May 14, 2008

Horse 881 - Australia Should Out-Corolla Corolla

People in Australia are coping with high petrol prices by buying smaller and more fuel efficient cars. Whereas in March 2008, the Commodore was still king, I note that they only shifted 25 of them across the country to private buyers.

For nearly 20 years the top two spots were held by either the Ford Falcon (4.0L) or the Holden Commodore (3.8L, now 3.6L). For the month of April 2008 the trend shows something vastly different.

Australia's most popular car is now the Toyata HiLux with 3814 sales. Corolla sales tallied 3722 units in April, while Holden managed only 3324 Commodore sales. The Falcon which for many years outsold the Commodore because it was a bigger car (think XD-EA versus VB-VL) now languishes at No.8. The trend extends further than this with the "big Aussie sixes" (Falcon, Commodore, Aurion and 380) selling 12,000 for 2007 whilst the Corolla by itself sold 15,000.

In basic terms, when the price went up people bought smaller and more fuel efficient cars. This is even more pronounced in Europe where people are taxed to the hilt and buy even smaller cars. Or if you look at America where petrol prices are far cheaper, the cars are bigger - in fact I note that Ford don't even bother to sell the Fiesta (let alone the Ka) in the US, because it's "too small".

Maybe my idea to buy Mitsubishi's ex-380 plant wasn't as stupid as you may have thought. I bet that my idea for an Aussie 2L car would sell like wildfire, based on the assumption that it would out-Corolla Corolla. Certainly, Corolla is outselling the "big Aussie Six".

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