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NZ sales: Corolla back on top

Number one: Significant rental company sales helped edge the Corolla ahead of the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux last month.

Fifth record January in a row for New Zealand as Toyota Corolla tops the charts

2 Feb 2018

TOYOTA’S Corolla small car has regained some ground lost in recent years to family friendly SUVs and pick-ups by topping the New Zealand new-vehicle sales charts in January.

While the Corolla’s HiLux stablemate and the Ford Ranger pick-ups have battled for sales supremacy each month for the past couple of years, a strong month of rental sales helped push the hatch and sedan range to the top in what was another record month.

Last month, 14,834 vehicles were sold in NZ, marking the best January on record and also marking the fifth record January in a row. The haul was 7.3 per cent ahead of the last year's result.

NZ Motor Industry Association chief executive officer David Crawford said the solid start to the year was somewhat unexpected.

“The strength of growth in the new-vehicle market ran somewhat against expectations, making it once again the strongest ever start to a new sales year.” he said.

“As 2018 gets underway, nothing has changed with the economic environment that existed for most of the last 24 months. The key drivers of new-vehicle sales remain the continued elevated levels of net immigration, low costs of debt, a strong national economy and a stable government.”

Passenger car and SUV sales lifted by 6.4 per cent over January 2017 to 10,797 units, while commercial vehicle registrations grew by 9.9 per cent to 4037 units.

Toyota was once again the market leader in NZ, bringing home 3270 sales for the month, which is a significant 40 per cent jump up from January last year and enough to snag a 22 per cent share of the market.

Ford’s growth was less dramatic, but its haul of 1654 units was 5.6 per cent up and enough to put it in second place ahead of Mazda, which soared by 28.3 per cent to 1197 sales.

Holden went backwards by 34.1 per cent last month to 1162 units, representing a dramatic decline after placing second the previous January.

Mitsubishi rounded out the top five with 944 sales, up 9.0 per cent over last January, while Kia continued its rapid ascension, jumping from ninth spot last January to sixth with 762 sales, a 26.3 per cent lift.

Nissan slid a further 6.2 per cent with 707 sales, while Hyundai crept up by just 1.5 per cent – or nine units – to 617.

Suzuki had a big drop off in sales in a year, losing ground by 18.5 per cent with 596 sales, followed by Honda, which regained some momentum by increasing its sales by 29.4 per cent to 524 units, ensuring it crept back into the top 10.

The Corolla’s haul of 958 units was significantly boosted by 696 rental company sales, beating out the Ford Ranger (713) by more than 200 units.

Toyota models made up the remainder of the top five, with the HiLux (636) in third, followed by the Highlander/Kluger (427) and RAV4 (421), the latter two also recording strong rental sales of 292 and 209 apiece.

The Holden Colorado was the fifth best-selling model overall with 376 units, trailed by the Ford Focus (320) that nabbed 196 rental sales and the Mitsubishi Triton (318).

Kia’s Sportage and Mazda’s CX-5 rounded out the top-10 best selling models with 315 and 305 sales respectively.

Once again the most popular model segment was medium SUVs capturing a 16 per cent market share, just edging out small passenger cars on 14 per cent and compact SUVs with 13 per cent.

Toyota led sales in the passenger car and SUV segments with a whopping 23 per cent share, with Mazda well behind on 9.0 per cent and Ford on 8.0 per cent.

The Blue Oval topped the commercial segment sales with a 20 per cent share, followed by Toyota on 19 per cent and Holden on 10 per cent.

NZ top 10 makes February 2018
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