We publish a ton of car news stories during the working week, and it can be tough to keep up with everything – which is the rationale behind this weekend list.
In short, here are some key articles from our news desk since Monday of this week summarised, just in case you missed them at the time.
Sales numbers are in… and they aren’t pretty
Australia’s new car sales fell a sharp 12.2 per cent in April compared to the same month in 2021, as supply constraints continue to take their toll.
VFACTS sales data recorded 81,065 new vehicle sales in April, with monthly sales declining across all states and territories. The year-to-date (YTD) tally at the one-third mark of the calendar year sits at 343,501 sales, down a more modest 3.5 per cent YTD.
Toyota led the market with a total of 17,956 vehicles sold and a solid 22.2 per cent market share. Mazda came in second (7378), ahead of Mitsubishi (6463), Kia (6180), and Hyundai (5552).
FULL STORY: VFACTS, April 2022 car sales numbers
Jeep Grand Cherokee range to plug in
The new WL-series Jeep Grand Cherokee features the nameplate’s first three-row option, however buyers who don’t need seven seats will have to wait.
The new two-row Grand Cherokee won’t arrive until the fourth quarter of 2022, with the 4xe plug-in hybrid due in the first quarter of 2023.
The 4xe will be the first plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee, and will be available only in the shorter, two-row body and not the three-row L.
Customer deliveries of the new Grand Cherokee L will begin around June 1.
FULL STORY: Jeep Grand Cherokee five-seat due late 2022, PHEV early 2023
Nissan Australia’s showrooms are getting sexier
Never-ending supply chain snags mean Nissan Australia has compressed the launch of four important all-new models into the back half of 2022.
The company this week reiterated plans to launch new-generation, new-look versions of the Qashqai small SUV, X-Trail medium SUV (revealed in June 2020), and Pathfinder large SUV between July and December.
Moreover, it’ll court enthusiasts with hyped new Z, deliveries of which kick off mid-year.
That means that from 2023, Nissan Australia will go from having one of the oldest product line-ups among major brands, to one of the newest.
FULL STORY: Nissan Australia showrooms are about to become far newer
Labor details alternative EV, hydrogen plan
The Federal Labor (ALP) opposition says it will contribute to a “truly national” electric vehicle (EV) charging network that would allow people to traverse the nation in their electric car.
The pledge is part of a wider ALP ‘Driving the Nation’ fund, claimed to be costed at $500 million but needing a little fleshing out, which is focused on driving EV uptake as well as supporting hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for freight.
This $500 million pledge, if delivered upon following a hypothetical Labor election win, would be double the incumbent Federal government’s $250 million Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy announced last year, detailed here.
FULL STORY: Labor opposition details EV, hydrogen network funding plan
Used cars still costing a bomb
The price of used cars in Australia continues to skyrocket due to the supply chain pressures plaguing carmakers.
Moody’s Analytics reports used passenger car prices grew by 18 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, while commercial vehicle prices grew 16 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.
The wholesale prices the Australian used-car market is currently experiencing are up 65 per cent on pre-pandemic levels.
The same factors forcing new-car buyers to wait up to 12 months for some in-demand models are behind the spike in used-car prices.
FULL STORY: Australian used car prices continue breaking records
Stinger no tail-ender
Who said big sedans are dead? The Kia Stinger is going strong in 2022, up by 203.8 per cent in April and by 53.3 per cent so far this year.
There were 316 units registered throughout April, accounting for 80.0 per cent of mainstream ‘Large Passenger’ sales, as defined by industry database VFACTS.
Year to date (YTD), the Stinger has returned 943 registrations to April 30 which marks a 53.3 per cent improvement compared to the same period in 2021.
Speaking with CarExpert, Kia Australia’s product planning boss, Roland Rivero, said the company continues to work through heaps of Stinger backorders, with “still a couple of months worth banked up”.
FULL STORY: Kia Stinger up 200 per cent in April, months worth of backorders still
Subaru BRZ orders re-open, with a price rise
Subaru’s rear-wheel drive sports car is available to order again, but those who’ve been waiting will need to dig deeper into their piggy banks to secure a car.
Prices are up across the BRZ range, which is unchanged compared to the 2022 model. The cost of entry has jumped above $40,000 before on-road costs, while the range-topper now starts above $45,000 before on-roads.
This time around the allocation of cars isn’t capped for Australia, and current orders are on track to arrive during the third quarter of 2022. The first batch of 500 cars sold out shortly after orders opened.
FULL STORY: 2023 Subaru BRZ price and specs, orders reopen, prices rise
Great Wall’s longer load-lugger
Is GWM about to give its Ute Cannon a bigger brother? An eagle-eyed reader has shared images of what appears to be the GWM King Kong Cannon testing on Australian roads.
A GWM Haval spokesperson said the King Kong Cannon “remains under study” for the Australian market. It’s not unusual for carmakers to test vehicles on Australian roads, even if they’re not confirmed for our market.
Measuring up at 5635mm long, 1880mm wide and 1815mm tall, the King Kong Cannon is more than 200mm longer than the existing GWM Ute. It’s closely aligned with the LDV T60 Mega Tub, which measures up at 5680mm long.
FULL STORY: GWM King Kong Cannon ute spied testing in Australia
Cupra hot out of the blocks
All 50 examples of the Cupra Formentor VZx Launch Edition have been sold. Cupra has confirmed the limited-edition variant sold out “shortly after being made available for online sale” at midday yesterday.
The Formentor VZx Launch Edition was listed at $69,990 drive-away, featuring extras usually optional – including the optional Brembo brake package, usually $4150. The crossover runs a 228kW and 400Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine.
The Cupra range has already received over 9000 expressions of interest ahead of sales commencing in July, with the brand confirming the Formentor accounts for the bulk. It’s followed by the Born EV, the Spanish brand’s version of the Volkswagen ID.3, due in “early 2023”.
MORE: 2022 Cupra Formentor VZx Launch Edition sold out
Nissan Z buyers lining up
More than 1000 Australians have put money down at a dealer for a new Nissan Z – before first shipments go on sale here in the middle of 2022 and before the price is made public.
The circa 1000 money-down reservations come from a pool of 3000-odd people who lodged “expressions of interest”. The amount deposited varies depending on the dealer.
Nissan Australia also confirmed that it would reveal pricing for its new cult hero next week.
MORE: Nissan Z price out next week, 1000 people put money down already
Honda to add third SUV
Honda Australia has confirmed it’s planning to introduce a third SUV model line in the next 12-18 months, bridging the gap between the existing HR-V and CR-V.
Speaking with CarExpert during an executive roundtable, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said the new SUV – as yet unnamed – will offer five seats and more practicality than the new-generation HR-V.
We also understand that it will sit beneath the CR-V, which is due to enter a new-generation soon, as previewed with leaked patent images early this year.
MORE: Honda confirms third SUV model for 2023, with hybrid option