TRADING PLACES

Old guard losing ground to Mazda, Hyundai

–Daniel DeGasperi

CHART ATTACK

LAST MONTH IN NEW PERFORMANCE CAR SALES

IT HAS been two decades since Ford’ ill-fated AU Falcon arrived to challenge (or not, as it were) Holden’ hugely successful VT Commodore.

PIPING HOT

Ford Ranger

Two Fords are up YTD, the Transit and this four-by-four ute – by 0.6 per cent. With 30,863 of 58,332 Ford sales, the Falcon Car Company is now the Ranger Car Company

TOO COOL

Ford Mustang

After a gangbuster 2017, even a facelifted ‘Stang has failed to help reverse a 35.1 per cent drop to October 2018. The coupe and convertible managed 8003 sales this time last year, falling to 5193 this year – yet it’ still the second most popular Ford in Australia...

By October 1998, Holden and Ford had shifted 122,118 and 105,424 vehicles respectively, a staggering 78,072 and 54,993 being of their large cars. By contrast, in the same month, Hyundai and Mazda (which now lead the market behind Toyota that topped the charts both then and now) managed 50,448 and 23,232 showroom sales respectively.

Fast forward to October 2018, and Ford is beating Holden, 58,332 (down 12 per cent year-to-date) versus 50,804 (down 28 per cent YTD). Meanwhile Mazda’ 94,246 haul has toppled Hyundai’ 80,552 tally. If orange is the new black, then the Japanese and South Korean brands are certainly the new US-owned duo.

Viewed another way, 20 years ago the Mitsubishi Magna struggled to duel with the Big Six duo, by October 1998 YTD contributing a mere 27,286 sales – half that of Falcon – to the brand’ 69,844 tally. Some 10 years later, local production would wind down in South Australia – also 10 years before the end of local manufacturing. Yet a resurgent Mitsubishi is now smashing the Blue Oval and Red Lion with 70,685 units, up 9 per cent YTD. Not only is that a stellar performance in a market down 1.3 per cent, but despite being overtaken by Mazda and Hyundai, those rivals have fallen 4 per cent and 2 per cent YTD.

Who would have predicted that the former Magna-maker could outpace Holden? And who would have guessed out of the brands mentioned that only Ford and Hyundai would still be selling performance cars?

–Daniel DeGasperi