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NZ Sales: Kiwi market posts strongest May on record

Two to blue: The Ford Ranger (left) defended its crown as New Zealand’s best-selling vehicle last month, once again besting the Toyota HiLux (below).

Compact SUVs continue to rule New Zealand new-vehicle market despite modest top 10

7 Jun 2021

A LOT like the Australian market, New Zealand’s new-vehicle market has been going from strength to strength so far in 2021, having posted the strongest march, April and now May on record with 14,552 new vehicles registered last month.


The secret to last month’s success, according to Motor Industry Association (MIA) spokesperson Mark Stockdale, lays in the abundance of new stock that arrived on Kiwi shores with sales up 75 per cent compared to May 2020.


Unsurprisingly it was Toyota that continued to rule the roost with a 16 per cent market share (2388 sales), once again followed by Mitsubishi (1721/12 per cent) and Ford (1227/seven per cent) respectively.


Behind Ford in fourth was Kia, its 1016 sales earning the Korean brand a seven per cent market share ahead of Mazda in fifth with a six per cent share (902).


Nissan improved by one place to finish May in sixth (836) as Hyundai slipped down the order to ninth with 619 new registrations.


Between those two in seventh and eight respectively were Suzuki (777) and Volkswagen (658) while Honda (383) usurped MG to round out the top 10 – MG finished the month in thirteenth. 


In terms of the most popular models, the top 10 was given a decent shakeup last month but the top two spots went unchanged with the Ford Ranger once again getting the better of the Toyota HiLux in the sales race with 876 deliveries against 795.


Toyota struck back with the RAV4 nabbing third place by clocking up 620 sales.


Mitsubishi occupied fourth, fifth and sixth places with the ASX (525), Triton (491) and Outlander (407) respectively while the Nissan Navara slotted in comfortably at seventh with 339 new registrations.


April’s bronze-getter, the Kia Stonic, did not fare quite so well in May with just 319 sales – little more than half of the previous month’s total – whereas the Mazda CX-5 (299) was bumped down to ninth on account of the Navara’s success.


Equalling the CX-5’s tally was the pint-sized Suzuki Swift, leaving the Honda Jazz to round out the top 10 with 295 sales.


Predictably, compact SUVs continued to lead the market last month, accounting for a quarter (3653) of the total market while the bigger mid-sizers claimed a 16 per cent (2397) slice of the action.


Despite there being four examples within the top 10 most popular models, 4x4 pick-ups could not quite match the mid-sized family haulers on sheer volume but still occupied a 16 per cent share (2291) of the market.


Electrified vehicles had a blinder of month with 1628 examples shifted in total, 1232 of which were hybrids, 276 were battery electric (BEV) and the remaining 120 were plug-in hybrids (PHEV).


In a statement, Mr Stockdale said worldwide shipping capacity was “still a long way off pre-COVID-19 levels with manufacturers still grappling with a worldwide shortage of semi-conductor chips”.


“Production is being slowed down or temporarily suspended to match chip availability,” he said.


“Additionally, as the rest of the world comes out of COVID-19 consumers are doing what New Zealanders did last year, spending up large on new items. 


“Worldwide demand for new vehicles is outstripping production capability and it is possible manufacturers might begin to pro-rata supply to markets.”


NZ Top 10 Brands May 2021

Rank Brand Sales Share %
1 Toyota 2388 16
2 Mitsubishi 1721 12
3 Ford 1227 8
4 Kia 1016 7
5 Mazda 902 6
6 Nissan 836 6
7 Suzuki 777 5
8 Volkswagen 658 5
9 Hyundai 619 4
10 Honda 383 3


NZ Top 10 Models May 2021

Rank Model Sales
1 Ford Ranger 876
2 Toyota HiLux 795
3 Toyota RAV4 620
4 Mitsubishi ASX 525
5 Mitsubishi Triton 491
6 Mitsubishi Outander 407
7 Nissan Navara 339
8 Kia Stonic 319
9 Mazda CX-5 299
9 Suzuki Swift 299
10 Honda Jazz 295


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