Although we live in the age of increased global warming awareness, petrol-electric hybrid cars and ever rising fuel prices it would seem that the Australian V8 buyer is marching to their own tune.
Holden and Ford are both under tremendous pressure in the showrooms with sales of Fordâ€™s Falcon slowing to a comparative trickle no doubt due in a large part to the new 2008 Falcon Orion being less than a year away. Ford need it to level the playing field as VE Commodore and Toyotaâ€™s Aurion are a generation newer.
Holdenâ€™s VE Commodore is only now starting to show that it has a bit of fight left in it with April 2007 sales being 928 units up on the same month in 2006. The significant news and the point of this article is that through all of this sales of V8â€™s have increased!
New figures from GM Holden show that V8 sales have risen significantly over the last 10 years with a larger number of buyers chosing to purchase the V8 over the V6.
â€œThe V8 mix is fantastic,â€ says GM Holden executive director of sales and marketing Alan Batey. â€œIt's amazing. HSV has had record sales. There are hardcore people in this country who like exciting cars and fuel price on its own will not discourage them.â€
There were a little over 4000 V8 powered cars sold in Australia back in 1996. Fast forwarding a decade this figure had increased to 7400 in 2006. Lets not forget that 2006 was the year that Australians saw record prices at the pumps yet despite this V8 sales have continued to grow with HSV recording record sales figures for its E-Series range of 6.0-litre V8 powered cars.
â€œThe petrol crisis started in 2005 and by '06 was really biting. Yet that's when V8 sales were really strong,â€ GM Holden spokesman John Lindsay says.
So, while the masses convert to small cars in droves it would appear that there are still some enthusiasts out there who like their V8â€™s. Global warming and fuel prices be damned...there is nothing quite like a V8?