Big brands start 2019 with big losses

- Zak Adkins

WITH CREDIT tightening and in an election year, confidence is shaky and as such, Australian sports car sales have plummeted - 28%, in fact, since December 2018. Aston (-69%), Audi (-19%), Lamborghini (-30%), Maserati (-54%) and Porsche (-67%) all took big losses in the market during January compared to this time last year.

Sports cars under $80K fell 27% and models over $80K fell 25%. Those commanding high prices in the sub-$200K category fell 38%. However, sports cars in Australia only hold a very small space in the national car market (just 1.5%). Nissan (-19%), Subaru (-19%), Hyundai (-13%) and Mazda (-6%) all took decent losses in January.

On the flipside, some brands bucked the downward trend in January. RAM made a seriously impressive 922% increase on its December sales, while MG ended with an increase of 849%. Mitsubishi did well at 27%, while Skoda (+24%) and Volvo (+13%) all enjoyed notable gains.

Popular models such as the i30 (including N) did well with a 2% increase, selling 1891 cars in January. Mercedes-Benz sold 415 A-Class models with an 18% increase on December. VW is still selling plenty of Golfs (and of course, many being the GTI/R variants), with 1231 cars sold in January, only slightly down from December 2018.

Mini managed to scrape through and sell slightly more cars in January (168 up from 166 last December). Finally, the BMW 5 Series did extremely well, selling 140 cars in January - up 204% from December.

Holden sold 4167 cars in January, while Hyundai homed 6205 units. The biggest winners in terms of total units sold was Toyota with 15,961 cars and Mazda with 9490 sales.

- Zak Adkins