Fu­ture’s mar­ket

Most of us want a new car, prefer­ably a Euro or an SUV

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

some 741,000 Aus­tralians want a new car by March.

And more of us are pre­pared to pay more— the in­ten­tion to buy lux­ury brands, es­pe­cially Audi, has in­creased dra­mat­i­cally. Roy Mor­gan Re­search spokesman Nor­man Mor­ris says Audi is catch­ing up to its Ger­man ri­vals thanks to its more youth­ful, sporty im­age.

The losers are some of the brands that were by­words for good value and re­li­a­bil­ity such as Suzuki, Nis­san and Mit­subishi. ‘‘ With in­creased com­pe­ti­tion from Euro brands,’’ Mor­ris says, ‘‘ some­one has to lose out and it seems some of the Ja­panese brands don’t have the pres­tige im­age at­tached to buy­ing a Euro brand.’’

Mor­gan’s re­searchers found buyer in­ten­tions over the next four years largely favour small cars, such as the Holden Cruze and Toy­ota Corolla, with more than one in five— a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease— in­tend­ing to buy a city run­about. Large cars are most likely to lose sales, with light cars also los­ing favour.

The seg­ment ex­pected to record the big­gest growth in sales in the next four years will be small SUVS cost­ing less than $40,000. Com­pact mod­els last year ac­counted for al­most half of all SUV sales and 12 per cent of all new ve­hi­cle sales.

The SUV tally for the year was 121,387 de­spite the to­tal mar­ket drop­ping 2.6 per cent to 1,008,437.

‘‘ There doesn’t seem to be any stigma at­tached to (SUVS) now,’’ Mor­ris says.

‘‘ They’ve be­come a lot more re­fined and car-like, they’re quite ac­cept­able and more ver­sa­tile. Not ev­ery­one wants to go driv­ing in the mud. Even pres­tige mar­ques are com­ing into the SUV mar­ket which was un­heard of in the past.’’

Of the main­stream brands, Subaru and Mazda ap­pear to be the ma­jor ben­e­fi­cia­ries in the short term, at least be­cause each has re­leased a new, strong-sell­ing com­pact SUV.

Mered­ith Stone and part­ner Den­niso’mera bought a Subaru XV to re­place their Suzuki Swift and Toy­ota Prado. ‘‘ We wanted some­thing in be­tween and I travel a fair bit and it’s fairly eco­nom­i­cal,’’ Stone says.

‘‘ To be hon­est we were at­tracted by the ad­vert. Then we had a look and were im­pressed by all the fea­tures.’’

Im­pressed: Mered­ith Stone loves the fea­tures on her new­sub­aruxv

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