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NZ Sales: Kiwi market booms to be up 86.3% in March

Riding Hi(Lux): The Toyota HiLux (left) once again proved to be the most popular seller while the Ford Ranger (below) reclaimed second place.

Pick-ups rule the top three in March but SUVs still lead the New Zealand market

7 Apr 2021

THE New Zealand new-vehicle market has continued its resurgence and posted its strongest March on record with sales up 86.3 per cent compared to the corresponding month last year, with 15,498 new vehicles being registered.


More than just being a record-breaking month, the impressive haul has resulted in the overall market being up 27.6 per cent year-to-date.


Despite the success, Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford said the sector was still operating under disrupted supply arrangements and computer chip supply shortages.


“As shipments arrive, vehicles are going straight through customs, distributor predelivery inspections and entry compliance to the franchised dealer and onto the new owner, who invariably has been on a wait list,” he said.


“Comparing March this year to March 2020 is a statistical challenge due to lost delivery time as we entered in full lockdown and current month arrivals are mainly fulfilling long wait lists.”


As usual, it was Toyota that proved the most popular brand with a 15 per cent market share (2352 sales), once again followed by Mitsubishi (1743/11%) in second while Ford reclaimed third from Kia with a nine per cent (1367) market share to the Korean’s seven (1054).


Mazda once again finished the month in fifth with 1031 sales (7%) while Nissan maintained its sixth place with 841 sales (5%), some 124 units ahead of Suzuki in seventh (717/5%).


Eighth went to Hyundai with 702 sales (5%) which was again followed by Volkswagen (675/4%) in ninth while Subaru leap-frogged Honda to nab tenth by just three units with 464 sales (3%).


In terms of individual models, the Toyota HiLux retained its place at the top of the table with 1019 examples registered over the 31 days of March with its nemesis, the Ford Ranger, returning to second position with 828 registrations.


The Mitsubishi Triton climbed from fourth place in February to third in March with 691 sales, making it the third of five pick-ups to occupy a place in the top 10.


Its Outlander stablemate finished the month in fourth with 467 units shifted, some 95 units clear of the Nissan Navara (372) in fifth.


Sixth went to the Kia Sportage (346), seventh to the Mazda CX-5 (339) and eighth to the Toyota RAV4 (326) while the Isuzu D-Max (304) and Mitsubishi ASX (296) finished the month in ninth and 10th respectively.


Despite there being an even split of pick-ups and SUVs within the top 10, it was the high-riding family haulers that proved the most popular class of vehicle last month, accounting for 7682 (50%) of the 15,498 total sales.


Of those, it was the compact SUVs that lead the charge (3327) in terms of segments, followed by medium SUVs (2927) and 4x4 pick-ups (2598).


Electrified vehicles also posted a strong month with 1429 examples sold, with that figured comprised of 855 hybrids, 424 pure electric vehicles (EVs) and 150 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).


Sticking with electrification, the Tesla Model 3 was by far and away the best-selling EV last month with 270 units sold – accounting for more than half (63.7%) of all March’s EV sales.


NZ Top 10 Brands March 2021

Rank Brand Sales Share %
1 Toyota 2352 15
2 Mitsubishi 1743 11
3 Ford 1367 9
4 Kia 1054 7
5 Mazda 1031 7
6 Nissan 841 5
7 Suzuki 717 5
8 Hyundai 702 5
9 Volkswagen 675 4
10 Subaru 464 3


NZ Top 10 Models March 2021

Rank Model Sales
1 Toyota HiLux 1019
2 Ford Ranger 824
3 Mitsubishi Triton 691
4 Mitsubishi Outlander 467
5 Nissan Navara 372
6 Kia Sportage  346
7 Mazda CX-5 339
8 Toyota RAV4 326
9 Isuzu D-Max 304
10 Mistubishi ASX 296

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