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Holden’s sales tumble has continued, with the once-dominant Red Lion brand in jeopardy of falling out of the top 10 list for sales by manufacturer according to official VFacts figures released today.
The GM-owned brand registered 5116 sales in March, a 29.1 per cent slide compared to the same month last year, with the new imported ZB Commodore and Equinox medium SUV failing to have much of an impact.
The Commodore found 990 homes, however the new imported version made up 516 of those sales, with the remaining 474 being made of Australian-made VF II Commodores.
Overall, Commodore sales were down 52.4 per cent on March 2017, however the manufacturer has said it didn’t expect the new Opel-sourced model to match the sales output of the Australian version, which averaged roughly 1500-2500 sales per month.
The new Commodore as well as the Equinox have been marketed aggressively with a seven-year warranty and roadside assist program, however with just 327 sales in March, the new medium SUV has also had sluggish sales numbers.
Equinox sales were trumped by modest sellers like the Ford Escape (398) and Renault Koleos (332), while being well off the pace of segment leaders such as the Nissan X-Trail (2504), Toyota RAV4 (1952) and Honda CR-V (1683).
Overall market sales tallied 106,988 units, up 1.5 per cent for the month over March 2017, while first-quarter sales were up 4.4 per cent over 2017 with 291,538.
Australian customers’ trend towards SUVs continues with a 9.7 per cent increase, outselling passenger cars – which slid 7.3 per cent – by more than 20,000 units, while light-commercial vehicle (LCV) sales fell by 0.4 per cent.
Toyota – again market leader with 18,878 sales – fell by 3.9 per cent, thanks to falling numbers for the Corolla (-6.5%) and Camry (-19.1%), two of Toyota’s heavy hitters. The discontinued Aurion (-94%) also contributed to the downturn.
Of the 1416 Camrys sold last month, only 218 were of the locally-built versions that ceased production in October.
Despite strong showings from the likes of the Ranger, Mustang, Transit and Everest, Ford sales still fell 2.4 per cent, while Nissan sales rose 10.2 per cent on the back of the Pathfinder, X-Trail and Patrol, however the newly-updated Navara pick-up dropped by double digits.