THE times they are a-changin’ – those words of Bob Dylan in 1964 could apply to the Australian automotive scene of today, which has just had a shocker of a month.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries attributed the results to lower levels of consumer confidence, with CEO Tony Weber citing ‘an imminent federal election, a declining real estate market and tighter lending practices’ as contributing factors.
‘However, Australia’s love affair with SUVs continues,’ he said.
‘January was a solid sales period for these vehicles, with the segment claiming 43.8 per of total market sales.’
But the overall market was down 7.4 percent over January 2018, to 88,851 units, with every State but the Northern Territory showing a drop in sales.
To counter the miserable showing of once upon a time market leaders Holden and Ford, both down 27per cent, were China’s MG and Great Wall, up nearly 850 and 690 percent, respectively and the boofy Dodge Ram – with a 922per cent jump in sales.
They came from near-zero starting points but made encouraging blips on an otherwise largely south-bound graph.
Toyota, Mitsubishi, Kia, Lexus, Volvo, Jaguar, and Skoda were among brands with improved sales, and HiLux was again the national top seller.
Behind Toyota in overall sales came Mazda – with its Mazda3 pipping Corolla in its class – with Mitsubishi third.
Hyundai was fourth, Kia fifth, Ford and Holden sixth and seventh, and Honda eighth.
Ninth and 10th were Nissan, had a 19.2per cent drop in sales, and Volkswagen.
Doing it tough in January were Land Rover, which showed a 52per cent drop over the same period last year, Jeep, Renault, and Peugeot.
Porsche was the top sports car in the more than $200,000 bracket, but it was down a forehead-furrowing 66.5per cent over 2018.
Kia’s Picanto was way ahead in the micro car class, leading from Fiat 500 and Mitsubishi Mirage, while Hyundai’s Accent again led the light car segment from Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2.
Mazda 3 took 20.5percent of the small car market, followed by Corolla and Hyundai i30, and Camry remained dominant in the medium cars, ahead of Mazda 6 and Subaru Liberty.
In the large category, it was Holden Commodore from Kia Stinger and Skoda Superb.
Top people mover was Kia Carnival, leading Honda Odyssey and Toyota Tarago and Ford’s Mustang claimed almost half of the sub-$80,000 sports car market.
Second and third were BMW 2 Series and Toyota 86.
Among the ever-growing SUVs, Mitsubishi evergreen ASX led Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V in the small sector.
Mazda CX-5 took the medium class from Toyota Rav4 and Nissan X-Trail and Toyota Prado was top seller in the large class, followed by Kluger and Hyundai Santa Fe.
LandCruiser led the Upper Large slice on 92.1per cent market share from Nissan Patrol.
The Top 10 individual models last month were:
- Toyota HiLux – 3951
- Mazda3 – 2831
- Ford Ranger – 2564
- Toyota Corolla – 2417
- Mazda CX-5 – 2347
- Hyundai i30 – 1891
- Mitsubishi ASX – 1818
- Toyota RAV4 – 1800
- Mitsubishi Triton – 1697
- Holden Colorado – 1544