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NZ sales: Toyota goes further ahead

Take it away: Toyota is aiming for a 25th year of market leadership in New Zealand, led by rebounding HiLux ute sales.

HiLux leads the way for Toyota as New Zealand new-vehicle market continues recovery

General News logo7 Jun 2012

THE New Zealand new-vehicle market experienced another healthy lift in May, rising 26.6 per cent over the same month last year, to 8306 sales, although used imports were down 3.6 per cent to 6973 units.

Motor Industry Association chief executive officer Perry Kerr said the market continues to perform beyond expectations.

“Stock is starting to flow from Thailand, which is excellent news for those in the light commercial market, especially with the National Agricultural Fieldays next week,” said Mr Kerr.

“New-vehicle buyers have obviously recognised the outstanding value, significant safety features and environmental performance to be gained by buying a new vehicle.”

Toyota returned to form with a 68.1 per cent lift in passenger and light commercial sales to 1619 registrations in May, for a 19.5 per cent share.

Toyota NZ general manager sales and operations Steve Prangnell said he expects this level of growth to continue as the company recovers from last year’s natural disasters and also benefits from new model introductions.

“Supply has caught up and what we’re seeing now is the difference between normal demand and the rate in May 2011, when we were at rock bottom of tsunami shortages and were trying to conserve stock.

80 center imageFrom top: Ford Ranger Suzuki Swift Nissan Navara.

“We were also at the bottom of our model cycle (last year) and this year we have a lot of new stock, with Yaris, Camry, Prius C and Avensis updates already, and Corolla wagon and hatch to come.”“Toyota NZ’s 2012 target is 23 per cent share and our 25th year of market leadership.”

Ford finished second in May, up 35.5 per cent to 938 sales, with Nissan third, up 24.7 per cent to 706.

Nissan NZ managing director John Manley said the market has been boosted by manufacturers filling back orders.

“If you look at arrivals from Thailand, they’ve gone up dramatically in the last couple of months,” he said.

“We’re thrilled by the lift and hope it can be sustained. There’s quite a lot of negativity in the economic sector, but New Zealanders sometimes seem to thrive on bad news.”

Holden was the only major player to lose sales in May, dropping 3.6 per cent to 650 units for fourth place as it waits for the new Colorado.

Hyundai (up 18.6 per cent to 612) finished the month just behind Holden, while Mazda (up 9.6 per cent to 561) finished sixth ahead of Suzuki (up 6.6 per cent to 471), Mitsubishi (up 7.4 per cent to 390), Volkswagen (up 3.0 per cent to 313) and Kia (up 27.8 per cent to 276 sales).

Year to date, Hyundai and Holden are separated by only 25 sales.

With Thai supplies returning and meeting pent-up demand, the two top-selling models for May were both utes, with the Toyota HiLux having dominated with 600 sales, well ahead of the second-placed Ford Ranger on 307.

NZ Top 10 makes May 2012

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