News - NZ sales
NZ sales: Another boom month
Big sales growth in New Zealand, with commercials re-writing the record books
11 Mar 2014
By JACQUI MADELIN in NEW ZEALAND
UPDATED 14:00 AEST NEW Zealand new vehicle sales continue to surge, with February’s tally of 9058 units marking a 14 per cent rise over the same period last year.
Indeed, it was the highest February tally since the Motor Industry Association (MIA) began collecting records in 1981. The strongest bracket of the total market was SUVs, at 31 per cent of the market, followed by utes and small-cars at 19 per cent each.
Sales of commercial vehicles continued at record pace, with the 2567 units sold representing a 19.2 per cent increase. It was the fifth month in a row where the monthly registrations year-on-year have been the highest since the MIA began collecting records.
New passenger car sales, meantime, achieved the highest levels since February 1989, with 6491 registrations.
New Zealand’s favourite vehicle was Toyota’s Hilux with 390 sales. The Ford Ranger and Toyota Corolla were joint second on 311 units. Then came the Holden Captiva (279) and Nissan’s Navara (272).
Toyota topped the market, dropping seven per cent to 1363 units for 14.9 per cent market share. Holden took second, up 53.1 per cent to 949 units for 10.4 per cent share. The Lion Brand also led passenger car sales.
“New VF Commodore boosted model sales, and we have been able to capitalise the fact the SUV sector is booming with the runout of Captiva and new Trax,” said Nissan NZ managing director Jeff Murray.
From top: Ford Ranger, Toyota Corolla, Holden Captiva and Nissan Navara.
Mr Murray said annualising the first two months could take the market to 125,000 units by year’s end. However, as the September election will likely have a dampening effect, Holden has instead pinned its renewed forecast market total to 120,000.
Ford rose 18.4 per cent to 894 units for third, with Hyundai fourth, up 17.9 per cent to 731 units. Nissan rose 5.6 per cent to 660 registrations, ahead of Mazda, up 15.5 per cent to 635 units, while Mitsubishi sales lifted 33.1 per cent to 575 units, its 50th consecutive month of growth.
Mitsubishi NZ head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook said: “We’re seeing a lift across the brand. It’s hard to say why the market is so far ahead of expectation. The major metro areas are strong, dairy payments are going well, the farming sector is having a good season and the Christchurch rebuild is continuing despite the recent flooding.
“But our best result is in the far south, Southern Fieldays netted the biggest response we have seen – they tripled their normal sales volume.”
In fact, Mr Cook said Mitsubishi NZ has now run out of stock.
“We’ll be delivering on current sales for the next four months, and March is already strong with only ten days gone,” he said.
The company expects a further boost as the newly-launched plug-in hybrid Outlander draws customers into dealerships.
Suzuki sales remained almost static, falling 2.3 per cent – or 10 units – to 428 registrations. Sales manager Gary Collins said the bulk of its sales were in the light sector, which dropped 7.3 per cent, while supplies of SX4 S-Cross SUV were limited.
“Our February shipment was low but demand is strong and we have pre-orders going out over the next couple of months. Without players at the upper end of the market and without a ute we rely on a flow-on effect to our part of the market,” he said.
Finally, Volkswagen – down 6.1 per cent to 414 units – and Kia – up 7.9 per cent to 258 units – rounded out the top 10.
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