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Rentals boost NZ sales
New Zealand rebound continues as rental companies extend buying season
7 Feb 2011
By JACQUI MADELIN in NEW ZEALAND
NEW vehicle sales figures continue to rise in New Zealand, with passenger and light commercial figures up 12.2 per cent in January.
Compared with the depressed state of the industry a year ago, new car registrations lifted 10.8 per cent and commercials 19.1 per cent.
This year’s January figures were boosted by rental numbers, with Ford and Toyota noting rental orders over a wider spread of months than usual.
Toyota lifted 19.5 per cent to lead the sales tables with 1781 units and a 23.7 per cent market share, which sales chief, Steve Pragnell said was “mainly due to the changed seasonality in the last of the rental deliveries”.
Mr Pragnell expects Toyota will further increase share this year thanks to new models, with FJ Cruiser launching this month, Yaris mid-year, major changes expected to HiLux and a brand new Camry late in the year.
“We expect the market to lift four or five per cent while we run at seven or 7.5 per cent over last year,” he said.
Holden was second on 828 sales, up 2.9 per cent, followed by Ford with 610, up 29.2.
“The bulk of that increase was rental volume,” said Ford NZ managing director Trevor Auger. “We did 230 rentals this January and 100 last. We’ve had a lift in dealer volumes as well after increasing our ad presence and hopefully that is driving enquiry.”
From top: Holden Commodore, outgoing Suzuki Swift and Ford Mondeo.
Ford expects to lift market share this year after experiencing supply issues with Fiesta and Mondeo in early 2010, and with a facelifted Mondeo arriving from late March.
Hyundai sales lifted a massive 57.5 per cent for fourth thanks to new advertising and promotional campaigns.
Hyundai NZ chief operating officer Tom Ruddenklau said he planned a vigorous start to the year and expects a five per cent growth in 2011, with new models of the mass-market Elantra and Accent arriving from the second quarter, followed by the Veloster.
Mazda finished the month fifth on 490 (down 15.4 per cent), followed by Suzuki on 430 (down 2.5 per cent due to short supply of Swift in run-out mode).
Nissan sold 385 vehicles (9.7 per cent for seventh), followed by Mitsubishi (339, up 8.3 per cent), leading European brand Volkswagen (291, up 23.3 per cent) and Honda, rounding out the top 10 on 258 sales (up 33.7 per cent thanks in part to continued interest in Insight, which sold 94 in January).
Honda NZ managing director Graeme Seymour said delayed shipments late last year depressed its December figures and boosted January, adding that many distributors are operating with thinner stock than they did pre-recession, which can distort figures if shipments are late.
New Zealand’s top-selling model in January was Toyota’s Corolla, with 735 of its 907 sales made up of rentals, followed by the Holden Commodore on 380 (205 rentals) and the outgoing Suzuki Swift on 265.
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