Hy­brids put some sizzle in sales

Canning Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

If it doesn’t ride high, sales are low. The re­lent­less mi­gra­tion to the SUV con­tin­ues and there are wor­ry­ing signs for some of Aus­tralia’s best known and loved name­plates. The Toy­ota Corolla con­tin­ues its dizzy­ing de­scent from the summit; sales are down more than 20 per cent this year de­spite the ar­rival of an ex­cel­lent new model last year. The new Mazda3 hasn’t set the world on fire in its first months on sale, while peren­nial favourites the Volk­swa­gen Golf and Subaru Im­preza are also do­ing it tough.

In Europe they are pow­er­houses but French brands are on the nose lo­cally. The Re­nault re­vival has pe­tered out, Peu­geot is strug­gling de­spite hav­ing its strong­est line-up in re­cent mem­ory and Citroen is be­ing out­sold by Maserati. The gloom doesn't end in France, though. Over the bor­der in Ger­many, things aren’t ex­actly peachy. Volk­swa­gen sales were down roughly 17 per cent last month, Audi sales dipped by more than a third and Mercedes was down by 10 per cent. Italy’s Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Fiat are also strug­gling.

In a month when HSV launched the most mus­cu­lar of Amer­i­can mus­cle cars, the star span­gled ban­ner took an all-too-fa­mil­iar bat­ter­ing in the show­rooms. Jeep sales con­tin­ued to slide – down by al­most a third – while it seems that even a high­way pa­trol con­tract can’t save Chrysler in this coun­try. The only bright spot for the Yanks was the good ol’ pick-up truck. So far this year, we’ve bought more Ram trucks than Peu­geots.

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