Australian drivers prove to be fickle in their taste for vehicles, as evidenced by their growing penchant for utes and SUVs.
The Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger has been two of the best-selling vehicles in the country for 2017. However, this was not the case 10 years ago when sedans dominated sales, particularly among families. Most Australians considered Utes to be mechanical workhorses that are exclusively used either for your businesses or other means of livelihood.
SUVs and utes have now outranked sedans in terms of sales. A good reason for this shift in taste involves their flexibility. Many drivers have discovered the flexibility of driving a one-tonne ute both for business and pleasure. The brisk pace of ute sales also allowed automotive suppliers like MFI Service Bodies to drum up business by selling ute canopies. In Australia, drivers have realised that owning a ute may be a cost-efficient alternative when travelling cross-country.
The demand for utes has been so prominent that even other countries such as China sought to take advantage of it. For instance, the newly launched LDV T60 aims to capture the attention of Australians by marketing it as one of the cheapest utes in the market. Aside from being affordable, it also became the first Chinese ute to score the highest safety rating of five stars from the ANCAP.
While this year has been a favourable time for ute vehicles, not all brands seem to be eliciting a positive response from Australians. Toyota seems to be the constant go-to brand for many drivers, as around one in five buyers prefers the Japanese car manufacturer.
Other brands such as Kia, Honda and Isuzu have registered an increase in sales. This indicated that Australians may only buy a ute or SUV if they also have a positive perception of the brand.
The versatility of utes led it to become a new favourite among Australian drivers. Do you plan to buy a ute in the near future?