In the year 2000, as the IT world scrambled to fix computer problems and people bid farewell to the '90s, Ford and GM Holden - with their Falcon and Commodore, respectively - stood supreme as the dominant forces of the dominant large car market in Australia. Just seven years on and that market has shrunk from 35.9 percent to just 13.5 percent in the light of rising fuel prices which has seen a massive movement away from large family cars to medium-sized cars. The Falcon and Commodore are now fighting each other over a diminishing market while simultaneously trying to hold off the other locally produced six cylinder competition in the form of the Mitsubishi 380 and the Toyota Aurion.
Such has been the slide in demand for big cars that Holden just announced that 600 jobs will be axed at their Adelaide plant.
The market movement towards smaller cars has led both Ford and Holden to announce new entrants into the already cut-throat medium sized car market which is currently dominated by Asian vehicles like the class-leading Toyota Camry along with the Mazda6, Honda Accord Euro and Hyundai Sonata. Holden is about to release the Daewoo made Epica and Ford is bringing the Mondeo back later this year.
Analysis: The Mondeo and the Epica both look to be good quality cars at a good price but they're in for a real fight to gain traction in the medium-sized car market because it is already dominated by good quality cars at a good price. Fuel prices have clearly had a massive impact on the car market in Australia as fuel economy becomes a critical factor in the buying decisions of many consumers.
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