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Australia: What the press is saying about Holden leaving

December 13th, 2013 3 comments

Holden press review 12 December 2013I told you it was big news here… (first time I bought that many newspapers on the same day!)

* See the Full article by clicking on the title! *

Now that we all have had time to digest the news that Holden will close its Australian operations in 2017, it’s time to review how the local press has taken the event. My striking observation is that a majority of publications actually agree with the decision, illustrating the pragmatism that characterises Australian society today. The Australian’s Dennis Shanahan declares ”the politics of the closure of Holden’s plants (is) an empty sham full of mock surprise and pointless blame-shifting. Holden’s demise has been expected for years and no amount of taxpayer-funded bailouts was going to keep Holden open.” The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Elizabeth Knight goes even further: “Good riddance to the great Australian con – that we need a local car manufacturing industry. We, as Australians, really need to move on. We need to recognise that we carry no natural economic advantage (in the car manufacturing industry). The fact Australia has persevered as long as it has is one of the more staggering elements in this vexed and emotionally charged debate.” Even if I tend to agree, these opinions are delivered in a particularly harsh way and it is fascinating that such views dominate the scene.

Mike Devereux. Picture courtesy of The Sydney Morning HeraldMike Devereux walks from his announcement on December 11.

On the constructive side, The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Peter Hartcher says this “can be a jolt to national action”, pointing out that “the test of an economy is not what it can preserve but what it can create; not how much subsidy it can pay but what profitable investment it can generate” and reminding us all that “the car industry has been given $19 billion in handouts and tariff protection over the past decade” with the result being “not a thriving industry but a sad kind of industrial charity.” He adds the “the passing of Holden will create a twinge of nostalgia because it holds a place in Australia’s past, but not its future.” And “one of the few things Julia Gillard (Australia’s previous PM) and Tony Abbott (the current one) used to agree on was that if you wanted a prosperous modern economy, you had to have a car industry. This was news to Switzerland. And Singapore. And Norway. And Denmark. None of these had any car manufacturing, yet all are among the top-10 richest countries in income per person.”

The Sydney Morning Herald 12 Dec 2013(Click to enlarge) Early Holden history and fiery question time at Parliament

The Daily Telegraph points out the “manufacturing malaise” in Australia, listing all carmakers to abandon the country recently: Nissan in 1992, Mitsubishi in 2008, Ford in 2016 and Holden in 2017, with Toyota’s long-term future “uncertain”.  The same newspaper also lists the main milestones of Holden’s “iconic history” in the country, including the fact that one in two cars on the road in Australia back in 1958 was a Holden – to be compared with 5% of all new cars sold today being a locally made Holden… The one millionth Holden was sold in 1962, five millionth in 1990 and seven millionth in 2008. In 1978, the year the Commodore nameplate was launched, Holden celebrated 25 years of continuous sales leadership. In 1991 Toyota beat both Holden and Ford to rank #1 brand for the first time, but Holden would have a go until 2002, the last year it ever ranked first.

Full article featuring Holden sales forecast below.

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Categories: Australia

Australia December 2013: Sydney Photo Report Part 1

December 13th, 2013 No comments

1969 International Scout Sydney December 20131969 International Scout

See the Full Photo Report by clicking on the title – Click on the pictures to enlarge! *

Following the success of my Trans-Siberian Long Term Photo series, I have decided to share with you what can be seen in the streets of Sydney, Australia where I reside. It never occurred to me to do this before, simply because these are I see every day, but I thought it might interesting for you readers living far away. Hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for more Photo Reports throughout the Australian summer! We start with a lovely turquoise International Scout, originally launched in 1969. International is nowadays known for their F**-off trucks competing with the likes of Mack, but this American brand born over one hundred years ago in 1902 used to manufacture a whole range of light commercial vehicles and 4WD, including this pick-up jeep which really looks like an oversized toy.

MG6 GT Sydney December 2013aMG6 GT

As I have described in my latest Australian sales update, MG has been reintroduced in the country in 2013 but does not appear in the sales rankings yet because no official data is being released for now. I spotted my very first ‘true’ MG6 (read anywhere else than in the Parramatta road dealership) parked in Darlinghurst, one of the more upmarket suburbs of Sydney, pictured above.

