News - NZ sales
NZ Sales: Record registrations for New Zealand in 2015
Top pick: Ford's Ranger pick-up was the top-selling model in New Zealand in 2015 with 6818 sales.
New-vehicle sales top 130,000 for the first time ever in New Zealand
11 January 2016
NEW-CAR sales in New Zealand hit a record high in 2015, according to figures
released by the Motor Industry Association, with 134,041 registrations
representing a rise of 6862 units, or 5.4 per cent, over the 2014 result.
Commercial-vehicle sales also hit a new record, up 6.6 per cent to 39,077
units, while passenger numbers were up 4.9 per cent, to 94,964.
Toyota topped the brands table, but it was a Ford that was New Zealand’s
favourite model, with the Ranger marking the first time a commercial vehicle
has outsold a passenger car, according to Motor Industry Association
chief executive officer David Crawford.
The Ranger (6818) was followed by the Toyota Corolla (6514, of which 3415 were
rental), Toyota's HiLux (5623), the Holden Colorado (3586) and Toyota RAV4
(3519, 1665 of them rentals).
Outside the top five was the Nissan Navara (3146), Holden Commodore (2710 – 931
of them rentals), Mazda CX-5 (2577), Toyota Highlander (2540, including 1418
rentals) and Mazda3 (2506, of which 581 were rentals).
The luxury market also had a strong year, with Mercedes-Benz up 14.8 per cent
to 2975, assisted by its van sales, followed by BMW, down 8.2 per cent to 1952,
and Audi, down 14.9 per cent to 1765.
SUVs continue to dominate, taking 34 per cent of the overall market, or 45,376
Mr Crawford said the key to the year’s tally was the breadth of new models,
with the level of choice available helping sales as economic growth slowed.
Toyota registrations rose 6.6 per cent to 26,330 in a market slightly stronger
than it had predicted as the year began.
Toyota chief executive Alistair Davis told GoAuto the company had struggled
with supply of some key models.
“We commit to volume well before the year starts, and we sold our allocated
production,” he said. “A number of models, especially RAV4, were supply
Mr Davis said a bigger-than-expected market was a challenge, but added that he
was happy with the result. He predicted a slight decline in the overall market
for 2016, with the economy slowing, and a similar decline for Toyota NZ.
“The New Zealand dollar has come off its highs, so car prices will probably
drift up a little bit.
“The most significant change for us will be the upgrade of Prius to the next
generation in the first quarter.”
Mr Davis said he strongly supports Toyota’s drive to more hybrid, plug-in
hybrid and fuel-cell-powered cars in the coming years.
“Toyota has come out with an aggressive goal for 2050 emissions, and Prius is
the next step along the way. We will introduce Corolla hybrid in due course,
with more to come – our long-term goal is to introduce hybrids into our whole
GM Holden rose 4.3 per cent to 14,001, while Ford sales dropped 1.6 per cent to
13,808. Ford NZ general marketing manager Cameron Thomas said the launch of
Mustang this month is driving a lot of traffic, and he expects that to lead
people into showrooms.
As for the market overall, Mr Thomas said he expects it to plateau or drop.
“We’re seeing the economy holding up relatively strongly, but house prices
flattening out, which will influence disposable income.”
Mazda had a record year, crossing the 10,000 barrier for the first time after
31 consecutive months of growth. A 24 per cent rise in registrations took its
tally to 10,078.
Mazda NZ national marketing manager Glenn Harris said the CX-5 is now its
primary model, while CX-3’s entry into a new segment has added 100 units per
An upgraded BT-50 ute gave sales a lift over the outgoing model, and MX-5 is
retailing 35 per month, “so we’re scrounging around for all the production we
can get,” Mr Harris said.
He added that he expects the market in 2016 to move in line with GDP, which
means it may drop, “and that’s where we’re working on our production
Mr Harris said 2016 will be a year of consolidation for Mazda.
“We are keen on keeping at a 10,000-and-something number, and with a good tail
wind and positive production from the plant, that’s looking pretty good at this
Hyundai used a strong SUV line-up to offset its lack of a ute offering to hold
steady, with a rise of 0.2 per cent to 8329, followed by Mitsubishi, up 8.3 per
cent to 8149.
Mitsubishi NZ head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook said he was
happy with a sixth full year of year-on-year growth,
“We had the president of Mitsubishi out here to prematurely celebrate our
result,” he said.
Mr Cook says Mitsubishi’s product line-up is well-placed to make the most of
current trends, with a strong SUV line-up.
“Our view is the 2016 market won’t be as bullish in terms of rate of growth. We
predict a static market. It was bad news for dairy in the last year, but
offsetting that we’ve seen strong immigration and strength in the building
sector. The NZ dollar did dip last year, but we withstood those shocks and
posted a record market.”
Nissan sales grew 9.9 per cent to 7869, while Volkswagen dropped 3.4 per cent
to 5045. Suzuki registrations fell 6.8 per cent to 4501, while Honda rounded
out the top 10, up 1.5 per cent to 3609.
BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander said he predicts no rise in interest rates
for at least two years, and the official cash rate to stay at 2.5 per cent
Mr Alexander says that there is evidence that the relationship between the pace
of economic growth and the inflation you get from that has changed, and so has
“These days the cost of searching for an alternative price has radically
reduced and businesses are finding it difficult to change prices,” he said.
“There is excess production around the world, a bit too much oil sloshing
around, excess production of coal, iron ore etc, so global inflation is being
Still, Mr Crawford said 2015 will be remembered as the year when NZ new-vehicle
registrations soared while the economy showed weaker growth in the face of
several unfavourable economic indicators at home and abroad.
“The breadth of new models with increased performance and comfort features,
combined with competitive prices and a high level of choice, makes New Zealand
one of the most competitive new-car markets anywhere in the world,” he said.
“It has never been a better time to buy a new vehicle.”
NZ Top 10 makes December 2015
NZ Top 10 makes 2015 total