THIS year looks like a boomer in Aussie motoring. All the signs are positive after a strong run through 2010 on everything from new models and new technology to the price of cars and petrol and even motorsport.
Last year produced a million-plus result in showrooms, only the third on record and a huge turnover in a country with a population of 22 million people. And the sales total for 2011 is likely to be even bigger.
The fuel for the sales growth will come, as usual, from the importance of cars in Australia and the incredible number of new models that hit showrooms each year.
No one can underestimate the sense of freedom that Australians tap with their cars, or the needs of people who rely on cars for everything from dayto-day commuting to long-distance travel.
Car companies are doing all they can to clear their backlog of 2010 stock in readiness for the first arrivals of 2011, which means great buying for at least another month.
Cars are like horses— they all get a year older on the same day, and anything in a showroom now with a 2010 build date is out of date.
But there is nothing out of date about the line-up for the first major motoring event of the year, the North American Auto Show in Detroit.
It opens next week with the unveiling of everything from a Hyundai Veloster and the next Honda Civic to a new Porsche supercar.
There will be lots of news from Detroit, perhaps including Holden’s plans to revive Commodore exports to the US and the potential future of the Ford Falcon.
Chrysler will show its new 300C, which will take more than a year to reach Australia, and Chinese brands are promising another new wave of technology and small cars.
Chinese cars will be one of the big stories in Australia in 2011, with Chery, Geely and Great Wall all planning to start passenger car sales Down Under.
Great Wall is already doing well with its valuepriced utes and SUVs, but it’s Chery that is looking for the big breakthrough with baby cars that undercut the Korean price leaders.