Australia October 2012 Sydney Motor Show special – Part 2 Hyundai gets sporty, Volkswagen and Kia power on
* See the full article and the Top 20 best-selling brands by clicking on the title! *
This is part 2 of my special report on the Sydney Motor Show, you can see Part 1 here. We talked about Toyota, Holden, Mazda and Ford already. The only remaining brand in the Australian Top 5 best-sellers year-to-date in 2012 is Hyundai, up one spot and 5% to #4 with 68,460 sales, placing the i30 on the models podium for only the 2nd time ever last month and imposing the Veloster as the best-selling sportscar in the country. You can check out the 9 months 2012 Top 20 brands ranking at the end of this article. To get to the next level of sales – a podium in 2014 below Toyota and Mazda and ahead of Holden is not unthinkable – Hyundai understands it now needs to act like a local Australian brand, and this means amping up its sports/street creds.
Toyota ‘owns’ various local sports events like the hugely popular Australian Football League (AFL), while homegrown Ford and Holden have specific sports ranges: Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) and Holden Special Vehicles (HSV). Hyundai already sponsors the fast-growing Soccer Championship (The A-League), and tested the waters today by debuting an “SR” sub-brand that is unique in the world. Granted, it’s nowhere near the crazy monsters from FPV and HSV but it was the main attraction at the Hyundai stand, with no less than 4 SR models presented: one i30, one Accent, and two Velosters: a Street Car and a Rally Car. An interesting evolution of the Hyundai brand in Australia.
Before we go any further I will share with you two sales updates for more ‘exotic’ brands because these rarely get talked about that way… When unveiling the all-new Range Rover, Gobal Operations Director Phil Popham revealed that the model’s global production is now fully allocated up until mid-next year. For its part, Automobili Lamborghini Commercial Director Fintan Knight announced that 1,000 Aventador have now been built and there is an 18 months waiting list for the supercar. Granted, this is not new news as the 1,000th Aventador was produced last July after only 15 months but it was new news to me! As a reminder it took the Aventador’s predecessor, the Murciélago, nearly 3 reach to reach that milestone, while Lamborghini’s all-time best-seller, the Gallardo, is fast approaching the 12,000 mark.
Now a special thanks to Nissan for being the source of many future headaches when the time comes to calculate the best-selling nameplates in the world… The Japanese manufacturer launched the all-new Pulsar today. The Tiida nameplate has proven to be a no-go in Australia with disappointing sales, so the Pulsar monicker is reprised almost 8 years after being dumped. Yes but it’s not that simple. If the Pulsar hatchback is (logically) the new generation Tiida (as sold in China), the Pulsar sedan is in fact a Sylphy (in China), Sentra (in the USA) or Almera (in Russia) bearing no connection with the Tiida family. Plus the Versa sedan which replaces the Tiida sedan in most worldwide markets is sold in Australia as an Almera. Exactly.
After hitting record volumes in 2010 (38,016) and 2011 (44,740), Volkswagen is headed for a third consecutive record year in Australia with sales up 25% year-on-year over the first 9 months of 2012 to 40,223, even passing Mitsubishi in September to rank #7 brand. Managing Director Anke Koeckler introduced the new gen Beetle for the first time in Australia and was kind enough to answer my questions. She told me “market share is our performance indicator. We wanted to achieve 5% by 2013 but we have already done this (4.89% after 9 months in 2012). But we don’t want to rush through and be too aggressive in the market.”
Is 25% growth sustainable over the long term? “This would probably not be possible each year, I think we have to consider a year of stabilisation, potentially when our pillar models are replaced and this might happen in 2013 with the Golf 7 launching in the first half. About the new Beetle, Anke Koeckler said “I’m always looking at the new Beetle as our icon model, doing more work for our brand values than actual strong sales.” With a new Beetle and a new Golf in 2013 which will mark the 60th anniversary of its presence in Australia, Volkswagen looks set to break yet more records…
See the Top 20 best-selling brands over 9 months 2012 in Australia below.
Read the full article featuring Kia by clicking on ‘Read more’ below.
Kia is also on fire this year in Australia with sales up 23% to 23,456 over 9 months 2012 and the brand knocking at the Top 10′s door year-to-date. Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow is however a little more bullish than his equivalent at Volkswagen. When I asked him about where he saw Kia in the mid- to long-term, he said: “Kia used to be in the Top 10 a decade ago. That’s our ambition is to get in there (the Top 10) and stay there, improving our year-to-year sales at a reasonably aggressive rate, at the same rate that we’re doing this year. As the brand develops and model availability continues to change we see that as being quite achievable.”
So a 20% annual growth for is the (very ambitious) target for Kia, which would mean a Top 5 brands ranking around 2017… On the other hand, Tony announced 51 new models in the next 6 years, starting with the facelifted Sorento, the new generation Rondo (aka Carens), both unveiled at the Show, and new gen Cerato (aka K3) in H1 2013. He also unveiled the Track’ster concept car, first unveiled at February’s Chicago auto show and giving a hint at what the next generation Soul, “definitely in the cards for Australia”, will look like. Tony also added that they are studying the feasibility of importing the small hatch Picanto into Australia.
Best-selling brands in Australia – 9 months 2012:
|Pos||Brand||9m 2012||%||/11||9m 2011||%||Pos|
Source: VFACTS, many thanks to Daniel for sharing the data.