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New vehicle sales slumped in 2019

Australian new vehicle sales slumped 7.8 percent in 2019 (compared with 2018) realising just 1,062,867 vehicle sales. This is the lowest sales recorded since 2011.

SUVs led the charge despite a slight drop of 2.5% compared to 2018 numbers and realised a total market share of 45.5%. Light commercial vehicles continued their charge, finishing the year with 0.6% growth and 21.2% market share. Passenger vehicles fell by 3.1% to 29.7%. In terms of vehicles sales in December, the year finished down 3.8% totalling 84,239 vehicle sales compared to sales in 2018.

Releasing the VFACTs figures in early January, Tony Weber, chief executive at the FCAI, said:

“Regarding the actual new vehicle sales results: 2019 reflects a tough year for the Australian economy, with challenges including tightening of lending, movements in exchange rates, slow wages growth and, of course, the extreme environmental factors our country is experiencing,” Mr Weber said.

So, what did we buy in 2019? Toyota HiLux (4X4 and 4X2) sold 47,649 vehicles to claim top spot, the Ford Ranger (4X4 and 4X2) was number two in the market with 40,960 sales, followed by the Toyota Corolla (30,468), the Hyundai i30 (28,378) and the Mitsubishi Triton (25,819). Light commercials dominated the final tally of sales as they had throughout the entire year.

In terms of 4X4 sales, the Ford Ranger finished top dog in 2019 with 37,004 sales, the HiLux was second with 36,325 and the Mitsubishi Triton was third with 22,681 and the Holden Colorado was fourth with 15,560 sales. Fifth spot went to the Isuzu D-Max with 13,226 sales.

NEWS New Vehicles

WORDS ISAAC BOBER

The refreshed 2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is on-sale now with drive-away prices starting at $45,990 and clever app connectivity for the top-spec Exceed variant.

The current Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (sold 404 units in December 2019) was released here in 2015 with this refreshed model on-sale in Australia now. The major changes relate to the looks and, according to Mitsubishi, tweaks to the vehicle’s practicality.

According to the Pajero Sport’s product boss, Yoshiki Masuda, “We gave in-depth thought to how we should best evolve Pajero Sport. We decided that in addition to refreshing the overall design we would give particular attention to uprating its advanced equipment specification and its convenience/utility performance.

“To give an example, one of the new items of equipment is the power tailgate. In addition to the usual power operation, we have added a number of functions, including, hands-free operation using a kick-motion sensor; specific operations using a Smartphone; and a Smartphone-activated preset that opens the tailgate when the owner approaches the vehicle. Note: driver must also carry the key on their person for security purposes,” Masuda said.

Updated Mitsubishi Pajero Sport on-sale now

The refreshed Pajero Sport gets the latest version of the brand’s Dynamic Shield grille design and the bonnet is a little higher than before giving the front-end a wider, more substantial look. Mitsubishi said the front end is more refined-looking than before and we’d have to agree but it’s still not the nicest looking off-roader on the market.

To improve the appearance and feel of the interior, Mitsubishi has redesigned some of the grab handles and added softer pads to the door cards. A tray has been added to the tunnel-style floor console and an AC power outlet (150W) added to the trailing edge of the floor console. Interior tweaks include a new 8.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple and Android connectivity. If you stump-up for the Exceed variant, you’ll also get native sat-nav and owners can download an app and control certain vehicle functions, like the powered tailgate which can be set to open with the driver approaches and close when the driver walks away.

All Pajero Sport variants now get Super Select 4WD-II which offers terrain-based adjustments and lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert has been added to the active safety suite. The blind spot monitor has been changed to a radar in the rear bumper which replaces the previous versions ultrasonic sensor. The updated Pajero Sport retains the old vehicle’s five-star ANCAP rating.

There are no changes to the engine or transmission, so it’s a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel making 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm at 2500rpm. This is mated to an eight-speed automatic.

The Holden Commodore will cease to exist later this year with the Lion announcing in December 2019 it would retire the nameplate in 2020.

