High-end brands and sports cars dip
TWO MONTHS into 2018 and mainstream manufacturers are pushing the Australian new-car market up by six per cent year-to-date (YTD), while premium brands and sports cars are in significant decline.
With each percentage decline in brackets, Aston Martin (-4.0), Audi (-9.3), Bentley (-7.7), BMW (-0.2), Infiniti (-64.3), Jaguar (-45.5), Land Rover (-18.8), Lamborghini (-17.9), McLaren (-0.7), Mercedes-Benz (-0.7) and Porsche (-5.8) show the consistency of the February YTD drops.
In total, sports cars under $80K and over $80K were down by a quarter, too, with only a couple of Italians – Alfa Romeo (+57.6) and Ferrari (+65.4) – bucking the trend in the declining premium space.
So, then, how is the market up? Well, thanks to cooking models, mainly. Even from a sizeable base, Honda soared (+43.2), while Toyota (+16.4), Mitsubishi (+14.5), Kia (+12.3), Hyundai (+10.4) and Subaru (+5.1) chipped in with rises as well. Ford, Mazda and Volkswagen have flatlined, while Holden dropped dramatically (-19.4).
Caught between the arrival of new ZB and run-out VF Series II, the Commodore shed over half its YTD volume, with sales of 1608 versus 3526. With YTD sales in brackets, both Colorado (2429) and Astra (1821) have overtaken the once-dominant large car as the top selling model from the brand, but neither performed well enough.
In February alone, Holden sold 4689 vehicles, allowing what once was the unthinkable to almost occur – Kia (4664) fell just 25 vehicles short of beating it, while Nissan (4863), Honda (4962), Ford (6059), Mitsubishi (7142), and Hyundai (8001) breezed into higher positions. And, of course, Mazda (9913) and Toyota (18,281) remained at the top.
The second-gen Audi R8 has been exxy at $350K-plus. Just seven have been sold this year (four in Feb ’18 compared to five in ’17); while Bentley even sold six Continentals. So much for the ‘every day’ supercar...
A quick facelift, GT C and GT R additions, plus a fresh roadster bodystyle pushed the AMG hero from 23 sales to 39 (Feb YTD 2017 versus 2018). It’s still well behind the Porsche 911’s 136, though.
Giulia QV-based SUV.
Audi RS4 Avant Bentley Continental GT
First all-new Continental since 2003.
Hyundai’s Kia Stinger.
Rear-drive, 515kW and another ’Ring record.
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2.0-litre turbo, but DSG only.
French Cayman fighter.
HSV converts to RHD.
Boosted 1.5-litre triple.
Turbo six, rear-drive roadster return.
300kW+ confirmed for hyper hatch.