Has the heat gone out of the new-car market? That's the question being asked after July sales dipped. We're still on track for a record year but there were more losers than winners last month.
Australia's No. 1 selling brand has been losing market share for some time, as Mazda and Hyundai continue to make inroads. But the empire struck back in July with a one-two: Corolla was the country's best-selling car and the HiLux edged out Ford's Ranger for second place. Toyota sales were up almost 4 per cent while its biggest rivals went backwards compared with the same month last year.
2. One-tonne utes
We're becoming more like American buyers every month, with sales of one-tonners — or pick-ups as they call them in the States — continuing to attract record numbers of buyers. Sales of passenger cars dipped by 8 per cent last month but utes were up by roughly 10 per cent. Ford, for so long reliant on the Falcon, now rides on the back of the Ranger, which makes up about four of every 10 Fords sold.
3. Hot hatches
Volkswagen may be having a torrid time lately but sales of its go-fast Golfs are strong. In July, the brand sold 251 GTIs and 117 Rs. It was a similar story at rival Subaru, which sold 267 WRXs and only 309 garden-variety Imprezas. Sales of RenaultSport Meganes outstripped regular Megane sales in July, while Ford continues to do healthy tallies on Fiesta ST and Focus ST.
The GTI may be selling well but things aren't so rosy elsewhere. VW recorded the biggest sales decline of any brand in the top 10 last month, with sales dipping by almost 15 per cent. A large chunk of that was related to Tiguan, which is in run-out mode, but sales of Golf and Polo were down over last year. Is Dieselgate taking its toll?
2. Hyundai i30
What a difference a discount makes. In June the i30 was the toast of the town, riding on a discount deal that took roughly $7500 off the RRP. It was easily the most popular car in June, notching 6400 sales. In July, the price went north and sales went rapidly south to just 2200.
3. City cars
Large cars may be on the nose with buyers but they're holding their own better than the tiddlers. The injection of new blood in the form of the Holden Spark and Kia Picanto has given the "micro-car" market a boost but the "light-car" segment had a shocker. With longtime favourites such as the Toyota Yaris, Mazda2 and Suzuki Swift, the segment was down by nearly 20 per cent in July. The only shining light was Hyundai's old stager, the Accent, which is slaying the opposition. Sales last month were almost double July 2015.
Did you buy a car in July? What did you buy and why? Tell us about it in the comments below.