Many would argue the Commodore actually died when Holden decided to source and rebadge the Opel Insignia as a Commodore. No-one’s arguing it isn’t a cracking car and the current Commodore if you put emotion to one side, is arguably much better as a passenger vehicle than the old Commodore. Even if there are some ergonomic disadvantages between the old, er, proper Commodore to the Euro import – like the back seat which is nowhere near as roomy on the new car.

The Commodore had been Australia’s best-selling vehicle from 1996 to 2011 but in recent years with the surging growth of SUVs and light commercials as work-and-play weapons. Indeed, at its zenith the Commodore shifted a staggering 94,500 vehicles (1998) while in 2019 it sold just 5915 vehicles.

In December 2019, Holden announced it would kill the Commodore and the Astra in 2020 and focus on SUVs and pick-ups which are outselling the Commodore by some margin. Australians had been pulling away from the Commodore long before the decision to source an overseas model but the decision to look overseas for a Commodore and bin the whole big engine, rear-drive philosophy that had, er, powered the Commodore for its entire life was simply too much to bear for locals. That and, other vehicles simply made more sense and suited buyers better. It wasn’t just the Commodore that’s struggled. The Falcon died a couple of years ago although Ford did a much better job of handling its demise than Holden, the Camry has struggled to sell. Moving on.

In this day and age of big, heavy caravans the Commodore was never going to be a first-choice towing platform. But not so long ago, the Commodore and Falcon were the go-to for many families wanting something to lug a family caravan or boat. Indeed, in my early days on a caravan magazine, I’ve fond memories of towing smaller caravans with Commodores and Falcons. Indeed, long before everything had to have a 3000kg-plus towing capacity, the Commodore’s 2000kg braked towing capacity was impressive. The new car’s 1800kg capacity less so.

Holden Commodore dead at 42

Let’s celebrate the Commodore. 
We’d like anyone who towed with a Commodore to send us photographs of their old rig and tell us a bit about it. 

Australian new vehicle sales slumped 7.8 percent in 2019 (compared with 2018) realising just 1,062,867 vehicle sales. This is the lowest sales recorded since 2011.

SUVs led the charge despite a slight drop of 2.5% compared to 2018 numbers and realised a total market share of 45.5%. Light commercial vehicles continued their charge, finishing the year with 0.6% growth and 21.2% market share. Passenger vehicles fell by 3.1% to 29.7%. In terms of vehicles sales in December, the year finished down 3.8% totalling 84,239 vehicle sales compared to sales in 2018.

Releasing the VFACTs figures in early January, Tony Weber, chief executive at the FCAI, said:

“Regarding the actual new vehicle sales results: 2019 reflects a tough year for the Australian economy, with challenges including tightening of lending, movements in exchange rates, slow wages growth and, of course, the extreme environmental factors our country is experiencing,” Mr Weber said.

So, what did we buy in 2019? Toyota HiLux (4X4 and 4X2) sold 47,649 vehicles to claim top spot, the Ford Ranger (4X4 and 4X2) was number two in the market with 40,960 sales, followed by the Toyota Corolla (30,468), the Hyundai i30 (28,378) and the Mitsubishi Triton (25,819). Light commercials dominated the final tally of sales as they had throughout the entire year.

In terms of 4X4 sales, the Ford Ranger finished top dog in 2019 with 37,004 sales, the HiLux was second with 36,325 and the Mitsubishi Triton was third with 22,681 and the Holden Colorado was fourth with 15,560 sales. Fifth spot went to the Isuzu D-Max with 13,226 sales.

New vehicle sales slumped in 2019

NEWS New Vehicles

WORDS ISAAC BOBER

The refreshed 2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is on-sale now with drive-away prices starting at $45,990 and clever app connectivity for the top-spec Exceed variant.

The current Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (sold 404 units in December 2019) was released here in 2015 with this refreshed model on-sale in Australia now. The major changes relate to the looks and, according to Mitsubishi, tweaks to the vehicle’s practicality.

