Market Place

Good on you, old sport

Aussie to head GM Canada

One of the Holden VT Commodoreís architects will head up GMís Canadian carmaking and sales operations in a move thatís widely believed to one day place him in line for GMís top job. Travis Hester, who started with Holden in the mid-1990s, will step down from his role as GMís vice-president of global product programs, to take the top job in Canada. GMís Canadian operations are struggling to win new work, and are under pressure from cheaper Mexican labour.

HIGHLIGHTS: Yet another record month, this time bolstered by a strong-selling sportscar market. The sub-$80K segment grew 24% month-on-month, helped by the perennially popular Ford Mustang, itself up 44% at 705 sales. Mainstream brands Nissan (up 27%) and Mitsubishi (up 23%) both posted strong results, with ageing SUVs Qashqai and ASX rising by 73% and 159% respectively. Triton also helped Mitsubishiís cause as sales of 4x4 models leapt to 2788 (up 71%), though it was Subaru that was the big winner, up 33% overall thanks to double-digit growth across Levorg (110), WRX (255), BRZ (91), XV (XX) and Liberty (153). The Kia Picanto (484) crushed the light segment with a 72% share. Medium luxo sedans thrived; the Audi A4 (126, up 13%), BMW 3 Series (275, up 16%) and soonto-be-replaced Mercedes-Benz C-Class up 23% with 610 sales.

COMMERCIAL-FREE COMMERCIAL-FREE

LOWLIGHTS Few and far between, aside from Holden (see breakout). Porsche (333 sales) slid 27% as Macan (163) and 911 (45) tapped the brakes. Audiís Q2 (190) also struggled, falling 28%. Hinting that Mitsubishiís success rode mostly on SUVs and trade utes, Lancer (250) fell 73% month-on-month.