FORD BEATS HOLDEN

Blue Oval eclipses Red Lion in landmark event

CHART ATTACK

YEAR IN REVIEW: 2018 PERFORMANCE CAR SALES

FOR THE first time since 1997 (21 years), Ford outsold Holden in a calendar year in Australia, 69,081 units versus 60,751 for 2018.

However, before the champagne corks bust in Bathurst and beyond, note that both fell significantly compared with 2017 and each trailed key competitors. Ford’ aforementioned tally represented a drop of 12 per cent year-on-year, though that was nothing against Holden’ 2018 haul that plummeted 33 per cent in the same period.

The Blue Oval couldn’ blame the loss of Falcon, though, given it only sold 210 of the big rear-drivers in 2017 and finally shifted the last six in 2018, while the loss of 1764 Territorys tallied in 2017 was at least partially compensated by 875 extra Everests in 2018. Yet Focus, Mondeo and Mustang were all down by about a third. The latter fell from 9165 to 6412 sales, all within a year.

The Lion brand could squarely fault the loss of local production, by contrast. While some 23,676 VFII Commodores shifted in 2017, the combined ZB and VFII-runout tally stopped at 9040 in 2018, a 62 per cent freefall.

It also entirely lost 3899 utes and 513 Caprices of 2017, sans replacement. The one saving grace is the 4999 Equinox medium SUV sales that beat 4764 Ford Escapes. The question now is, will both brands recover in 2019 or will the fall continue? We reckon GM, in particular, may well be running out of patience.

Meanwhile in other news for the Aussie new car market, the SUV has extended its lead over the passenger car as Australia’ vehicle of choice.

In 2017, SUVs outsold passenger cars for the first time, by 15,000 units. In 2018, that gap extended to 116,887 sales. In fact, SUV sales soared 6.4 per cent in a market down 3.0 per cent overall, with passenger car sales slowing by 16 per cent. – Daniel DeGasperi

PIPING HOT

Upper Large Cars

Expensive limos soared last year. BMW 6 Series went from 24 to 88, Lexus LS from three to 91, Maser Quattroporte from 34 to 44, and Benz S-Class from 113 to 284.

TOO COOL

Sports Cars

This sector fell by nearly a third, from 27,311 in 2017 to 18,571 in 2018. Hyundai Veloster dropped from 1935 to 427, Toyota 86 sunk 1619 to 957, Mazda MX-5 fell from 1459 to 835, and BMW 2 Series moved from 1750 to 1361. Mustang sales dropped 30 per cent YOY, 9165 in 2017 to 6412 in 2018.