Australia's overall new vehicle market is on record pace this year, up 0.4 per cent on last year’s high-water mark.
However, some well-known models aren’t having a great time. The reasons vary, from lack of supply, to the lull expected during a model changeover, to shifting buyer patterns.
Nevertheless, a loss in volume is a loss in volume. Here we look at 10 culprits, with the stipulation that they’re still on-sale and in production. After all, a struggling model is a model that you may be able to haggle on… Unless it’s just launched, which we’ll also point out.
We’ve done it alphabetically to avoid playing non-favourites.
BMW 3 Series
The Bavarian brand's iconic 3 Series compact sedan and wagon range is having a shocker this year, managing 1633 sales to be down 41 per cent, or 1153 units over the same period in 2016.
This places it just ahead of the Audi A4, but the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has about tripled its sales. It’s also been outsold by each of the BMW X1, X3 and X5. BMW as a whole is down 16 per cent this year, falling victim to a softening luxury market.
The Aussie staple is about to become an imported, rebadged Opel from Europe. Clearly, market tastes and the steady production wind-up are hurting the outgoing RWD icon, with the Commodore falling 17 per cent to 15,223 (equating to 2647 lost sales).
Given the parlous state of the passenger car market, we’d imagine the replacement liftback and wagon isn’t going to stop this downward trajectory either…
This time last year the i30 was on top of the world, beating the Toyota Corolla and Mazda 3 to be Australia’s favourite passenger car thanks to brilliant value campaigns, like the Active for $19,990 drive-away with auto.
But a combination of reduced stock as the old model made way for the new-generation car, and this new version’s higher real-market price point, has produced a drop in sales YTD of 8413 units (34 per cent) to 16,660. Of course, it’ll recover as the year progresses. Well, it should…
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Things are going from bad to worse for Jeep, which continues to plummet in sales - unfavourable currency and some (steadily being redressed) issues on the service side will do that — and currently sits just inside the top 20 overall brands.
Its Grand Cherokee flagship model exemplifies this, down 24 per cent (or 975 units) to 4092 - disproportionate for the high-end SUV segment, which remains pretty strong overall. The Trackhawk can’t come soon enough…
Land Rover Discovery
Just like the i30, the ‘Disco’ is a victim of the changeover effect to a brand new iteration, though any drop of 67 per cent (1755 this time last year to 576 this year) is noteworthy.
The brand new Discovery is off to a decent start so far, and its Discovery Sport sibling is a market-leader, so we have high hopes that things can be turned around. That said, its design sure has polarised…
Renault Australia cites limited supply as it leads up to a mid-life update, but given the strength in SUV sales — admittedly diminished at the market’s smallest end — a drop of 85 per cent to just 159 sales is troubling.
The little Captur has been a hit in Europe, and still looks fresh. We hope things can be turned around. In the meantime, if you you can find one, you might want to haggle… Keep in mind the French company’s five-year warranty too.
The mid-sized sedan segment is in the toilet, propped up by the locally made (for a few more months only) Toyota Camry that’s selling to fleets at killer rates.
One notable ‘loser’ among a few is the Subaru Liberty, down 35 per cent (719 units) to 2063. Luckily for the Japanese company, it’s ‘smashing it’ elsewhere by posting sales records thanks to the brand-new Impreza and the still-popular Outback.
Another case of the ‘changeover blues’, when a new-generation model creates a period of time where there’s a lull as stock of the old car is exhausted.
But look, Suzuki relies heavily on the Swift (and Vitara) to drive its sales, so a drop of 2257 units to 3022 total (equating to being 43 per cent down) needs redress, despite new models such as the Baleno and Ignis helping out. Some market retail deals can be expected.
Isn’t it odd that the HiLux does so brilliantly here — it’s the market’s top-selling vehicle of any type — and yet its Fortuner SUV spinoff is so unloved?
it’s down 46.5 per cent to 1471, barely a fraction of the much pricier Prado and well behind the Isuzu MU-X, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and Ford Everest. We know supply isn’t brilliant, but you’d have to contemplate calling this car a failure so far.
The introduction of the updated Golf this year hasn’t helped, nor been offset by keen drive-away/low-finance deals on existing stock of superseded cars.
Despite being our top pick in the small-car race, the German’s sales are down 20 per cent (or 2460 units) to 9999. The re-positioning of the updated Golf ‘Mk 7.5’ also wasn’t oriented to massive volume gains, so maybe this is the new normal.
Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss this months VFACTS below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.