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NZ car market up 9.5 per cent in August

King of the road: Toyota had the best selling vehicle in New Zealand last month, shifting 341 units of the HiLux ute.

August sales heading back to pre-GFC levels in New Zealand as fleets buy up

General News logo6 Sep 2012

By JACQUI MADELIN

NEW Zealand new-vehicle sales settled in August, with sales up 9.5 per cent over the same month in 2011, to 8175 units.

Year-to-date, the market is up 18.2 per cent over 2012, to 66,385 – well ahead of the five per cent growth most had predicted at the start of 2012 and with tallies now drawing comparisons with pre-recession years.

At 5959 vehicles, August’s new passenger car numbers were up 3.3 per cent to 192 units, the highest August tally since 2007. New commercial vehicle sales rose 30.5 per cent to 1698, the best tally since 2005.

Motor Industry Association CEO Perry Kerr said new vehicle sales appeared to be settling back to the levels seen in 2007, before the global financial crisis.

He said current sales reflected the recovery from last year’s supply problems, when Japanese manufacturers were hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

“The new vehicle industry continues to outperform other sectors of the economy and has well and truly shaken off all of the supply problems they faced during 2011,” he said.

Used import sales were down 1.2 per cent, to 6960.

Toyota comfortably tops the new-vehicle sales rankings, with a 19.8 per cent rise to 1453.

80 center imageFrom top: Ford Focus, Ranger Holden Colorado Mazda CX-5.

Toyota general manager sales and operations Stephen Prangnell said private buyers were still shy, and the markets continued to be driven by fleet sales, as well as the Christchurch rebuild.

He said Toyota rental numbers were expected to pick up next month along with inbound tourist numbers.

Mr Prangnell said TNZ was on track to meet its 2012 ambition to top the sales charts for the 25th consecutive year, and to beat its 2008 record of 21,916 sales. YTD numbers by August 31 sat on 12,959.

Ford numbers rose 41.8 per cent over August 2011 to hit 1058. Managing director Neale Hill said that at this time last year, Ranger and Focus were on run-out, but this year the new Ranger is in good supply, and Focus was selling well.

Mr Hill said some of the increase could be measured in terms of recovery from the recession, tsunami and flood trifecta, but he there was also a degree of underlying demand coming through.

“Passenger sales were up five per cent on our expectations and we forecast the industry to come in close on 100,000 by the end of the year, pretty much back to 2008 levels,” he said.

Ford’s Focus was New Zealand’s most popular car in August, with 292 registrations achieved with the help of 165 rental deliveries.

It was beaten only by Toyota’s HiLux on 341 and Ford Ranger on 283. Toyota sold 262 Corollas, while Holden Captiva made the top five on 238, just seven units ahead of Toyota’s Hiace van.

Holden also had a good month, its numbers up 29.3 per cent to 879. Managing director Jeff Murray said the increase came largely courtesy of new Colorado – the old model had been in run-out in mid 2011 – and Captiva which is benefitting from a retail campaign.

Hyundai sits fourth, with sales 7.9 per cent down from last year, to 627.

While other companies hover around 2008 numbers, Hyundai has doubled sales since then and is consolidating.

General Manager Andy Sinclair said an i30 promotion had boosted HNZ’s tally of Facebook friends to 52,804 and counting, making it the fastest-growing Facebook page in New Zealand and top car company, ahead of Holden on 35,630.

Mazda sold 529 cars, down 12.7 per cent for fifth place in comparison to its August 2011 numbers, and says CX-5 is in short supply thanks to global demand.

Nissan sales fell 8.3 per cent to 433, for sixth Mitsubishi sales matched market trend to lift 9.8 per cent to 403, while Suzuki sales fell by 10 per cent to 371 for the month.

Volkswagen cemented ninth thanks to a 16 per cent sales increase, to 334, while Honda rounded out the top 10, up 5.2 per cent, to 283.

NZ top 10 makes August 2012:
RankMakeSalesShare %
1Toyota145317.77
2Ford105812.94
3Holden87910.75
4Hyundai6277.67
5Mazda5296.47
6Nissan4335.30
7Mitsubishi4034.93
8Suzuki3714.54
9Volkswagen3344.09
10Honda2833.46

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