Ford and holden bounce back hyundai gets belted according to newcar sales figures for august

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FORD and Holden bounced back last month — as Hyundai sales hit reverse after the Korean brand’s discounts stopped and prices went up.

The two former Aussie favourites, Holden and Ford, are back near the top of the sales charts as Korean car maker Hyundai slipped to fifth, its lowest ranking so far this year.

Hyundai had been leading Holden for the first seven months of 2016 and previously had the top-selling car.

But sales of the Hyundai i30 have dropped by a staggering 75 per cent from their recent peak.

Toyota and Mazda still top the new-car market but Holden and Ford ranked close behind in August, according to preliminary figures shared confidentially among the car industry.

The Toyota Corolla was Australias favourite car for the second month in a row after the Hyundai i30 led the market earlier in the year driven by a $7000 discount.

The Toyota HiLux ute leads car sales outright year-to-date, narrowly ahead of the Corolla.

Toyota and Mazda are maintaining their dominance of Australian new-car sales despite a lack of heavy discounting, while Holden and Ford are enjoying strong sales based on the arrival of new models.

But discount brand Hyundai is proving it cannot maintain sales growth when it attempts to charge full retail prices for its cars.

When the discounts come off, sales stop, said the dealer principal for a leading metropolitan Hyundai showroom, who asked to remain anonymous.

Buyers are wising up to the fact these deals come and go, so they stay away until the offers return.

Another Hyundai dealer, who also asked to remain anonymous because dealers are advised by Hyundai Australia not to discuss company business with the media, said intermittent heavy discounting was bad for customers and bad for our business.

When you go from selling more than 100 cars one month to 30 the next, it makes it hard to keep full time staff employed, said the veteran car dealer. Hyundai likes to make out that it can compete with Toyota and the big guns, but in reality its a discount brand.

The dealer said some months, buyers pay more while in other months they pay much less, and that obviously upsets people who paid the higher price.

When the Hyundai i30 hatchback was $19,990 drive-away with automatic transmission, more than 6400 examples were sold in June the highest monthly tally of any car for 11 years.

But in August just 1800 Hyundai i30 hatchbacks were reported as sold and Hyundai sales overall as a brand were down by a staggering 45 per cent in August, the largest slump among the Top 10, according to the preliminary figures.

Hyundai declined to comment on the Korean car companys recent sales slowdown, and on claims of dealer dissatisfaction.

Official new-car sales figures for August are due to be published Monday.

Contrary to public perception, new-car sales figures are not based on actual vehicle registrations, they are cars declared or reported as sold by dealers and the car companies.

Top 10 car brands in August

Toyota 18,600

Mazda 9200

Holden 7600

Ford 6800

Hyundai 6500

Mitsubishi 6100

Nissan 5600

Volkswagen 4200

Kia 3700

Subaru 3300

Top 10 cars in August

Toyota Corolla 3500

Toyota HiLux 3300

Ford Ranger 2900

Mazda3 2800

Toyota Camry 2400

Holden Commodore 1900

Mazda CX-5 1900

Hyundai i30 1800

Toyota RAV4 1700

Hyundai Tucson 1600

Preliminary figures, rounded. Source: Car companies.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling