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NZ Sales: Kiwi market down 23 per cent in 2020

Top of the Range(r): The Ford Ranger was once again the best-selling model in the New Zealand new-vehicle sector with 7975 sales.

New Zealand sales slip 23 per cent in 2020 to 119,398 amid COVID-19

21 Jan 2021

THE New Zealand automotive sector has finished 2020 some 23 per cent down on the previous year’s figures with 119,398 new vehicles being registered last year compared to the 154,479 recorded in 2019.


Despite the 35,081-unit downturn – largely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – Motor Industry Association (MIA) chief executive David Crawford said the result was actually better than expected, especially compared to predictions made earlier in the year.


“Although the 2020 market was down 23 per cent, the result is a better than anticipated back April when we were in the depths of the COVID-19 lockdown period, where we thought the market could be down as much as 35 per cent by year end,” he said.


After maintaining its dominance at the top of the tables every month besides one, it should come as no surprise to find Toyota was the top-selling brand of 2020 with a 17 per cent market share, equating to 20,762 new vehicle sales.


Ford once again trailed Toyota in second spot with a 10 per cent market share (12,334 units) while Mitsubishi finished the year in third (again) with a nine per cent share (10,306 units).


The triple-diamond brand actually outsold the Blue Oval in the final month of last year, chalking up 945 sales compared to Ford’s 911, however neither were within a stone’s throw of Toyota’s 1602 deliveries, equating to a 19 per cent market share for December.


Mazda ended the year in fourth with a seven per cent market share, edging out Kia by 126 units (8097 vs 7971) while Nissan secured itself sixth place with 6185 units sold (5%).


Seventh place went to Hyundai with 6048 deliveries (5%) however the Korean brand was pushed all the way by Suzuki in eighth (5944/5%) and a defiant Holden (5931/5%) in ninth with both the Japanese and defunct Australian brand getting within 120 units of seventh.


The top 10 was rounded out by Volkswagen which chalked up 3807 sales for the year, enough to earn it a three per cent market share.


While Toyota may have won the annual battle for overall sales supremacy, it was Ford that had the last laugh in terms of the best-selling vehicle, shifting 7975 examples of its Ranger pick-up compared to 5796 of the HiLux (second-best).


The Japanese brand struck back however by occupying two of the top three spots with its RAV4 mid-sized SUV finishing the year in third with 5341 units sold.


Fourth place went to the Mitsubishi Triton with 3687 new examples registered throughout the year.


Not only was the Sportage Kia’s best-selling model of 2020 but the fifth-best selling model overall with 2907 units shifted while its smaller stablemate, the Seltos, occupied sixth place with 2611 sales.


Mazda’s CX-5 finished the year in equal seventh, tied with the Toyota Corolla on 2567 units a piece, followed closely by the Suzuki Swift in eighth (2562).


Ninth place belonged to the Holden Colorado (2487) with the top 10 being rounded out by the Mitsubishi ASX (2477).


The mid-sized SUV segment was once again the most popular with Kiwis snapping up 23,935 of the high-riding family haulers, equating to an even 20 per cent of the market, a share matched by the booming compact SUV segment with 23,306 examples finding homes.


Factor in the large SUV segment as well and we find that 49.6 of all new vehicle sales in New Zealand last year were SUVs.


Given they occupy three of the top four best-selling models, it should not come as much of a surprise to find the 4x4 pick-up segment was the third most popular (18,405/15%).


While 2020 ended on a slightly better sales note than expected, 2021 is off to a less than ideal start as the industry battles against ongoing stock constraints of volume-selling models however the MIA says it expects the situation to ease as the year progresses.


Top 10 Brands 2020

Rank Brand Sales % Share
1 Toyota 20,762 17
2 Ford 12,334 10
3 Mitsubishi 10,306 9
4 Mazda 8097 7
5 Kia 7971 7
6 Nissan 6185 5
7 Hyundai 6048 5
8 Suzuki 5944 5
9 Holden 5931 5
10 Volkswagen 3807 3


Top 10 Models 2020

Rank Model Sales
1 Ford Ranger 7975
2 Toyota HiLux 5796
3 Toyota RAV4 5341
4 Mistubishi Triton 3687
5 Kia Sportage 2907
6 Kia Seltos 2611
7 Mazda CX-5 2567
7 Toyota Corolla 2567
8 Suzuki Swift 2562
9 Holden Colorado 2487
10 Mitsubishi ASX 2477

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