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NZ sales: Another annual new-vehicle record falls

Number one: In 2018, Ford’s Ranger ute was the best-selling model in New Zealand for the fourth consecutive year, with its sales improving by 5.2 per cent to 9904 units.

Toyota and Ford’s Ranger continue dominance in flatlining New Zealand market

8 Jan 2019

NEW Zealand’s new-vehicle market achieved its fifth consecutive annual sales record in 2018, with Toyota dominating with a 20.0 per cent share but conceding the title of best-selling model to Ford’s Ranger ute for the fourth year in a row.
In total, 161,519 new vehicles were sold to Kiwis last year – a slim 1.0 per cent, or 1648-unit, improvement over the 2017 tally.
However, NZ Motor Industry Association (MIA) chief executive officer David Crawford cautioned that the market’s run of consecutive annual records will likely come to an end this year.
“Given current global economic factors, distributor expectations for 2019 indicate a softening of the market,” he said. “Further steady growth in the new-vehicle sector above 2018 outturn is not expected.”
Overall sales of passenger cars and SUVs were slightly down, by 0.4 per cent (403 units), over the previous year, while light-commercial vehicles picked up the slack, growing by 4.0 per cent (2049 units).
SUVs and LCVs were again clear favourites in NZ in 2018, with mid-size SUVs claiming the largest market share, at 16.8 per cent, ahead of pick-up/cab-chassis 4x4s (14.8%), small SUVs (13.0%) and large SUVs (11.5%).
In the brand sales race, Toyota accelerated ahead of the pack with 32,260 vehicles sold – just 22 units behind its 2017 total.
The Japanese marque had three models in the top 10 – the HiLux ute, Corolla small car and RAV4 mid-size SUV – while its Highlander/Kluger large SUV (2681 units, -1.6%) and HiAce van (2505, -16.1%) finished immediately outside of it, in 11th and 12th place respectively.
Ford (16,366 units) slipped by 2.7 per cent but held onto second position, with the ever-improving Ranger (9904, +5.2%) responsible for 60.5 per cent of its sales.
Holden (13,046 units) retained third place, despite its volume dipping by 9.5 per cent, with the popularity of its crucial Colorado ute (4583, +4.3%) unable to create overall growth.
A resurgent Mitsubishi sold 12,320 vehicles (+7.5%) and ascended to fourth position on the back of the Triton ute (4720, +16.0%), as well as the ASX small SUV (2436) and Outlander mid-size SUV (2405, -15.4%) that finished just behind the Highlander/Kluger and HiAce.
Correspondingly, Mazda slipped to fifth place, selling 12,238 vehicles (+103 units), most of which were the CX-5 mid-size SUV (3695, +14.2%).
Nissan (8311 units, +6.0%) and Hyundai (8098, +2.6%) also switched positions, claiming sixth and seventh respectively, with the former’s Navara ute (3655, +19.6%) providing the lift required to make the move.
Similarly, an improving Kia (6885 units, +6.2%) returned fire at a declining Suzuki (6519, -6.6%), trading ninth place for eighth, while Volkswagen (5909) grew by 6.0 per cent to round out the top 10.
As mentioned, the facelifted Ranger led all comers to become the top-selling model again, keeping the HiLux, which sold 20 more vehicles than it did in 2017, at 8086 units, in second position.
Toyota’s recently updated Corolla (7300 units, -6.4%) and soon-to-be-replaced RAV4 (4964, +7.2%) performed well enough to claim third and fourth place respectively, punctuating its continued dominance.
The Triton, Colorado, CX-5 and Navara finished in the next four positions, while Kia’s slowing Sportage mid-size SUV (3289 units, -7.5%) and Suzuki’s rising Swift light car (3034, +25.5%) took ninth and 10th place respectively.
Toyota was also preferred the brand among rental fleets last year, with seven of its models – the Corolla, RAV4, Highlander/Kluger, Yaris light car, LandCruiser Prado large SUV, HiAce and HiLux – featuring in the top 15.

NZ top 10 selling brands 2018

Ranking Make Sales Share %
1 Toyota 32,260 20.0
2 Ford 16,366 10.1
3 Holden 13,046 8.1
4 Mitsubishi 12,320 7.6
5 Mazda 12,238 7.6
6 Nissan 8311 5.1
7 Hyundai 8098 5.0
8 Kia 6885 4.3
9 Suzuki 6519 4.0
10 Volkswagen 5909 3.7


NZ top 10 selling models 2018

Ranking Model Sales Share %
1 Ford Ranger 9904 6.1
2 Toyota HiLux 8086 5.0
3 Toyota Corolla 7300 4.5
4 Toyota RAV4 4964 3.1
5 Mitsubishi Triton 4720 2.9
6 Holden Colorado 4583 2.8
7 Mazda CX-5 3695 2.3
8 Nissan Navara 3655 2.3
9 Kia Sportage 3289 2.0
10 Suzuki Swift 3034 1.9


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