Most leading car companies say they are still on track to introduce a range of new models this year, despite apparent setbacks due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus.
Australia’s biggest car company Toyota says it is business as usual for the time being (see separate story here). The company is expected to introduce a new Toyota Yaris hatchback (pictured below) and an updated Toyota HiLux ute later this year.
Other leading brands contacted by CarAdvice, including the remainder of the Top 5 sellers – Mazda, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Kia – all say they are running according to plan for their new model rollouts, until further notice.
Hyundai has an update for its popular i30 hatch due late this year, Kia is poised to introduce its all-new Sorento seven-seat SUV (pictured below) mid year, Mazda has a series of limited edition models on the way as well as additional variants of the CX-30, and Mitsubishi is continuing with planned model updates plus the introduction of a facelifted Mirage hatchback.
All of the Top 10 car brands contacted by CarAdvice confirmed they had no supply restrictions for the time being.
A statement from Mitsubishi said: “We will continue to release new models as planned. We will not be holding events but will continue to train and provide relevant information to dealers remotely.”
A Nissan spokesperson said: “There are no current changes to any launch plans. We still aim to launch the new Nissan Juke in Australia mid-year, as planned.”
Ford said it is “excited about the chance to refresh our showroom with new models like the all-new Puma (pictured below) and Escape SUVs, the new Fiesta ST and Focus ST, connectivity upgrades to Ranger and Everest, as our first FordPass Connected-equipped vehicles in the lineup, and more”.
Honda said its launch plans for later this year are also “unchanged” until it is informed otherwise.
Vokswagen said it doesn’t expect much interruption to vehicle supply despite some of its factories in Europe shutting down for two to three weeks.
“Naturally, activity in dealerships is diminished, but with a good order bank we are still delivering cars,” a statement from Volkswagen said, adding it has “important new models and variants to release this year.”
Volkswagen’s T-Cross enters in showrooms in April, and the Skoda Kodiaq RS is on sale followed by the new Scala hatchback.
In the luxury sector, Mercedes says it cannot rule out delays and is “closely monitoring developments”, but so far all future model plans are proceeding as normal.
BMW Australia boss Vikram Pawah said: “We are reviewing the situation on a daily basis and putting appropriate measures in place to minimise disruption to our business operations”.
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