The Hilux Index: Comparing historical grain prices to the cost of a ute

The cost of a Hilux has increased since the 1970s. Pricing of wheat and barley haven’t kept the same pace. In the 1980s you had to sell 87 tonnes of wheat or 125t of barley to purchase a Hilux. In the 2010s you had to sell 204t of wheat, 100t of canola or 215t of barley. The amount of canola hasn’t really changed much from 92t in the 1990s. Productivity, to an extent, has kept up

One of the questions we have regularly had over the years: “How many tonnes of X do I need to sell to buy a Hilux/Landcruiser/Commodore compared to the old days?” It’s been one that we have always wanted to look at but never got to it. So, let’s look into how much grain you need to sell to buy one Hilux. We chose the Hilux as it is a good quality farm ute which has been sold for a long time in Australia and will continue being so. Sorry Commodore fans. We gathered the price per year of a suitable Hilux from each year since 1979 to the present day, along with the annual average price for wheat, barley and canola.

Grains have generally not kept pace with inflation, but everything else around us tends to increase in price. The Hilux is no exception (even before the COVID tax). If you were selling wheat or barley to purchase a Hilux in the 1980s you’d have a new Hilux after selling 87t of wheat, and 99t of barley. In the 2010s you’d need to sell 197t and 215t!

The story isn’t quite the same with canola; the average decade range has been 91-100t required to buy a Hilux.

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