Why we’re giving the boot the boot
THE box is gradually heading for the bin in Australia. Hatchbacks and wagons (mostly four-wheel-drives) are leaving the traditional boot-atthe-back sedan for dead.
The switch to compact hatches began in the 1980s and has been picking up pace, partly because of SUVs and partly because people have been downsizing into baby cars — mostly hatches.
Conventional sedans are still the single most popular body style in Australia, but research shows its appeal is fading.
Forty-five per cent of new-car shoppers now prefer a three-body (bonnet, cabin and boot) sedan. This is down from 49 per cent a year ago and 53 per cent eight years ago.
‘‘The popularity of hatchbacks and SUVs has grown from 27 per cent eight years ago to 33 per cent a year ago and 36 per cent in the latest results,’’ industry researcher Sak Ryopponen says.
‘‘The gap between sedan popularity and the emerging body styles has shrunk by nearly twothirds in eight years.’’
Ryopponen says he is surprised by the continuing strength of station-wagon sales.
Many within the industry predicted the demise of the traditional wagon in the face of the growing number of SUVs.
However, in the past eight years, the intention to buy a station wagon has declined only marginally— from 7.9 per cent to 7.1 per cent— suggesting there is still a place for the traditional four-door wagon.
Going: sedans such as the Honda Euro are losing favour.