HIGHLIGHTS Australia’s new-car market fell 15.3% from December to January as fleet customers did their annual swap of suits for swimmers. However, compare progress against the same month last year and we’re already 2.7% up in 2016.
The Mazda 3, which is bought with mum-and-dad money, soared to the top of the charts as its main rival, the fleet-friendly Toyota Corolla, dried up. The shift to SUVs also accelerated, with sales up 19.5% while LCVs were up 11.9%.
LOWLIGHTS After a champagne December, the Aussie car industry nursed a severe hangover in January, slumping 37% to just 4156 sales, largely the result of Toyota plumping its 2015 books with Camry sales (5321 in Dec versus 503 in Jan).
The Holden Commodore more than halved its tally to 1242 from December, while the Ford Falcon managed to attract only 235 buyers. The Ford Territory (500) and Holden Cruze (1231) were also down, by 21.8% and 34.2% year-on-year respectively.
The Raging Bull sold just 84 cars for the entire year in 2015, seven of them in January. In the first month of this year it blew rivals away, snaring 22 buyers seduced by the new Huracan.
Even as it prepared for local shutdown in 2008 Mitsubishi was still selling about 260 of its 380 large cars a month. In contrast, Toyota’s Camry-with-a-V6 sedan sold 68 in January.