1974 Triumph 2500 TC  Sydney December 20131974 Triumph 2500 TC

Sydney-siders love their vintage cars, like this perfectly restored Triumph 2500 TC originally launched almost 40 years ago in 1974, but in absolute mint condition. Triumph used to enjoy relatively high sales levels in the sixties and seventies in Australia, in line with its score in the UK. At the time, the Australian car market used to be much closer to the English one than it is today. You can check out 65 years worth of Australian Historical sales Data here (You need to become a Member to access the data tables).

Holden Commodore Sydney December 2013Holden Commodore in Paddington, Sydney

Holden Commodore Terrigal December 2013Holden Commodore in Terrigal, New South Wales

The new (and last) generation Holden Commodore has well and truly landed in Sydney, and I have observed a very interesting sales mix: most Commodores I have spotted are either the station wagon or high-spec sports variants like the SS. No ‘plain Jane’ versions yet.

1977 Holden Sandman Ute Sydney December 20131977 Holden Sandman ute. Many thanks to John for the pic.

Australia invented the passenger car-derived pick-up (or “ute” for utility vehicle) when Holden launched the 50-216 Coupe Utility back in 1951. Since then, this type of vehicle has become emblematic of Australia’s surfing culture and loads of specimens can still be seen both in cities and on the beach nowadays. Including this bright orange 1977 Holden Sandman spotted in Darlinghurst.

Subaru Impreza sedan Terrigal December 2013Subaru Impreza in Terrigal, New South Wales

Subaru has a special place in the hearts of Australian consumers, making this country one of the brand’s most important in terms of sales figures worldwide. The XV can literally be seen everywhere already, but less popular models in other corners of the planet still get their place under the sun, like the above Impreza sedan spotted in Terrigal, one hour drive North of Sydney.

VW Combi Sydney December 2013VW Combi in Bondi Beach, Sydney

All the cliches about blonde Australian surfers driving battered VW Combis are actually… true. The Combi is a nation-wide favourite and can still be seen frequently anywhere there are waves to surf…

More photos below.

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Categories: Australia

Holden pulls out: this is the end of Australian car manufacturing

December 11th, 2013 2 comments

Mike Devereux 11 Dec 2013GM Holden Chairman Mike Devereux: “Building cars in Australia is just not sustainable”

Mike Devereux, Chairman of General Motors’ Australian subsidiary, Holden, has just announced 30 minutes ago in a press conference live on Australian Television that Holden will cease to manufacture cars locally in 2017, almost seven decades after the very first Holden rolled out the Elizabeth, South Australia plant back in 1948. This announcement follows Ford stating last May  they would close their local operations by 2016. This is a big deal here in Australia where I reside, akin to Volkswagen announcing they would stop manufacturing in Germany or Renault in France, Holden being so intrinsically linked to Australian culture. However if you have been a regular BestSellingCarsBlog reader this should not come as a shock: see also Australia: Is the end of local manufacturing near? and Ford pulls out of Australia.

Holden Cruze CommodoreThe Cruze and Commodore are Holden’s last two locally produced models.

Mike Devereux cited exactly the same reasons for leaving Australia as Ford Australia CEO Bob Graziano did last May: “the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, a relatively high cost of production coupled with the relatively small scale of the domestic market, and the fact that Australia is one of the most competitive and fragmented auto markets in the world”. For Devereux, the bottom line is clear: “building cars in this country is just not sustainable, as painful as it is to say.” Devereux stressed the fact that Holden does build cars that are popular across the country, building and selling 2 of the Top 5 passenger cars here (the Holden Commodore and Cruze). However, he also admitted that “no matter which way we apply the numbers, the long term business case to make and assemble a car here is no longer viable.”

Toyota Camry Hybrid Australia December 2012Toyota cannot sustain local manufacturing alone.

This announcement, on top of the nearly 3,000 jobs directly affected at Holden, has a fatal knock-on effect on the entire automotive industry in Australia, potentially affecting as many as 200,000 jobs in the wider industry. It leaves Toyota as the sole local car manufacturer, which is simply not sustainable, almost certainly marking the end of local automotive manufacturing in the country. In an announcement published just now as a response to Holden, Toyota states “this will place unprecedented pressure on the local supplier network and our ability to build cars in Australia” and will now work with its suppliers to “determine whether we can continue operating (…) in Australia.” In fact, expect Toyota to pull the plug on local manufacturing soon, as parts manufacturers need a scale that only two carmakers can bring to be financially viable. Devereux himself announced back in June that ”[Manufacturing] is viable with two of us, I don’t think it’s viable with one of us.”

