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The lion roars again: Holden climbs to eighth spot on sales chart in April, while Honda slips out of top 10

Holden climbed up the sales charts in April
Andrew Chesterton
Contributing journalist

3 May 2019 • 2 min read

The bumpy start to 2019 has continued for the Australian new-car market, but when the music stopped, one brand had been bounced right out of the top 10.

And that brand is Honda, with the Japanese maker finishing April in 11th spot (with 2630 sales, down from 4335 the previous month, and 18 per cent year to date).

But one brand's fate is another's fortune, with Subaru slipping into tenth position, with 3006 in April (albeit down from 3018 the previous month, and a whopping 33.8 per cent for the year).

Perhaps the biggest news in the top 10 shuffling last month was Holden's reversal of fortunes, with the formerly homegrown hero left clinging to 10th position in both February and March, and looking destined to desert the top 10 altogether. Instead, Holden managed to climb to eighth spot in April.

Now it must be said that the new-car market is hurting right across the board at the moment, so all good news is tempered with a dose of reality, and for Holden it is that it sold 3865 vehicles in February, and 3833 in March, but managed just 3483 sales in April - symptomatic of the overall decline, market wide.

Mitsubishi, for example, held position number two on the sales charts in March - shifting a staggering 10,135 vehicle - but sold just 4717 in April - a near 50 per cent drop. It's one the brand describes as natural fluctuations, helped along by strong sales campaigns, some stock restrictions and a rush to meet the end of the Japanese financial year.

Elsewhere, though, entire new-car market is flagging, says FCAI chief executive Tony Weber, with Australian buyers remaining "conservative" when it comes to buying a new vehicle.

“The results for April are in line with trends for year-to-date 2019. We have seen a decrease of around eight per cent across the first four months of the year," he says.

“This decrease is the result of a number of factors in the Australian market, including the downturn in the housing market, the tightening of lending practices, environmental factors such as drought and flood, and, of course, the imminent Federal Government election.

“With all these elements currently present in the market, it is no surprise that Australian consumers are conservative in their approach to major purchases at the moment."

Will Holden continue its climb? Tell us in the comments below.