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Car buyers choosing alternatives over traditional models

By Daniel DeGasperi, 05 Mar 2018 News

Car buyers flocking to alternative choices over traditional models volvo s90 r design

Fresh models continue to strengthen against declining traditional favourites

We recently summarised 2017 as being a year of minnows rising, but sales in January 2018 make that look understated.

Holden’s Commodore was expected to drop as local VF Series II switches to the imported ZB, but December’s 2229 haul plunged to just 871 units for the first month of this year.

Seemingly without a saviour, the Lion fell 20.4 per cent versus the start of 2017, a year that was to become an all-time low for the brand. VFII even outsold Astra (813) if not the new top-seller in showrooms, the Colorado (1390). But the Blue Oval shifted more than twice as many (3260) Rangers.

Relative bambino, Alfa Romeo, tallied 47 sales of the Giulia to kick off the year, challenging the Audi A4’s 96 units despite a far smaller dealer network. In the large-sedan segment both Maserati Ghibli (41) and Volvo S90 (26) were up 193 per cent and 271 per cent respectively, that’s against a BMW 5 Series (46) that had been smashing it last year, yet in January tumbled by 42.5 per cent.

Before sedans snare too much kudos, however, SUVs again thumped passenger cars to take an early lead. The C-Class also lost its long-held position as the best-selling Mercedes-Benz model to the GLC, 492 sales (down 24.4 per cent) to 471 (up 152 per cent) ... plus another 110 for the GLC Coupe.

Speaking of proper coupes, it seems buyers aren’t lusting after Porsche’s 718 Cayman (26 units, falling 43.5 per cent) or even the Boxster (11 sales, down 38.9 per cent) – though perhaps summer was too warm for drop-tops, given Mazda’s MX-5 slumped 39.1 per cent to 70 sales.

And, finally, Ferrari smashed the start of 2018 out of the ballpark, selling almost three times as many Lamborghinis – 27 plays 10 – and up 108 per cent over the start of 2017. However, Lambo also has Urus to come...