The end is near for the iconic Australian Ute. We are reading reports out of Australia that will see the end of the Ford and Holden Utility vehicle that have been part of our driving landscape for nearly 65 years. What’s causing it’s demise are the new breed of duel purpose Utes like the Ford Ranger, Holden Colorado, Isuzu D-Max, Mazda BT-50, Nissan Navara, Toyota Hi Lux, Mitsubishi Triton and the VW Amarok.
|The Ford Falcon Ute
||The Holden Commodore Ute
Did you know that Australian-made vehicles now account for less than 10% of all new vehicle deliveries with Australian production is at its lowest level since 1957.
Keen Ute buyers will have less than three years to decide if they want a new Holden Commodore Ute before it is relegated to the history books alongside the Ford Falcon Ute at the end of 2016.
We have read reports from News Corp Australia that if Holden continues manufacturing beyond 2016 it will adopt two new global cars, one of which is a large front-wheel-drive sedan that will not be made into a Ute. Also Ute sales currently are so low we can’t see why Holden would continue manufacturing and marketing this kind of vehicle. Holden cannot justify the investment in a new Commodore Ute because buyers have shifted to the new style duel purpose pick-ups most of which are made in Thailand.
Can you believe that over 100,000 of the duel purpose pick-up trucks made in Thailand have been sold in Australia so far this year, compared to 4100 Commodore Utes and 3500 Falcon Utes.
Back in 2004, Holden and Ford sold more than 20,000 Utes each.
The Toyota Hi Lux was the second best-selling vehicle in Australia last year with more than 40,000 vehicles sold after leading the entire new-car market on six individual months.
So far this year the Toyota Hi Lux is the third bestseller behind the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 but three other duel purpose pick-up trucks regularly appear in the Top 10 sales list and they are the Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger and the Holden Colorado.
Like most things change is the one constant in the vehicle industry so the end of the Holden and Ford utility vehicle is but a few years away. Is it time to rush out and buy a Ute for old time sake? We’re not so sure.