Sales power ahead

New-car buy­ing gives the mar­ket cheer, writes Stu­art Martin

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

AFACELIFT for the Dualis and ex­tra mus­cle un­der the skin for the Navara helped lift Nis­san’s sales last month.

The Ja­panese brand was also boosted by the runout pro­gram for the baby Mi­cra.

It starred in the of­fi­cial VFacts sales re­sults for Au­gust with an im­prove­ment of nearly 30 per cent over the same month in 2009, sell­ing a to­tal of 4733 ve­hi­cles last month.

Sales of the Navara have jumped by nearly 300 per cent through 2010, and the Dualis, now with a price-pow­ered front-wheel-drive model, is also mak­ing big gains.

Nis­san spokesman Jeff Fisher, who is also talk­ing up the Dualis, says: ‘‘Navara is go­ing from strength to strength, it’s one of our core prod­ucts and we’re re­ally pleased with that.

‘‘ We’ve brought the two-wheel 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 drive in and then the Plus-2 and it’s gone re­ally well, but it’s a busy part of the mar­ket. We’re in runout with Mi­cra, but we ex­pect the num­bers to con­tinue next year with the new Mi­cra, which will be here at the end of the year.’’

The Nis­san jump comes as Hyundai re­treated slightly in Au­gust, but

(YTD 2010) with over­all show­room sup­port driv­ing the likely 2010 tar­get back be­yond one mil­lion ve­hi­cles.

The Mazda CX-7, Subaru’s Forester/ Out­back duo and the Jeep Pa­triot (pushed by a strong re­tail cam­paign) all posted ma­jor sales in­creases in Au­gust. Holden’s Captiva, Ford’s Ter­ri­tory and the Toy­ota

(YTD 2010) Prado also all recorded strong Au­gust num­bers.

Toy­ota is still the over­all sales leader, with a mar­gin of more than 50,000 sales over sec­ond-placed GM Holden, though the Com­modore is the coun­try’s favourite car for an­other month.

Holden says the runout of the VE Com­modore is on track, but the com­pany is also pleased with the per­for­mance of the Cruze sedan, which beat the Ford Fal­con for the sec­ond time this year — the first was in June.

The Com­modore re­sult for Au­gust is 3674 cars, up 10 per cent, in its fi­nal days be­fore VE Se­ries II de­liv­er­ies be­gin.

The Au­gust re­sults show the usual strength in small-car and SUV sales, with pri­vate de­liv­er­ies of SUVs run­ning more than 30 per cent ahead of Au­gust 2009 at just over 81,000.

Rental fleets also lifted their pur­chases of SUVs by 250 per cent, but in vol­ume terms they still only make up just over 3400 sales for 2010.

The pas­sen­ger-car re­sult was up 3.5 per cent in Au­gust and 12.6 per cent year to date, with pri­vate sales— which ac­count for more than half of all car sales — up 14 per cent for the month and year to date.

Aus­tralian new-ve­hi­cle de­liv­er­ies to the end of Au­gust are up by 15 per cent over last year’s re­cov­er­ing re­sult, and ev­ery brand in the top 10 is up on its 2009 sales tal­lies.

The to­tal tally for Au­gust is 82,122 sales— 12 per cent bet­ter than Au­gust last year.

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