Market contracts with loss of locals

Ė Daniel DeGasperi

THE LOSS of Australian new vehicle manufacturing was always going to hurt in more ways than one, but as the former flood of locally made products turns to an inevitable trickle, it has unexpectedly accelerated the volume drop in the overall car market.


In an $80K-plus sports car segment down 20.3 per cent, Audiís medium coupe and cabriolet rebounds from 300 sales by July 2017, to 407 units by July 2018.


MB C-Class Coupe/Conv

It still leads the $80K-plus sports car class with 1156 sales to July 2018, more than double the Audi A5 (400) and BMW 4 Series (456), but its 675- unit year-to-date fall (from 1831 sales by July 2017) has been greater than its rivalís totals.

In July 2018, Aussies bought 85,551 vehicles compered with 92,754 in July 2017, down 7.8 per cent. That drop of 7203 includes 4755 fewer local Ford, Holden and Toyota models, or a dribbling 65 local sales versus a stillconsiderable 4820 in the same month last year.

To put that latter number into further context, had it been reached again this month it would have still left Australian cars as the fifth most popular country of origin behind a dominant Japan (27,370) and Thailand (21,387), South Korea (11,864) and then Germany (6967).

Speaking of which, imports have dropped 2448 units comparing July 2017 with July 2018, but year-to-date there has been an extra 27,973 sales of offshore-made products, from 659,074 to 687,047 and up 4.2 per cent overall. This only further highlights that the lack of any continuing Aussie cars has resulted in a total fall, because the overall market is down from 692,306 by the seventh month last year to 691,073 this year, a drop of 0.2 per cent.

Drilling down further, Holden more than Toyota is to blame. Only 41 last VFII Commodores were sold in July, along with 516 units of ZB, leaving the nameplate to plunder 65.9 per cent versus July 2017 and 52.8 per cent yearto- date. The Camry has fallen 44.8 and 37.4 per cent respectively, but still with more than double Commodoreís monthly (1317) units. And being less reliant on one model has left Toyota up 1.4 per cent year-to-date. Holden? Itís down 24.8 per cent.

Ė Daniel DeGasperi