Vi­tal signs pick­ing up

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

IT LOOKS as if the show­room down­turn in Aus­tralian motoring has fi­nally bot­tomed. The huge slide from the end of last year was nowhere near as bad as that in most other coun­tries, and there are signs of a re­bound.

The pic­ture is not clear yet be­cause the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s in­vest­ment al­lowance has cre­ated so much ex­tra de­mand, but three of the big­gest im­port brands are all point­ing to a sec­ond-half up­swing.

‘‘It looks as if the dan­ger and the hard things are over. It’s just a mat­ter of work­ing steadily back up,’’ Doug Dick­son, manag­ing di­rec­tor of Mazda Aus­tralia, says.

‘‘We’re not looking at a sell­ing rate at the 2003 or 2004 level, which wasn’t a bad thing.’’

Rob McEniry, the boss of Mit­subishi Motors Aus­tralia, says: ‘‘We’re fairly op­ti­mistic about a steady, slow and sus­tain­able re­cov­ery.’’

McEniry knows bet­ter than al­most any­one about the tough times, but man­aged to bank a $1 mil­lion profit af­ter flip­ping Mit­subishi’s lo­cal op­er­a­tion from an em­pha­sis on lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing to a full-line im­port brand.

Nis­san was most bullish dur­ing a se­ries of brief­ings in the past week. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Dan Thomp­son high­lighted the pos­i­tives for Aus­tralia.

‘‘Not only did we not go as deep as any­one else, we’ve come out with a mas­sive spike in May and June — far big­ger than any other de­vel­oped coun­try’s,’’ he says. ‘‘Global de­mand is com­ing back but we’ve had an ab­nor­mal spike. A lot of cars were sold in May and June that could not be de­liv­ered and re­ported.’’

Thomp­son, like McEniry and Dick­son, is wor­ried about the sus­tain­abil­ity of the early re­cov­ery but be­lieves Aus­tralia is back on track. He pre­dicts more in­cen­tive-driven action in the fi­nal quar­ter but is fore­cast­ing the start of steady re­cov­ery next year.

‘‘We be­lieve we’ll set­tle back in Jan­uary, Fe­bru­ary and March of 2010 and go from there,’’ Thomp­son says.

Re­bound: car bosses say the show­room re­cov­ery should be steady, slow and sus­tain­able.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.