We’ve seen the prototypes for Chevrolet’s mid-engined Corvette C8, now we’ve spied a trio of intriguing patents. The first filing is for active side skirts that raise and lower depending on vehicle speed. There’s also an application for a pair of active spoilers, one on the boot lid and the other on the trailing edge of the roof, with the last patent being applied for active air ducts below the front grille and via a roof scoop. We’ll have to wait to see how much, if any, of this tech appears on the production car, due next year.
HIGHLIGHTS Despite a general market downturn, there were some segment winners such as micro cars (up 31.8%) on the back of Kia Picanto, small SUVs (3.4%) driven by Mazda CX-3, Nissan Qashqai and Mitsubishi ASX, respectively, 4x4 utes (6.4%) – Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger topped the total market yet again – and upper large SUVs (4.1%) on the strength of the Toyota Landcruiser.
LOWLIGHTS: In textbook post-EOFY fashion the total market volume fell, by 34 percent, from 130,300 units to 85,551 in the wake of the rush to June 30. Passenger and SUV sales, not surprisingly, did the same, falling 33 percent from 97,723 units to 65,172. Yet the figures also represent a decline of 7203 vehicles or 7.8 percent compared with July 2017, and the first time in 2018 that total market sales have slipped below record-setting pace. The large (-53.6%), medium (-31.3%), sports (-38.2%) and upper large (-46.1%) segments brought most of the decline.
WINNER 130% INCREASE
The Czech seven-seater was up from 56 units in July ’17 to 129 units, in what could be the makings of a cult following. Its year-to-date sales increase of 382 percent – 835 units plays 195 units for the same period last year – is even more impressive.
LOSER 24% DECREASE
It’s difficult to know how much of the CX-9’s drop (223 units) is due to overall market conditions and how much could be attributed to the CX-8, which tallied 220 units in its first full month on sale. But we do know that the CX-9 was down further than key seven-seater alternatives.
Up nine spots from 18th to climb into the top 10, Prado sales were in fact down compared with June’s figure. The top-selling Corolla’s 2594 units compared with June’s 3780 shows how much the market was down from June (and from July’ 17.)
Skoda’s promising appearance in the top 20 sees Jeep displaced. From the top, the rank of the first five is unchanged from June. Kia and Subaru are up a rung, and Nissan and VW are up two spots, at the expense of Holden and Honda. It’s unchanged from 12th through 19th.