CONTINENTAL SHIFT IN MARKET
CHINA and India are hot in showrooms today. But it has nothing to do with cars from those countries.
The popularity of India and China comes from their buying power, a change that means dealerships in major capitals are racing to sign staff who can speak the two languages.
Indian is becoming hugely important in parts of Sydney and Chinese is the language of choice in many areas of Melbourne as well as the NSW capital. To ensure they give — and get — the best deals, a growing number of showroom bosses are now recruiting Chinese and Indian speaking sales staff, and even boosting their financial teams with people who can make buying easier.
Another market shift is the rush to compact SUVs.
The number of baby crossovers is exploding and they are being cross-shopped against almost everything you can put on the road.
But tracking the change is not as easy as you might think, because of the outdated way the car industry — through its peak body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries — classifies vehicles.
It’s all about size, then a bit of price, in the classes which are used to compile the monthly VFacts sales charts.
Someone like Carsguide reader Sue Marsh defies the definitions, because she’s shopping a Mazda CX-3 from the SUV class against a Hyundai i30 from the smallcar category.
“People don’t shop with VFacts, they don’t talk in the language we do. They consider an SUV a small car,” says Hyundai Australia’s chief operating officer John Elsworth.
“The simple fact is that there is an amazing amount of choice and the blurring of the traditional segments continues every day. The real story is how the market continues to reshape. Small SUVs are up 30 per cent so far this year and there are now 30 models competing in that segment.”