Holden 48-215 sedan launch in 1948The first Holden to roll out the Elizabeth plant in 1948.

With the Australian government recently signing a free-trade agreement with South Korea and on the verge of signing similar ones with Japan and China, the price of vehicles imported from these countries may be cut by as much as 5 to 10% in the coming months, making local manufacturing even less viable. R.I.P. the Australian automotive industry. This will immensely shake the economic tissue connected to this industry and will affect Australia’s economy as a whole but will also put an end to billions of taxpayers’ dollars ($1.8 billion for Holden alone between 2001 and 2012) injected to artificially sustain an industry bound to be delocalised sooner or later. Holden posted the 2nd biggest loss in its history in 2012 at $152.8 million. In any case, rarely had a single decision in the automotive industry had so many ramifications for the wider Australian economy.

Previous Australia post: Australia November 2013: Hyundai i30 and VW Golf shine

Categories: Australia

Australia November 2013: Hyundai i30 and VW Golf shine

December 4th, 2013 1 comment

Hyundai i30 Australia November 2013Hyundai i30

* See the Top 20 best-selling models and Top 12 brands by clicking on the title! *

New car sales in Australia are down year-on-year for the third consecutive month at -1% to 96,924 registrations, however 2013 will be another record year, with year-to-date sales standing at 1,039,471 units, up 2% on 2012 which was already an all-time high year… The Toyota Corolla is edging ever closer to its first ever annual pole position, topping the sales charts for the third month in a row and the 6th time so far this year thanks to 3,894 sales and 4% vs. 3,666 and 3.8% for its archenemy the Mazda3. Year-to-date, the Corolla leads with 39,794 units and 3.8% vs. 38,060 and 3.7% for the Mazda3. Still close, but the crowning of the Corolla, which would be the first time in the history of automobile in Australia that a Toyota model finishes the year at #1, is now almost 100% certain.

VW Golf Australia November 2013. Picture courtesy of caradvice.com.auVW Golf

Outstanding performance of the Hyundai i30 up 67% year-on-year to rank #4 with 3,157 sales and 3.3%, potentially due to the arrival of the 2-door and station wagon versions which I have already spotted in the streets of Sydney. This is the i30′best market share in the country since September 2012. Below the Holden Commodore down 2 spots to #5 and the Toyota Camry stable at a shiny 6th place, the VW Golf is up a further two ranks on October to reach an astounding 7th place with 2,069 sales and 2.1%, up 109% year-on-year thanks to the 7th generation of the model now well established in dealerships across the country. This is the Golf’s third best ranking in Australia (it ranked #3 in October 2011 and #4 in June 2011), the 4th time it hits #7 and the first ever time it manages to stay within the 10 most popular cars in the country for 3 months in a row.

Previous month: Australia October 2013: Holden Commodore at highest in 2 years

One year ago: Australia November 2012: New gen pushes Toyota Corolla up to #1

Full November 2013 Top 20 models and Top 12 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Australia

Australia October 2013: Holden Commodore at highest in 2 years

November 11th, 2013 7 comments

Holden Commodore Australia October 2013Holden Commodore

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 20 models and Top 45 all-brands! Click on title to see *

The Australian new car market experiences its biggest year-on-year fall in 20 months and 2nd decrease in a row in October, down 3% to 92,620 registrations, however the year-to-date total still stands at a record 942,564 units, up 3% on 2012. The reason for the slowdown is the nervousness about the changes to the Fringe Benefits Tax on company cars proposed by the previous Rudd Government a couple of months ago. The new Federal Government only announced officially today that it will not go ahead with these changes, which should enable the market to return into positive over the last two months of 2013. In October, fleet sales were down 10% year-on-year while sales to private buyers were up by 4%.

Toyota Corolla Australia October 2013Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is getting ever closer to its first Australia’s best-selling car title, leading the sales charts for the 5th time this year and the 2nd time in a row in October thanks to 3,862 units and 4.2% share, up a fantastic 30% year-on-year. Corolla 2013 sales now add up to 35,900 vs. 34,394 for the Mazda3, back up to #2 this month with 3,613 sales and 3.9%. The Holden Commodore climbs back onto the Australian podium for the first time since March 2012 at #3 and lodges its best monthly volume and share since September 2011 at 3,315 units and 3.6%. It is now up to #5 year-to-date, passing its assembly line sister the Holden Cruze.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Australia October 2013. Picture courtesy of forcegt.comThe Jeep Grand Cherokee is up to #17 this month.

