to cars

QUEENSLANDERS are a tribal mob when it comes to car ownership, with exclusive analysis of vehicle registration data revealing the state breakdown their vehicle and manufacturing lines.

Many of the results makes sense. LandCruisers are kings of the Outback, particularly in the west; Gold Coasters like to be noticed in flashy sports cars or luxury European brands; and zippy Vespas are favourites for Noosa residents trying to find a park on Hastings St.

Analysis of more than three million vehicle registrations, broken down to a per-capita level for every council area, highlights regional vehicle loyalties that reach near fanatic levels in some areas.

The two brands that have dominated the Australian motoring psyche - Holden and Ford - have their highest market penetration in a ring of councils that arch across southeast Queensland.

The Southern Downs, southwest of Brisbane and including Warwick and Stanthorpe, is the Ford capital of the state, with one of the oval-badged vehicles registered for every 13 residents.




And despite the company's flagship Falcon model being out of production for two years, there's one for every 27.5 residents in the Southern Downs.

Warwick Automotive owner Chris Murphy, the region's main Ford dealer, said the company's vehicles retained value well and "go forever".


Toyota is clearly the king of the bush.
Toyota is clearly the king of the bush.


"The range is probably the reason they're so popular. Rural areas have always been very strong ones for Falcons and Falcon utes," he said.

The Holden hotspot is up in Hinchinbrook Shire, just north of Townsville, where one of company's vehicles is registered for every 10 people.

Four of the top five hotspots for the company's classic family car, the Commodore, were Aboriginal communities.

The Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire, north of Cairns, is the state's Commodore hotspot, with one of the cars for every 15.5 residents.


The 2014 FG Falcon XR8. Picture: Supplied
The 2014 FG Falcon XR8. Picture: Supplied


Japanese manufacturer Toyota is clearly the king of the bush, with one vehicle registered for every 4.9 residents in the McKinlay Shire, centred on Julia Creek in the state's northwest.

McKinlay is also the number one hotspot for LandCruisers, with one for every 6.3 people in the shire.

Further south, in the Barcoo Shire, based on Jundah, Stonehenge and Windorah, there's more than one ute for every resident old enough to drive.

On two wheels, the Gold Coast might be home of outlaw motorcycle gangs but, surprisingly, the region is not even in the top 25 for Harley-Davidson ownership.

Gladstone is the state's hotspot of the famous motorcycle brand, with one registered for every 66 residents, followed by Mackay (69) and Hinchinbrook (71).


Shannah Bradshaw with her Tesla in New Farm Park. Picture: Annette Dew
Shannah Bradshaw with her Tesla in New Farm Park. Picture: Annette Dew


The Gold Coast dominates the sports car and luxury markets. It is in top spot for per-capita ownership of Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche and ranked in the top five for most other sports and luxury brands.

Ferrari Australasia CEO Herbert Appleroth said the company had recorded four consecutive years of record sales around the country and the Gold Coast was one of it strongest markets in the world last year.

"Queensland is Ferrari's strongest new car and pre-owned market with continued strong sales growth and a seemingly insatiable demand," he said.

General ownership levels of some makes and models - Ferraris, Goggomobils, DeLoreans - were quite low, meaning the results could be skewed by a single car registered in a region.

The lone Ferrari registered in the Carpentaria Council, which includes Normanton up in the Gulf, made it the surprising per-capita hotspot for the brand.

FW: 2013 Holden Commodore Evoke V6
FW: 2013 Holden Commodore Evoke V6

A single Bentley registered in Cloncurry pushed that to the top of the list and a single Rolls- Royce in Weipa made the far northern area the second most-dense spot for the British classic, behind Goondiwindi where six are registered for its nearly 11,000 residents.

RACQ motoring advice manager Joel Tucker said the analysis provided a unique view of how consumer trends had shifted over the years.

"Queenslanders love their cars, and it's really fascinating to see the way our preferences have evolved. Gone are the days of Falcons ruling the roads - unless you're in the Southern Downs, of course," he said.

"But we wouldn't like to be the ones cleaning the bugs off the grills of the Goondiwindi Rolls-Royces after they've done some trips out on those country highways."

Toyota Hilux rugged X 4WD dual cab ute is right at home on bush roads.
Toyota Hilux rugged X 4WD dual cab ute is right at home on bush roads.


THE Gold Coast is supposed to have one of the highest concentrations of Ferraris in the world - but the Glitter Strip does not even take top spot in Queensland.

That honour belongs to the massive Carpentaria Shire Council, at the base of the Gulf, where a lone Ferrari is registered to one the area's 2051 residents.

If that statistical anomaly is removed, Ferrari ownership hot spots mirror those of many other sports and high-end European luxury brands, which are heavily centred on Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Noosa and the Douglas Shire, which surrounds Port Douglas.

On Brisbane's northside, there is one Ferrari for every 3756 people while on the Gold Coast it's one for every 4767 residents

But Ferrari is banking on ownership rates spiking on the Glitter Strip this year when a $10 million stand-alone Ferrari dealership will open in a partnership with Frizelle Sunshine Automotive.

Frizelle's chief operating officer, Rebecca Frizelle, said the Gold Coast had come of age and was one of Ferrari's strongest markets per capita in the world.

"The high demand for sports cars is part thanks to the great Gold Coast weather and a strong local economy," she said.

"The driveability of the Gold Coast is a plus, there's less traffic and the scenery is impressive."

Frizelle's guest specialist Alexandra Yates said Ferrari's history was a perfect fit for the city's "vibe".

Rose Lowndes is one of many Vespa riders in Noosa. Picture: Lachie Millard
Rose Lowndes is one of many Vespa riders in Noosa. Picture: Lachie Millard



ONE of the bonuses of working at a Noosa scooter dealership for Rose Lowndes is that she gets to zip around on the company Vespas, running errands and attending events.

"They are the best of the best," she said. "They're like the Mercedes-Benz of scooters."

And when Rose does take the popular Italian scooter on the road she's not alone.

The Noosa region has the highest per-capita Vespa ownership rates in the state, with one for every 195 residents.

Her boss, Noosa Scooter Style owner Scott Macken, said Vespas were a natural fit with the Noosa lifestyle and the tight parking situation.

"The reason we are so successful with the Vespa brand and scooters in general is the ease of use that scooters provide, including parking, which is always a premium in Hastings St,"
he said. "The Noosa Council also has really worked hard to provide a lot
of parking which is scooter and motorcycle friendly."

Lance Haslewood owns one of a handful of De Loreans in Queensland. Picture: AAP/ Megan Slade
Lance Haslewood owns one of a handful of De Loreans in Queensland. Picture: AAP/ Megan Slade


WHEN Lance Haslewood takes his immaculate DeLorean DMC-12 for a spin on the highway it can get dangerous quickly.

His car is one of only 13 DeLoreans registered in Queensland and attracts attention wherever it goes.

Mr Haslewood (right) bought his DeLorean about 20 years ago simply because he liked the look of the car, which was only in production for three years from 1981 and has distinctive gull-wing doors.

But for the stream of people that drive after him on the highway, windows down, phones hanging out the window taking pictures and videos, it's all about the car's link to the classic 1980s movie trilogy Back to the Future.

"It can be quite scary and it drives me crazy," he said. "If I pull it in to a servo to get fuel and I'm in a hurry, I can forget about that," he said.

Mr Haslewood's DeLorean is the only one registered in the Moreton Bay council area but eight are registered on Brisbane's southside.