COMMODORE CONUNDRUM

Has the ZB clipped both a high and low?

DD

CHART ATTACK LAST MONTH IN NEW PERFORMANCE CAR SALES

HOLDEN’s new ZB Commodore can already be seen as either a decent success or reasonable failure. In March 2018, the Commodore in total secured 990 sales, fewer than half the 2081 units shifted in March 2017. Of that, 414 were run-out VF Series II models while the new ZB German-import secured the remaining 576.

Take only the latter figure, and the nameplate shed about three quarters of its volume. In context, however, even 576 units placed Commodore ahead of all medium/large rivals except the Toyota Camry (1416), well ahead of the Mazda6 (306) and Ford Mondeo (214).

There’s zero positive outlook around Holden’s monthly sales, though. It fell 29.1 per cent compared with the same time last year, with a 5116-unit tally in March nearly pushing it out of the top 10 brands, behind Volkswagen (5317), Subaru (5195) and Honda (5586).

Affordable sports cars continue to take a tumble, too. In year-to-date percentage declines, the sub-$80K and $80K-$200K brackets fell by 23 and 24.5 per cent respectively. Subaru’s BRZ (+45%) soared, with its 91-unit monthly tally challenging the 102 sales of its Toyota 86 twin, while in pricier segments, the Lexus RC (+29%) managed 49 monthly sales to finally challenge the 50 sales of the BMW 4 Series, if not the 185 of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible. Meanwhile, Benz’s E-Class Coupe/Convertible (+130%), and Audi’s A5 (+70%) and TT (+60%) were the only other growers in this depressed end of the market.

The $200K-plus segment is only holding steady, with the Maserati GranTurismo/GranCabrio (+316%), BMW i8 (+33%), Mercedes-AMG GT (+32%) and Porsche 911 (+18%) on the rise.

DD

PIPING HOT Subaru BRZ – from $33,990 Only non-all-wheel drive Subie – but ironically the one most clearly all for the driver – has been given a boost (despite no actual power boost) thanks to the newly added, STI-kitted BRZ tS flagship.

TOO COOL Holden Commodore – from $33,690 Halving the cylinder count to complement the carry-over V6, and doubling traction, hasn’t worked wonders for Holden. The new ZB German-import barely achieved a quarter of what VF II managed this time last year.