Notice also the VW Golf inside the Top 10 for the 2nd month running at #9, the Hyundai i20 leading its segment with sales up 55% year-on-year to #12 at 1,732 units, the Toyota RAV4 up 69% to #13, the Hyundai ix35 doubling its sales vs. October 2012 to 1,480 and 1.6% at #15 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee continuing its impressive progression: up a further two ranks to an all-time high #17 with 1,373 sales and 1.5% share.

Previous month: Australia September 2012: Toyota Corolla closer to coronation

One year ago: Australia October 2012: Toyota Camry #1 locally built model

Full October 2013 Top 20 models and Top 45 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Australia

Australia 9 months 2013: Discover the Top 297 All-models Ranking!

November 10th, 2013 10 comments

Nissan Pulsar Australia September 2013. Picture courtesy of drive.com.auThe Nissan Pulsar is the most popular all-new model in 2013 at #21.

* See the Top 297 All-models ranking by clicking on the title! *

Like every Quarter I can share with you an all-models ranking for Australia which enables us to get the full picture in this very dynamic and competitive market. If the shenanigans atop the sales charts have already been described in the monthly posts, we can now look beyond the Top 10 to find out who the big movers are. The biggest gainers inside the Top 50 are the Hyundai ix35 up 64% year-on-year to #13, the Holden Colorado up 72% to #14, Honda Civic up 61% to #18, Honda CR-V up 273% to #27 thanks to the new model, Jeep Grand Cherokee up 50% to #31, Mitsubishi Outlander up 42% to #36 and the Toyota 86 up 360% to a brilliant 48th spot.

Holden Colorado Australia October 2013. Picture courtesy of themotorreport.com.auHolden Colorado sales are up 72% so far in 2013.

There are no less than 13 all-new models making their appearance in the ranking, two of them inside the Top 40: the Nissan Pulsar ranks at #21 with 10,918 sales and 1.3% and the Mitsubishi Mirage is #37 at 7,500 units and 0.9%. We then have the Mercedes A-Class at #81 with 2,328 sales, the Volvo V40 at #141, Holden Malibu at #142, Toyota Prius V at #143 and Holden Trax at #179. Notice also the Holden Volt at #234 with 89 units, the Mercedes CLA at #238, Jaguar F-Type at #272, Nissan Juke at #273, BMW 4 Series at #279 and Peugeot 2008 at #282 with 15 sales.

Toyota 86 Australia October 2013. Picture courtesy of caradvice.com.auThe Toyota 86 ranks at an outstanding #48 in 2013 year-to-date.

Other impressive progressions include the Hyundai Santa Fe up 54% to #58, Kia Sportage up 32% to #60, Mercedes B-Class up 129% to #74, Ford Kuga up 217% to #75, Honda Accord up 202% to #79, Audi Q3 up 127% to #82 and Chrysler 300 up 349% to #95. Among models launched just over a year ago (and therefore displaying artificially high growth), notice the Nissan Almera at #100, the VW Up! at #117, Opel Astra at #135 (it won’t go any higher as Opel has already withdrawn from this market) and Peugeot 208 at #137.

Mercedes A Class Australia September 2013. Picture courtesy of themotorreport.com.auThe Mercedes A-Class lands directly at #81 this year in Australia.

Italian manufacturers are enjoying a bit of a revival this year in Australia: the Fiat 500 is up 280% year-on-year to #114 with 1,383 sales, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta up 191% to #119 and 1,308 units, the Fiat Freemont up to #150 with 700 sales and the Fiat Punto reborn at #240. In the Chinese aisle, things are not going that smoothly: the Great Wall V-Series is down 40% and 21 spots to #65, the X-Series is down 44% to 108, the Chery J11 down 60% to #199 and the Chery J1 down 55% to #208. The Chery J3 is the only one in good shape: up 191% to #174…

Foton Tunland Australia September 2013. Picture courtesy of themotorreport.com.auStill no sales data for the Foton Tunland in Australia.

