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Aussie market shifts as local manufacturing ends

By Daniel DeGasperi, 10 Nov 2017 News

2018 Kia Stinger range main

Local sedan departure makes room for the Stinger, but SUVs on the way up

As the Toyota Camry and Holden Commodore bow out of Australian production (before switching to imports), the question now is where their still-significant volume could go.

Year-to-date to September 2017 – each local model’s last full month – showed the Camry held 58 per cent of its sub-$60K medium car class with 18,441 of 31,876 sales, while Commodore snared 83 per cent of the sub-$70K large car class with 17,124 of 20,709 sales.

Both Toyota and Holden have accepted that each model’s replacements won’t sell as well. What are buyers turning to, then? The sub-$60K medium SUV class has shifted 123,639 units this year, four times the sales of the sedan class which has 11 rivals and one big Camry leader.

2017-Holden-Motorsport-Edition-Commodore.jpgMedium SUVs have 16 rivals but no major leader – Mazda’s top CX-5 nabs only a 15.5 per cent share. Where the CX-5 class is up 17.7 per cent, $60K-plus medium SUV models are up only 0.7 per cent, with the top Land Rover Discovery Sport grabbing 15.7 per cent of sales between 12 rivals. And so a trend emerges.

The sub-$70K large SUV class has 20 competitors thrashing it out for 87,929 sales with a quarter of the year to go. And within the $70K-plus large SUV class, a staggering 14 premium players have been fighting for just 16,014 buyers. With five options in the Commodore class, then, there is an opportunity for fresh metal such as the Kia Stinger.

Kia wants to shift 250 units per month initially, doubling over time for 6000 annual units. Another large car, the Skoda Superb, is also up 73.3 per cent, with 773 sales placing it on track for a 1031 haul by year’s end.

The Stinger and Superb might be no Falcon and Commodore at their finest, but in a highly fragmented market the days of hogging more than half a segment’s volume look to be all but over.

 Performance Car sales Chart November 2017