Swings & Roundabouts
I didn't put this in news because it's just analysis and commentary based on modelling...
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So 2016 is over, and what a kick in the teeth it was. Volkswagen copped the first blundstone to the cake hole for telling porky pies. They’re still licking their wounds and have been ordered to pay out a whopping $19 billion AUD settlement in the US alone. Investigations are on going and many heads have rolled.
The biggest kick in the teeth locally was the closures of both the Holden engine plant at Fishermans Bend and the end of Ford manufacturing in Australia. This year we waved good bye to an Australian icon....
It’s dark times for the Australian industry, but it is unlikely that Ford sees it that way. On the back of strong sales of the Australian designed and Thai built Ranger, Ford has turned the sales tide which had seen them drop around 7000 sales in each of the previous 2 years.
According to the LOFLYT Calculatron, Ford will stack on a mammoth 10,000 sales over their 2015 result. In a vote of confidence in Ford Australia’s design capability, $500 million has been injected into Broadmeadows to ensure its position as one of only three global engineering centres is maintained.
It’s up and up for the Blue Oval. Now that they are free to advertise the Mondeo, this will be their greatest test yet. Can the Euro sourced FWD offering take the place of the Falcon? Even half a slice of the Camry pie would be most welcome.
The results of the Top Ten brands hold few surprises. The extensive support and dealer network continues to pay dividends for Toyota Australia, who don't make leaps and bounds, but manage to maintain position in a fragmenting market. Mazda continue to impress with their SUV offerings. This years CX-3 debut was another outstanding contributor to the Zoom-Zoom portfolio.
The top ten Brands in Australia look like this:
That’s a big kudos to Kia breaking into the top ten for the first time. Tail end charlie for the last three years, Honda improved on a dismal 2015, but failed to catch the hard charging and highly awarded Korean.
Honda also finish behind 11th placed Mercedes-Benz, who continue what seems to be a never-ending assault of new and updated models (and segments).
There aren’t too many surprises, when it comes to most popular models either. Again, it's Toyota at the helm, with the Hilux and Corolla battling it out for the most sales in Australia. No doubt Toyota will trumpet the success in both breathes: most popular passenger car and most popular truck. (I have Hilux by around 600 sales).
There were more Corollas put on Australian roads this year than Hondas (yes all of the Hondas).
Short of a Christmas miracle, Hyundai i30 continues to kick the Mazda 3 around despite this generation of the South Korean having been on the market longer than its Japanese competitor. Coming home a strong third, the i30 continues to focus unpretentiously on solid value for money, and delivers on that promise with a wide range of options to their bread and butter compact.
Ford Australias brightest star, the Ranger, is looking at a fourth place finish, breaking over 36,000 sales for 2016. Highlighting the importance of the utility, if you remove Ranger volume, Ford Australia would be battling with Subaru for eighth place.
Mazda 3 may yet pip the Ranger at the post, but it’s been struggling internally against the rise of the CX-3 compact SUV.
The Commodore continues to post consistently higher than the Mazda CX-5 but in the end there could be less than 1000 sales difference between the two. Had the CX-5 won, it would be the first time an SUV has beaten the last remaining big local.
So that’s it, according to the Loflyt Calculatron. 1-2% growth for most of the top ten brands, double digit growth for Ford and Kia, with Holden and Volkswagen the biggest losers dropping 8% and 6% respectively.
Of the top ten brands, only Hyundai, Kia and Subaru manage to feature in the Australian market month after month without a light commercial vehicle/truck/ute.
As the mining industry dwindles further, will the new year tell a different story?
Holden will cease production at the end of the year so can their new SUV line up arrive in time to keep them in the top 5?
Will the debut of the next generation i30 push Hyundai past Mazda into the second slot?
So many questions and so many reasons to watch 2017 unfold.
Here's the numbers: LoflytCALCULATRON