MarketPlace

FEB 2016

SUVs nudge closer to the tipping point

HIGHLIGHTS Boom times were back in February, with sales for the month hitting 96,443, a 6.7% increase on the same month last year. Aussies bought 39,558 passenger cars, with SUVs running a narrow 2693 sales behind. It was a big month for BMW, with its refreshed and repositioned 3 Series shoving past its arch-nemesis, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, for the first time since August 2014. BMWs bump in volume has also helped it nudge back ahead of Audi in the luxury sales race.

LOWLIGHTS SUV-heavy Nissan slipped two spots in the sales race in February, falling behind a similarly SUV-stoked Mitsubishi and a revitalised Ford, back in the saddle with the new Mustang. Early signs are that the micro-car class, the playground of the likes of the Fiat 500, Mitsubishi Mirage and Nissan Micra, is already down 34.7% for the first two months of 2016 compared with last year.

Instead, there appears to be a flight to premium small cars.

BMW Z4

It may be a decade old under its skin, but BMWs longnose sports coupe still has enough showroom swagger to snare 36 sales in February, even in the face of fresh rivalry from an all-new, t lry third-generation Audi TT. m nos s riva

KIA SPORTAGE

After 1188 sales in January clearing the old model, Kias all-new Mazda CX-5 fighter managed only 580 in February. The carmaker says the slowdown was due to tight supply of a few of the more popular variants. el, .