The Mazda3 and increased overall competition are “slowly killing” car-making in Australia.
The Mazda model is not an outstanding car, according to the editor of Fairfax Media’s www.drive.com.au , but is reliable, cheap and compact. The car is also made in Japan, which has been devaluing its currency and thus making the Mazda3 and others made in that country cheaper to buy in Australia.
Other cars outselling the Commodore include the Toyota HiLux and Corolla, with the Thai-made HiLux made more attractive from an Australian free-trade agreement with that country.
As reported in Manufacturers Monthly and elsewhere earlier this month, new car sales are down and some of the biggest decreases in sales have been suffered by Holden, which slipped to fifth place in terms of cars sold by brand in Australia.
Its poor sales performance has seen the debate over subsidies to automotive manufacturers reignite in the past fortnight. Holden revealed at the beginning of the month that it had been given government assistance worth over $2 billion in the last 12 years, and last week announced that it would cut 500 jobs in South Australia and Victoria.
Last month the Mazda3 was the top-selling new vehicle in Australia, with 3,785 cars sold. The Holden Commodore, in comparison, sold 1,605 units in March.
Fairfax Media also points out that competition overall has hurt Holden, with 33 brands also in the market in 1998, a year in which the Commodore was the number one-selling passenger vehicle. Nowadays the Commodore vies for attention with 47 other brands.
Image: Fairfax Media