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NZ sales: Commercial vehicles drive growth

Number one: The Toyota Corolla was the top-selling car in New Zealand during February.

February sales across the Tasman grow thanks to strong commercial vehicle figures

General News logo6 Mar 2013

NEW Zealand’s new vehicle registrations rose 10.6 per cent to 7946 units in February over the same month in 2012, continuing to grow ahead of predictions thanks largely to commercial sales.

Commercial registrations were up 38.4 per cent to 2148 units, the highest February tally since 1982, while passenger registrations rose 2.9 per cent to 5798.

New Motor Industry Association CEO David Crawford said: “This result shows the new vehicle market is consistent with levels of sales pre the global financial crisis. The commercial vehicle registrations of 2148 units is particularly pleasing, being only the fourth time since 1981 sales exceeded 2000 units (previous times were 1982, 1984 and 2008).”Toyota again topped the sales tables, up 24.9 per cent to 1465 registrations for 18.4 per cent share. Chief executive Alistair Davis says Toyota was still affected by the Thai floods holding back Hilux in February 2012. “We’ve had a solid start to the year, with virtually no rental car sales, though retail is reasonably strong as are government sales and big fleets.” He said the company expected the market as a whole to rise by three to five per cent, with Toyota slightly ahead of trend, “though we’ve been surprised how strong the market has been so far – more buoyant than expected.” Toyota’s own buoyancy will come from a full year of sales for the new Corolla hatch, which is the brand’s biggest seller, and RAV4 – a perennially strong seller with a new generation launching in April.

80 center imageFrom top: Suzuki Swift, Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.

Ford sat second in February, down 0.8 per cent to 755 sales, with Nissan in third, up 38 per cent to 625 sales. Nissan New Zealand managing director John Manley said the industry as a whole experienced supply problems throughout 2012 and that distorted figures, but the situation is leveling out and sales increases will follow.

“We really struggled with product this time last year and now we’ve got it, we’re capitalising on supply and have heavily-promoted retail campaigns customers are responding to.” Mr Manley expects the market to grow around five per cent with Nissan ahead of trend. “This is the first month of new Pulsar sedan, we have Pulsar hatch mid-year, new Pathfinder and Altima, so a lot of new product and that drives enquiry,” he said.

Holden and Hyundai finished in joint fourth place, both on 620 sales and both dropping registrations, Holden by 2.5 per cent and Hyundai by 8.1.

Mazda holds sixth, up 13.4 per cent to 550 sales. “We had a full February of CX-5 this year,” said national marketing manager Glenn Harris. “Last year was prior to its release. Mazda6 this year we’ve seen a month of run-out and run-in combined, which doubled sales over last year, and we had a good supply of BT-50 plus CX-9 on run-out and run-in.”Mr Harris predicts the market will end up at 95 per cent of 2012’s total, with Mazda sales up 3.5 per cent or thereabouts thanks to new Mazda6. “We’ve been aggressive with it and aim to regain segment leadership,” he said.

Volkswagen finished seventh, its 38.7 per cent increase to 441 sales largely driven by new Golf, launched in February and with 144 deliveries so far.

Suzuki sold 438, down 13.3 per cent, with Mitsubishi in ninth, up 6.4 per cent to 431 sales with Kia rounding out the top ten, up 2.6 per cent to 239.

February’s top-selling model was again the Toyota Corolla with 366 sales, followed by Toyota Hilux with 338, Ford Ranger with 298 and Suzuki Swift on 263. Nissan Navara (235) and Toyota Hiace (181) rounded out the top five.

NZ Top 10 makes February 2013
RankMakeSales% Share
4 =Holden6207.8
4 =Hyundai6207.8

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