Car sales steer to a record
By Neil McDonald
HOLDEN and Ford have put some heat back in the new car market, according to industry sales figures due today.
The national VFACTs industry figures, compiled by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, are expected to show strong October sales of Commodore and Falcon models.
Holden is tipped to have blitzed the market, selling more than 17,000 vehicles, of which about 9500 were Commodores.
October's VFACTs figures are expected to show that more than 70,000 vehicles were sold for the month, up about 8 per cent in year-to-date terms and heading for an expected sales record of 820,000 for the year.
Holden's month is believed to be one of its best ever.
The Commodore has been its star car, dominating the Falcon in the large passenger car market for 61 consecutive months.
Commodore sales represent almost 50 per cent of large car purchases nationally, and the model is strongly preferred by fleet buyers.
Earlier this year, Holden sales and marketing managing director Ross McKenzie said the company could reach best-ever sales of 176,000 cars if economic conditions remained favourable.
The VFACTs figures are expected to show Holden leading sales, followed by Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, Subaru, Honda and Mercedes-Benz.
The strong overall result has been buoyed by strong interest in the new Commodore and Falcon ranges, as well as Toyota's Camry and Mitsubishi's Magna.
Ford's spirits, lifted by the arrival of the Falcon, were kept aloft by sales of more than 5000 Falcons last month.
However, Ford's once dominant ute is feeling the squeeze from the facelifted Commodore ute, of which Holden sold more than 1300, beating the Falcon by about 150.
Mazda posted its best-ever October result, with more than 3600 sales, of which 897 were the new Mazda 6.
Despite most marques recording good months, Korean maker Hyundai experienced a sales slide.
It is believed to have sold just 2000 vehicles last month, an alarming slip since June, when it recorded 4241 sales. Sales fell again in July to 3009, and continued to soften in August and September with 2224 and 2062 vehicles sold, respectively.
The company has tried to reverse the trend by slashing prices of its new, small Getz hatch by $1000 and making air-conditioning standard for a limited time.
It had tipped sales of 1500 a month for the Getz, but October figures will show it moved about 500 of the small car after an $8 million marketing campaign.
Further price cuts are tipped for other Hyundai models.
Hyundai's situation has not been helped by the recent departure of marketing general manager Peter Evans.
I suppose as long as Holden is the preferred vehicle for Fleet Buyers, Ford aren't just gonna sweep the sales from under Holden feet. Although, I expect next months figures will be closer. All us people awaiting deliveries of cars, is that considered a purchase???? Or does the purchase not count until the buyer takes delivery? There could be a few hundred/thousand BA's on order
agreed Strife, If Ford can take the market lead (and I believe they will soon) It will take time and a bit more money. But I don't think that is what Geoff is all about at the moment.
What he wants is a return to a healthy profit margin.
You don't have to be on top to make the most money.
Eg Nintendo played second fiddle to Sony for the years of PS1 vs N64 but nintendo made nearly 18x the profit (nearly 1.5billion)
The other thing that will hold Ford back from a return to the top is production times.
When Holden open up again with a third production shift they'll be able to make over 650 cars a day (if there suppliers IE WALKERS AUSTRALIA could ever keep up) compared to 412? When shopping for a new car people would rather wait weeks not months and this may push some sales Holdens way.
Oh well we will see I guess.
At least all the Ford owners can be happy with the fact that we now OWN THE ROAD
Breathe! It's only the internet....
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