If this looks like a complete picture of the Australian new car market, it’s actually not. There are a few manufacturers not reporting their sales to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, even though they are well and truly present in the market. For example, Geely has been selling the MK in Western Australia for a couple of years now but not a single sale has ever been reported. Same goes for Foton with the Tunland and for MG, back in Australia since April 2013 with the MG6 but with no trace of it in the sales charts… If you have access to any data for these manufacturers, please make sure to get in touch!

Previous post: Australia October 2013: Holden Commodore at highest in two years

Previous month: Australia September 2012: Toyota Corolla closer to coronation

One year ago: Australia 9 months 2012: Discover the Top 293 All-models ranking!

Full 9 months 2013 Top 297 All-models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Australia

Australia September 2013: Toyota Corolla closer to coronation

October 3rd, 2013 3 comments

Toyota Corolla Australia September 2013. Picture courtesy of caradvice.com.auThe Toyota Corolla is getting closer to its first #1 finish in Australia.

* See the Top 20 best-selling models and Top 48 All-brands by clicking on the title! *

For the first time since December 2011, new car sales in Australia slow down at -2% year-on-year to 92,662 registrations, which means the year-to-date total is now up ‘only’ 3% on 2012 at 849,449 units (still a record at this stage of the year) and * shock, horror! * a new all-time high year could be in jeopardy if the market continues to drop. Now that the Federal election is over and Australia has a new Prime Minister, the uncertainty over changes to Fringe Benefits Tax rules (see explanation here) should not have affected sales negatively anymore, especially given interest rates fell to a new low and cars are more affordable than ever.

Hyundai ix35 Australia August 2013. Picture courtesy of themotorreport.com.auHyundai Australian sales are up 13% in September.

Car experts are scratching their heads over this decline and some wonder whether the weaker sales in the main mining states – Queensland, West Australia and the Northern Territory – down by between 5.5 and 8.2% year-on-year, are enough to explain it. I will venture a much simpler reason. Mazda’s hugely successful annual sale day (the M Day) was brought forward a month to August this year, resulting in a 25% decline for the brand or 2,800 units less in September 2013 vs. 2012. The overall market is down 2,100 units on September 2012 so without Mazda’s decline it would be in positive.

Holden Commodore Australia September 2013Holden Commodore

In September the Toyota Corolla lodges its third month in pole position for the year thanks to 3,443 sales and 3.7% but more importantly it’s the 5th time in the last 6 months it beats the Mazda3, 2011 and 2012 leader, down to #3 and 3,052 units this month, bringing its year-to-date lead to 1,258 units at 32,039 vs. 30,781. If the Corolla maintains this lead over the Full Year, it will be the first ever year it finishes at #1 in Australia, becoming only the 2nd imported model to ever top the Australian sales charts with the Mazda3. You can also check out a post I wrote last year: Australia: Could 2013 be the year of the Toyota Corolla?

VW Golf Australia September 2013. Picture courtesy of forcegt.comThe VW Golf delivers its first Top 10 finish of the year.

Utes are back in force this month, with the Toyota Hilux at #2 and now threatening the Mazda3 for 2nd place year-to-date, the Nissan Navara up 7 spots to #6 and Ford Ranger up 6 to #8. The Holden Commodore seems to have stabilised around 3% share, is now #6 year-to-date and should overtake its assembly line partner the Holden Cruze next month. Very nice result for the VW Golf helped by a $22,990 drive-away promotional pricing, delivering its first Top 10 finish in almost a year at #9, seemingly showing that Volkswagen may have bounced back from its recall controversy earlier this year.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Australia September 2013. Picture courtesy of drive.com.auJeep Grand Cherokee

Hyundai passes Mazda to become the third most popular brand in the country this month below Toyota and Holden with sales up 13% on September 2012. The Korean manufacturer places the i30 in 5th position with 2.9% share, the ix35 up 78% year-on-year to #13 and the i20 topping its segment at #15 thanks to sales up 56% to 1,566 units. Finally, the Jeep Grand Cherokee continues to impress at an estimated 19th place.

