CLI­MATE CHANGE

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - MOTORING -

HOT TAS­MA­NIA

It’s the hottest prop­erty mar­ket in Aus­tralia and the Ap­ple Isle is also the only state in which new ve­hi­cle sales rose in 2018. In NSW, Vic­to­rian and Queens­land, sales fell re­spec­tively by 6.6, 1.8 and 0.7 per cent; na­tion­ally, the fig­ure was 3.0 per cent. In Tassie, the an­nual tally in­creased by 3.3 per cent. The state’s De­cem­ber sales plum­meted by more than 20 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year. Maybe the lo­cals need big­ger mort­gages now …

TOY­OTA HILUX

Toy­ota fin­ished 2018 as Aus­tralia’s favourite brand for the 16th year in a row with a record 217,061 sales, and the HiLux was the coun­try’s top-sell­ing ve­hi­cle over­all for the third year run­ning, with more than 51,000 sales. Fifty years af­ter the HiLux ar­rived in 1968, Toy­ota’s iconic ute, now in its eighth gen­er­a­tion, recorded its one mil­lionth sale here. It’s been Aus­tralia’s top com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle for the past 21 years.

VOLVO

Volvo came roar­ing back up the charts in 2018, with sales up by 43 per cent, the largest in­crease of any vol­ume man­u­fac­turer. It’s an SUV-led re­cov­ery, with the XC40, XC60 and XC90 wag­ons do­ing brisk busi­ness against their Ger­man ri­vals and the brand’s SUV sales up by an as­tound­ing 86.9 per cent. The mar­ket con­tin­ues to ig­nore Volvo’s cars, though, with sales fall­ing by 36.8 per cent.

NOT HOLDEN COM­MODORE

Forty years af­ter the Holden Com­modore first rolled off the pro­duc­tion lines in El­iz­a­beth, South Aus­tralia, the badge and the brand are in des­per­ate trou­ble. It seems Aus­tralians who grew up believ­ing that Holden was “Aus­tralia’s Own” ei­ther haven’t for­given its de­ci­sion to cease lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing in 2017 or sim­ply de­cided it’s a brand that be­longs in the past. The Com­modore’s best year was 1998, when al­most 95,000 left the show­rooms, still the record for any car in Aus­tralian his­tory. Twenty years later, the im­ported ZB Com­modore man­aged less than one-tenth of that to­tal — just 9040 cars, a de­cline of al­most 62 per cent from 2017.

LAND ROVER

In 2016, Land Rover was on a roll, launch­ing new mod­els, mak­ing money and hir­ing work­ers. In 2018, it was a very dif­fer­ent story, il­lus­trat­ing just how quickly for­tunes can change in the car busi­ness. Sales of Land Rover’s vir­tu­ally all-diesel model range have suf­fered in the fall­out from Diesel­gate, as govern­ments around the world turn against the fuel and con­sumers aban­don it. De­mand in China is fall­ing and Brexit will also be prob­lem­atic for Land Rover sales in Europe. This year, the com­pany plans job cuts of 5000. Aus­tralian sales were down by 32.1 per cent in 2018.

SPORTS CARS

In tough times, boys and girls don’t buy as many toys. The in­dus­try clas­si­fies af­ford­able sports cars as those cost­ing less than $80,000. Sales fell by 36 per cent in 2018. Ford’s Mus­tang is still the big seller, with more than 50 per cent of the mar­ket — de­spite the com­pre­hen­sive (and much bet­ter than the orig­i­nal) ’Stang up­date in 2018, sales fell by 30 per cent. Sports cars priced be­tween $80,000-$200,000 were off by the same amount but in megabuck ter­ri­tory sales fell by just 2.5 per cent. Porsche sold 511 ex­am­ples of its 911, an in­crease of nearly 19 per cent over the pre­vi­ous year. Ferrari sales were up by al­most 15 per cent. The rich get richer ...

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