Records tum­ble

Herald Sun - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL -

NEW-car sales are pow­er­ing as we near the end of the year — and it looks set to re­main a buyer’s mar­ket.

Last month was not only the best Septem­ber on record — the first time it has eclipsed 100,000 de­liv­er­ies af­ter hov­er­ing around 92,000 to 94,000 in re­cent years — it was the fifth record month this year.

With a weak­en­ing Aussie dol­lar against the US, UK and Euro cur­ren­cies there was a very real threat of price rises by now.

But the in­dus­try is so com­pet­i­tive prices are re­main­ing at his­tor­i­cal lows.

You can thank for­eign fac­to­ries for this phe­nom­e­non. In their ef­forts to keep their fac­to­ries run­ning ef­fi­ciently by pump­ing out as many cars as pos­si­ble, they are push­ing cars onto boom­ing mar­kets such as Aus­tralia.

While record low in­ter­est rates en­able many buy­ers to up­grade to a new model by mak­ing the same re­pay­ments as — or less than — their pre­vi­ous car, low prices con­tinue to tempt.

Hyundai was Aus­tralia’s top selling car last month af­ter the i30 hatch knocked off the Toy­ota Corolla and Mazda3, our favourites for the past four years.

It was Hyundai’s sec­ond win in four months but there was a com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor: $19,990 drive-away with auto, about $5000 off full price.

In­ter­est­ingly, when Hyundai tried to charge $21,990 in the next two months, sales stopped.

Aus­tralians are get­ting bet­ter at read­ing the car mar­ket and know­ing when is a good time to buy. And that’s good news for all of us.

Mean­while, as pre­dicted last week, the ute bat­tle is heat­ing up. The Ford Ranger beat the Toy­ota HiLux for the sec­ond month this year.

But it turns out Toy­ota ran out of stock ahead of the new model; the HiLux was even beaten by the Tri­ton and only just man­aged to stay in the Top 10 in Septem­ber.

Favourites: Toy­ota Corolla, Mazda3 and Hyundai i30

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