News - VFACTS - Sales 2009 - January
VFACTS Part II: January sales jolt
Mazda3 topples Commodore for the first time as new-car sales stall in January
6 Feb 2009
By IAN PORTER
Back to VFACTS Part I
People-moversIT IS hard to know exactly what is going on in the seven-seater market because not all of them are in the people-mover category (308 Touring Wagon, Kluger).
January’s results appear to indicate a steady-as-she-goes stability with the big Kia Carnival out in front again.
Sales were down 43 per cent, but that was in line with the segment’s 42 per cent plunge in January. The second and third place-getters , Tarago and Odyssey fared worse, perhaps because of their higher prices.
Which makes it hard to explain the performance of the other Kia, the Rondo. Recently declared the best people-mover in one car of the year assessment, the Rondo fell from fifth in 2008 to eighth, ceding positions to the Dodge Journey, Hyundai iMax and the Mitsubishi Grandis.
Left: BMW 1 Series Convertible and Audi A3 Cabriolet.
SportscarsENTHUSIASTS of the great outdoors may have had a dry summer to enjoy, but they stayed away from sports car showrooms in their droves. The segment was down 48 per cent on the previous corresponding period, although there was a certain sameness about the premium brand drop-tops at the head of the best sellers’ list.
BMW topped the table, but it was the 1 Series this time, not the 2008 champion, the 3 Series, holding sway. Now that both are available with the magical twin-turbo straight six, the choice could easily come down to price, with the 135 $31,000 cheaper than the 335 drop-top.
The gorgeous A3 barchetta debuted at number three and was followed by more Germans: C-class Coupe, Eos, A5, TT and the humble Astra Convertible. Only then did the car renowned as the world’s biggest selling sports car, the MX-5, make an appearance, but it is by no means the newest car in this fleet.
Compact SUVsTHIS is one area where the Japanese rule, although the whole segment shows some signs that the public may be cooling towards heavier station wagons.
Subaru’s calmer approach appears to still be paying off, with the Forester leading the way against the RAV4, which now offers an enormous 3.5-litre V6 for those with fuel to burn.
About the only changes this time around were the debut of VW’s Tiguan in the top 10 and a small move from sixth to fifth by the Tucson.
Medium SUV'sHOLDEN’S best Korean product made it to the top of its class in January thanks in part to the all-encompassing glitch in Toyota’s sales during the month. The Captiva leaped over the Prado, Kluger and Ford’s Territory to get to number one and Holden will be hoping it can hang on there in what could be a weak segment this year.
Large SUVsLANDCRUISER first, daylight second. ’Twas ever thus
SUV LuxuryTHE runout Lexus RX resisted the downward trend, losing only a handful of sales while the whole segment sank 26 per cent. Both BMWs fell faster than the segment and M-class fell 43 per cent, like the X3.
If the manufacturers can contain this segment’s losses to around 36 per cent for the whole year, they will have done well.
VansTHE Australian van market was another Toyota benefit in January, with the HiAce racking up 465 sales for a 38.4 per cent segment share – which is actually down from 44.5 per cent in January 2008, representing a37.5 per cent sales slide.
Hyundai’s iLoad was the second best seller with a 209 per cent sales increase, with Mitsubishi’s Express and the Volkswagen Caddy the only other models with a double-digit share of the segment
Pick-up/cab-chassis 4x2HILUX 4x2 sales were 23.5 per cent down last month but with more than 1000 still sold Toyota leads the twp-wheel-drive ute segment with a 25.3 per cent – from Holden’s Ute (16.0 per cent), Falcon Ute (12.8 per cent), Mazda’s BT-50 (11.7 per cent), Mitsubishi’s Triton (11.1 per cent), Ford’s Ranger (8.8 per cent) and Holden’s Colorado (8.6 per cent).
Pick-up/cab-chassis 4x4IT was a closer battle in the 4x4 ute stakes, with HiLux finding 1586 buyers in January (down just 4.9 per cent) for an even bigger segment share than last year (29.7 v 28.2 per cent).
Nissan’s Navara, the only other 4x4 ute to attract more than 1000 buyers (and a 20.3 per cent share), was again second, followed by Triton (13.6 per cent), Colorado (12.5 per cent) and Ranger (8.0 per cent).
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