Fuel guz­zlers pop­u­lar

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL | -

BIG fuel-guz­zling SUVs are hot and small ef­fi­cient cars are not, ac­cord­ing to Au­gust sales fig­ures.

The con­tin­u­ing pop­u­lar­ity of SUVs and one-tonne utes is good news for mar­ket leader Toy­ota, which sold more than dou­ble the num­ber of ve­hi­cles of near­est ri­val Mazda. Oth­ers didn’t fare so well.

Sales of Toy­ota’s LandCruiser (above) dou­bled in Au­gust to 1350, more than the smaller Prado and Kluger.

That’s de­spite the fact – in V8 guise – it uses roughly five times as much petrol around town as the Prius. The at­trac­tion wasn’t lim­ited to the 200 Se­ries, ei­ther. Sales of the bare-bones 70 Se­ries ute grew by 23 per cent.

Is the min­ing in­dus­try on the way back?

Once upon a time – be­fore the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis – Ford owned some of the best known lux­ury brands in the world, grouped to­gether un­der the um­brella of the Premier Au­to­mo­tive Group.

When the GFC hit, Ford had to sell Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover. It prob­a­bly wishes it hadn’t un­loaded them.

Last month Jaguar sales were up 200 per cent thanks to the new F-Pace and Volvo sales grew by 50 per cent.

Land Rover had a quiet month but sales have grown by roughly a third this year.

Kia is mov­ing out of big brother Hyundai’s shadow. Sales were up by 26 per cent in Au­gust. It helps when you re­lease a new model at the same $19,990 drive-away price as the run-out ver­sion.

Sales of the new Cer­ato small sedan and hatch grew by two-thirds com­pared with the same pe­riod last year.

But it’s not just bar­gain base­ment ve­hi­cles at­tract­ing at­ten­tion. Sales of last year’s Cars­guide Car of the Year, the Sorento SUV, were up by about a third, while Sportage sales grew 45 per cent.

Hyundai’s de­cline was as spec­tac­u­lar as Kia’s growth in Au­gust. Sales were down by al­most a third over the same month last year.

The Ford Fi­esta, Volk­swa­gen Polo and Re­nault Clio make up three of the four top-sell­ing cars in Europe but in Aus­tralia they’re barely blips on the radar.

Fi­esta sales were down by a third in Au­gust, Polo sales dipped 27 per cent and only 137 Clios found homes, com­pared with 242 in the same month last year. Suzuki Swift sales have dropped by a third, while Toy­ota’s Yaris was the brand’s only no­table sales loser in Au­gust.


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