Previous month: Australia August 2013: Mazda3 #1, Toyota RAV4 hits all-time high

One year ago: Australia September 2012: Mazda3 and Hyundai i30 at record heights

Full September 2013 Top 20 models and Top 48 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Australia

Australia August 2013: Mazda3 #1, Toyota RAV4 hits all-time high

September 5th, 2013 5 comments

Toyota RAV4 Australia August 2013. Picture courtesy of caradvice.com.auToyota RAV4

* See the Top 15 best-selling models and Top 46 All-brands by clicking on the title! *

As predicted last month, the proposed changes to the fringe benefit tax (FBT) pending the September 7 Prime Minister election have slowed the Australian new car market, down 0.2% year-on-year in August to 93,336 registrations. The FBT change makes it harder to save on tax through novated leases, and as a result some businesses have stalled the purchase of new cars, with light commercials down 23% on August 2012 (see a view on FBT changes here). However the year-to-date sales total is evolving at record levels for now, up 4% on 2012 to 757,282 units.

MY2014 Mazda 34 more months until the all-new Mazda3 arrives in Australia…

Just when we thought the Toyota Corolla was moving towards an effortless first year in pole position (check out Australia: Could 2013 be the year of the Toyota Corolla?), the cards are redistributed once again! Boosted by Mazda’s annual M-day promotion and now in full run-out mode before the new generation comes in next January, the Madza3 delivers none other than its highest monthly volume and share so far in 2013 at 4,188 sales and 4.5%, up 40% year-on-year and relegating the Corolla to #2 at 3,681 units and 3.9%. With the Toyota Hilux hit full frontal by the FBT changes (-29% at #3), the Mazda3 is back up to #2 year-to-date with 27,729 sales vs. 28,596 for the Corolla… Which of the two do you think will win the 2013 race? Comment on here to let us know.

Holden Commodore Australia August 2013Holden Commodore

The Holden Commodore is 75 units short of reclaiming a spot on the Australian podium, a feat it has not managed since March 2012. It ranks 4th for the 2nd month running but already sees its score curb: from 2,827 sales and 3.1% (+18%) last month to 2,809 and 3% (+15%)… Is this all the new Commodore has to offer? At the other end of the scale, the Ford Falcon hits its lowest-ever monthly volume for the 5th time this year, down 58% on August 2012 to a paltry 573 sales – it is now outsold by the Toyota 86 at 753 units this month (Falcon chronology: Jan 778, Apr 717, May 707, July 594).

Mazda CX-5 Australia August 2013. Picture courtesy of caradvice.com.auThe Mazda CX-5 is above 2% share in Australia for the first time this month.

The Toyota Camry at #7 makes it 3 locally-produced models in the Top 7 for the 2nd month in a row. The Mazda CX-5 is above 2% share for the first time at 2.1% thanks to 1,914 sales, ranking at a best-ever #8, also reached last May. Helped by the new generation, the Toyota RAV4 is up 64% year-on-year to land at #9 with 1,780 sales and 1.9%, all-time ranking and share highs for the 20-year old nameplate in Australia. Finally, notice the record months of the Jeep Grand Cherokee at 1,319 units and 1.4% (potentially #17) and the Mercedes C-Class at 1.153 sales and 1.2%, potentially inside the Top 20 for the first time ever.

Got yourself the 4WD of your dreams? Get it equipped with Superior Engineering.

Previous month: Australia July 2013: Holden Commodore at highest in 16 months

One year ago: Australia August 2012: Toyota Hilux leads for 5th time, Mazda CX-5 in Top 10

Full August 2013 Top 15 models and Top 46 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Australia

Australia July 2013: Holden Commodore at highest in 16 months

August 7th, 2013 5 comments

Holden Commodore Australia July 2013Holden Commodore

* NOW UPDATED with actuals! See title for the Top 20 models and Top 46 All-brands *

Contact me at matt@bestsellingcarsblog.com for a more in-depth analysis of this market.

It’s a new July record in Australia at 90,235 registrations, however a change in taxation for fleet sales has slowed down the growth of the market over the second half of the month to just 4% above 2012. Analysts predict the Australian market may fall into recession over the 2nd half of the year. For now it is up 5% on 2012 to a record 663,946 units. The big event this month is the return of the Holden Commodore inside the Top 10 thanks to the new generation: up 8 spots on June and a whopping 18% year-on-year to #4 with 2,827 sales and 3.1% share. That’s the Commodore’s best ranking in Australia since July 2012, its strongest volume and share since March 2012 and its highest year-on-year increase in potentially 6 years… For comparison, its former archenemy the Ford Falcon is down 37% year-on-year in July to a lowest-ever 594 sales.

