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The Mercury Cars Guide : January 10th 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au CARSguide —3 look to showroom revival Winners Losers AUDI A MASSIVE spend by the German carmaker over the past 12 months kept Audi on the boil. Its passenger vehicle sales im- proved 37 per cent last year off the back of aggressive marketing, a growing spread of eagerly awaited models and a particularly warm welcome for the new A4 sedan. The Q7 and A3 have performed well and the imminent arrival of the Q5 should bolster this year. FIAT THE cute-as-a-button 500 and Du- cato commercial has been the ace up the Italians’ sleeve and helped push Fiat to a 62 per cent improvement over 2007. The Ducato was the most popular Fiat, selling 894 for the year while the 500 contributed 584 sales. Punto sales have been disappoint- ing but a late-year campaign has driven some sales. LAND ROVER THEreturn of the Defender helped last year. Land Rover managed to lift its share to 16.5 per cent on the back of strong Discovery sales and Range Rover Sport. Its result of 4320 ve- hicles is particularly good in the wake of volatile petrol prices early last year. MASERATI SOMETIMES selling a small num- ber of expensive cars off a small base can reap rewards. Maserati had an excellent year, with its share up 50 per cent com- pared with 2007. RIDING HIGH: The Audi A4 Avant. The arrival of the Grand Turismo and updated Quattroporte were the reason. The company sold 201 cars, a small number but the luxury niche player is on a roll. RENAULT ONCE the poor French cousin, Renault is finally lifting its game with an improvement of 9.7 per cent against its 2007 figure. The new Laguna and Kangoo and Trafic proved popular and the ar- rival of the Koleos all-wheel drive wagon is an important vehicle in the off-roader segment. The Megane, helped by some ag- gressive selling, improved its game, selling 1145 vehicles. A range of turbo-diesel engines and hot performance variants helped add volumes. All up, Renault broke through 3000 sales last year to sell 3191 vehicles. It hasn’t sold more than 3000 vehicles since 2005. VOLKSWAGEN THE roll out ofVWproduct seems to be never-ending. The Golf remains the most popular VW locally, but an aggressive push with Polo and Passat lifted the game. The Caddy, Transporter, Touareg and convertible Eos all did well. The supply constrained Tiguan still managed to sell 1109 last year. Supplies have freed up this year so it should sell in serious numbers. Overall VW lifted its share 9 per cent over 2007. ALFA ROMEO DOWN 35 per cent. Alfa will be praying theMiTohatch will generate the sort of fuss that the famous Alfasud did in the 1970s. Trouble is, the little hero hatch isn’t due here until mid-year. Of Alfa’s other models, the 147 is getting long in the tooth and the 159 has had to tough out the teutonic Germans. BENTLEY DOWN25 per cent. Going from 127 sales in 2007 to 95 last year, this will impact on percentages quite severe- ly. With prices started close to $400,000 perhaps the uber-luxury buyers are starting to feel the pinch. CHRYSLER DOWN 19 per cent. Take Chrysler out of the sales equation locally and only enthusiasts would probably miss it. Rival Dodge is nibbling at Chrysler’s share. SSANGYONG DOWN 35 per cent, the Korean brand continues to struggle. Put it down to a quirky name and quirky styling. One can only wonder at the timing of Sime Darby’s decision to take over distribution of SsangYong products in November with sales almost down to Saab levels. SAAB DOWN 38 per cent. Poor Saab, if being owned by the troubled General Motors empire wasn’t bad enough, the brand seems to be on a down- ward spiral. There is lack of fresh new models and no small car. CITROEN DOWN29 per cent. The C5 is sexy, impressive and French but it’s late arrival last year means it is still PEUGEOT DOWN 17 per cent. Peugeot hasn’t been hard hitting enough with the excellent 207 range. In a year when small cars dominated, the 207 is an also ran. It is battling aggressively sold Japanese and Korean rivals. The 407 has not weathered well either despitea strongpushlast year. Peugeot locally has strong backing from the ‘‘family firm’’ back in France but maybe a few more executives should get down under to check out how our market ticks. LEXUS DOWN 18 per cent. With the departure of the popular RX, Lexus will be eagerly awaiting the newer, larger replacement. The RX and IS are responsible for the lion’s share of Lexus sales and both have been down this year. PROTON DOWN 20 per cent, the Jumbuck ute is the Malaysian carmaker’s main source of sales. SMART Down 28 per cent. WITH 330 sold last year the love affair with this cute little two-seater seems to be wearing thin. Despite a new, slightly larger Coupe and Cabrio, buyers are voting with their feet and moving into other small cars. The Smart might be great fun but it is better suited to the tightly congested European roads than Aus- tralia’s great brown land. gaining traction. Despite some heavy showroompromotions, C4 sales have dropped off but a freshened hatch arrives soon. More than a dealership PERFORMANCE AUTOMOBILES NOW OPEN! Cnr. Argyle & Burnett Streets, Hobart - 6210 7000 IT’S A MOTORSHOW! Largest New, Demo & Pre-owned Subaru Selection in Tasmania. Test Drive Today! All Our Pre-Owned Subarus Include Free Factory Service / Registration / Extended Warranty 99 Liberty Sedan 2.0 Litre auto, only 123,000kms (EE3931) $13,999^ 06 Forester X 2.5 Litre auto, ABS, 4 airbags, cruise control (FM8702) $22,990^ 05 Liberty Sedan 2.5 Litre auto, safety pack, black (FL7496) $23,990^ 03 Forester X 2.5 Litre manual, full service history (ER7742) $17,990^ 06 Forester Auto 2.5 Litre, clean car, safety pack and practicality (FM8709) $22,990^ 06 Liberty Sedan 2.5 Litre rare manual, curtain airbags (FJ9032) $26,990^ Performance Subaru Cnr. Argyle & Burnett Streets, Hobart www.performanceautomobiles.com.au Chris Morgan Pre-Owned Steve Smith 02 Forester XS 2.5 Litre manual, luxury pack, towbar (EQ7604) $18,990^ 05 LibertyWagon 2.5 Litre auto, stylish & practical (FF9512) $22,990^ 03 Outback Auto 3.0 Litre, premium pack, curtain airbags (EV7856) $26,990^ New Peter Latham Sam Allwright Adrian Millington 99 Impreza WRX 2.0 Litre turbo, rare auto sedan, good kms (EF1026) $18,990^ 05 Liberty Sedan 2.5 Litre manual, only 53,000kms, well priced (FH1779) $23,990^ 05 Liberty Sedan 3.0 Litre auto, premium pack with leather (FH1786) $31,999^ ^Vehicle prices are plus $22.50 statutory transfer fee and stamp duty of 3% on vehicles up to $35,000 and 4% on vehicles over $35,000. Vehicles advertised are available at time of printing. Offer ends 4pm Monday 12/1/09. 6210 7000 A/H: Adrian Millington 0438 062 259
January 31st 2009