According to the Pajero Sport’s product boss, Yoshiki Masuda, “We gave in-depth thought to how we should best evolve Pajero Sport. We decided that in addition to refreshing the overall design we would give particular attention to uprating its advanced equipment specification and its convenience/utility performance.

“To give an example, one of the new items of equipment is the power tailgate. In addition to the usual power operation, we have added a number of functions, including, hands-free operation using a kick-motion sensor; specific operations using a Smartphone; and a Smartphone-activated preset that opens the tailgate when the owner approaches the vehicle. Note: driver must also carry the key on their person for security purposes,” Masuda said.

Updated Mitsubishi Pajero Sport on-sale now

The refreshed Pajero Sport gets the latest version of the brand’s Dynamic Shield grille design and the bonnet is a little higher than before giving the front-end a wider, more substantial look. Mitsubishi said the front end is more refined-looking than before and we’d have to agree but it’s still not the nicest looking off-roader on the market.

To improve the appearance and feel of the interior, Mitsubishi has redesigned some of the grab handles and added softer pads to the door cards. A tray has been added to the tunnel-style floor console and an AC power outlet (150W) added to the trailing edge of the floor console. Interior tweaks include a new 8.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple and Android connectivity. If you stump-up for the Exceed variant, you’ll also get native sat-nav and owners can download an app and control certain vehicle functions, like the powered tailgate which can be set to open with the driver approaches and close when the driver walks away.

All Pajero Sport variants now get Super Select 4WD-II which offers terrain-based adjustments and lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert has been added to the active safety suite. The blind spot monitor has been changed to a radar in the rear bumper which replaces the previous versions ultrasonic sensor. The updated Pajero Sport retains the old vehicle’s five-star ANCAP rating.

There are no changes to the engine or transmission, so it’s a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel making 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm at 2500rpm. This is mated to an eight-speed automatic.

The Holden Commodore will cease to exist later this year with the Lion announcing in December 2019 it would retire the nameplate in 2020.

Many would argue the Commodore actually died when Holden decided to source and rebadge the Opel Insignia as a Commodore. No-one’s arguing it isn’t a cracking car and the current Commodore if you put emotion to one side, is arguably much better as a passenger vehicle than the old Commodore. Even if there are some ergonomic disadvantages between the old, er, proper Commodore to the Euro import – like the back seat which is nowhere near as roomy on the new car.

The Commodore had been Australia’s best-selling vehicle from 1996 to 2011 but in recent years with the surging growth of SUVs and light commercials as work-and-play weapons. Indeed, at its zenith the Commodore shifted a staggering 94,500 vehicles (1998) while in 2019 it sold just 5915 vehicles.

In December 2019, Holden announced it would kill the Commodore and the Astra in 2020 and focus on SUVs and pick-ups which are outselling the Commodore by some margin. Australians had been pulling away from the Commodore long before the decision to source an overseas model but the decision to look overseas for a Commodore and bin the whole big engine, rear-drive philosophy that had, er, powered the Commodore for its entire life was simply too much to bear for locals. That and, other vehicles simply made more sense and suited buyers better. It wasn’t just the Commodore that’s struggled. The Falcon died a couple of years ago although Ford did a much better job of handling its demise than Holden, the Camry has struggled to sell. Moving on.

In this day and age of big, heavy caravans the Commodore was never going to be a first-choice towing platform. But not so long ago, the Commodore and Falcon were the go-to for many families wanting something to lug a family caravan or boat. Indeed, in my early days on a caravan magazine, I’ve fond memories of towing smaller caravans with Commodores and Falcons. Indeed, long before everything had to have a 3000kg-plus towing capacity, the Commodore’s 2000kg braked towing capacity was impressive. The new car’s 1800kg capacity less so.

Holden Commodore dead at 42

Let’s celebrate the Commodore. 
We’d like anyone who towed with a Commodore to send us photographs of their old rig and tell us a bit about it.