Toyota Corolla Australia July 2013With the Mazda3 now in run-out mode, the Toyota Corolla has good chances to finish 2013 at #1.

The Toyota Corolla reclaims the pole position for the 2nd time this year with 3,945 sales and 4.4% share, up a fantastic 32% on June 2012, and reinforces its year-to-date lead at 24,915 units and 3.8% vs. 23,693 for the Toyota Hilux down 29% to #3 in July and 23,541 for the Mazda3 up 3% to #2 this month. Notice also the Holden Cruze up 32% year-on-year to #5, Mitsubishi Triton up a huge 96% to #9 and Holden Colorado up 33% to #10.

Opel Astra Australia September 2012Opel’s life in Australia will have been very short.

In other news, General Motors has decided to drop the Opel brand from Australia, less than one year after launching it in the country and after only 541 units were sold in 2012 and 1,100 so far this year… Plans are reportedly in place to sell some Opel models with a Holden badge in Australia – something the Australian manufacturer had done for years before Opel was introduced here in 2012.

Previous post: Australia 6 months 2013: Discover the Top 292 All-models ranking!

Previous month: Australia June 2013: Toyota Hilux hits best-ever volume in euphoric market

One year ago: Australia July 2012: Toyota Hilux #1 for the 4th month in a row!

Full July 2013 Top 20 models and Top 46 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Australia

Australia Full Year 2012 Private Sales: What consumers really buy

August 1st, 2013 3 comments

Mazda2 Australia 2012. Picture courtesy of themotorreport.com.auThe Mazda2 in #4 in the Australian Private Sales ranking!

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to David *

Thanks to David, for the first time on BSCB I can share with you a Private Sales models ranking for Australia. But first a bit about the methodology. Private sales accounted for just under 50% of the overall Australian new car market in 2012 at 541,338 units. Private sales are defined as vehicles bought in an individual’s name. Other categories are non-governmental fleet (rental companies, company leases and other private companies such as bikesales.com.au).

and government. Japanese manufacturers, in particular Mazda (3 models in the Top 6!) and Honda, are excelling at this little game.

Mazda3 Australia 2012The Mazda3 is even more dominant in the Private Sales ranking than in the overall sales charts.

The Mazda3 dominates the ranking head-and-shoulders with a huge 84% Private Sales ratio leading to 37,050 sales and 6.8% markets share, only bettered in the Top 50 by the Mazda2 at #4 and 87% (vs. #14 overall) and the Honda Jazz at #19 and 85% vs. #38. The Mazda3 is no less than 12,000 sales and 2.2 percentage point share above the #2, the Toyota Corolla at 24,874 units and 4.6%. The Holden Cruze rounds up the podium with a reasonable 56% private ratio.

2014 Honda Jazz Australia. Picture courtesy of themotorreport.com.au85% of Honda Jazz (2014 model shown) are purchased by private buyers.

Other great performers inside the Top 10 include the Ford Focus at #5 with 13,409 sales and 72% private ratio, the Mazda CX-5 at #6 and 82% private vs. #17 and the VW Golf at #9 and 61%. Notice also the Honda Civic at #11 and 84% vs. #31, the Suzuki Swift at #14 and 75% vs. #27, Ford Fiesta at #18 and 77% vs. #34, Great Wall V-Series at #29 and 79% vs. #49 (which is outstanding given it’s a commercial vehicle), VW Tiguan at 75%, Honda Accord Euro at 79%, VW Polo at 78% and Honda CR-V at 79%.

Holden Commodore Australia 2013. Picture courtesy of caradvice.com.auWill the new Holden Commodore regain the favours of private buyers in Australia?

On the other end of the scale, the Holden Commodore is down to #12 with just 31% of sales going to private buyers. Now this is to be taken with a grain of salt, because as the methodology shows, non-private sales include novated leases which are technically leases to private buyers. However it is well known that the Commodore is mainly sold to fleet these days which has been at the core of its sliding down the Australian ranking. In detail, its sales are 9,466 private (31%), 16,186 non-government fleet (53%) and 4,880 government (16%). It will be interesting to see how private sales of the new generation Commodore fare this year. For its part the Ford Falcon is at 23% private which places it outside the Top 50.

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Full Year 2012 Top 50 Private Sales models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Australia