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NZ Sales: Kiwi market takes a hit in lockdown

Model 3 shock: The Ford Ranger (below) may continue as top dog overall, but the Tesla Model 3’s August sales performance was the big surprise, showing EVs are on the way up in NZ.

New Zealand’s level 4 snap lockdown wreaks havoc on new-car sales in August

3 Sep 2021

NEW Zealand’s plunge back into level four lockdown last month had a disastrous effect on new-car sales, with just 6746 new vehicles registered compared to the 10,610 sold in August 2020.

 

The 3864-unit sales hit equates to a 36.2 per cent decrease year-on-year, though overall sales for the year are still up 39.1 per cent (106,498 vs 76,572) as of August 31.

 

Motor Industry Association Chief Executive David Crawford said that while the industry was heavily impacted, such results were hardly unexpected.

 

With the entire country in lockdown for the second half of the month, there were a few surprises on the sales charts in terms of the most popular models.

 

But these made little difference to the order of best-selling brands, with Toyota continuing to lead the way with its 1578 sales netting an unassailable 23 per cent of the market.

 

As usual it was Ford and Mitsubishi vying for the silver and bronze positions, the Blue Oval getting the better of the triple diamond brand this time around with a 12 per cent (817 units) market share compared to the latter’s 10 per cent (673).

 

Once again it was Mazda that claimed fourth with a six per cent share (434), just ahead of Suzuki in fifth and its 414 sales (six per cent).

 

Hyundai’s 276 sales (four per cent share) earned it sixth place, 64 units clear of Nissan (212/three per cent) in seventh and 70 clear of Volkswagen (206/three per cent) in eighth.

 

Chinese brand MG improved one spot on July’s tenth place to see out August in ninth with 191 sales and a three per cent market share, just pipping tenth-place finisher Tesla by three units (189 units/3 per cent share).

 

At the top of the individual model charts, the Ford Ranger continued to reign supreme with 671 new registrations, however the big surprise was the Toyota HiLux’s plummet from second in July to fourth in August (298), ousted from the Ranger’s coat tails by the Corolla small car (447) and RAV4 SUV (302).

 

Some 53 units behind the HiLux and rounding out the top five was the ever-popular Mitsubishi ASX (245).

 

One of the big surprises for the month was the sales performance of the Tesla Model 3, which nabbed sixth place overall with 189 examples being delivered, besting the mainstream Mazda CX-5 (179) by 10 units.

 

The Suzuki Swift retained a spot in the top 10, this time claiming eighth with 168 new regos, followed by the soon-to-be-replaced Mitsubishi Outlander (154) and MG ZS (140).

 

Following the high-riding trend of 2021, compact SUVs were again the most popular class of vehicle last month, accounting for 22 per cent of the market with 4x4 utes and medium SUVs locked together with a 16 per cent share each.

 

Such is the dominance of SUVs, compact and medium SUVs have accounted for a combined 56 per cent of all Kiwi new-car sales so far this year ending August 31.

 

In terms of electrified vehicles, 804 hybrids, 81 plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and 328 battery-electric vehicles (BEV) were registered last month, showing the demand and appeal for green vehicles is continuing to accelerate – no doubt stimulated by the feebate scheme under which a levy is applied to high-emitting vehicles in order to subsidise electrified alternatives.

 

Of the 804 new hybrids shifted, 85 per cent of them wore either Toyota or Lexus badges, with the top three models for the month being the RAV4 (219), Corolla (150) and Camry (94).

 

Mitsubishi ruled the plug-in roost thanks to decent showings from its Eclipse Cross (28) and Outlander (23) PHEVs while the MG HS PHEV (12) rounded out the top three.

 

As for the BEVs, it should come as no surprise that the Tesla Model 3 was top dog in August, followed by the MG ZS EV (56) and Hyundai Kona Electric (31), however neither of the Asian cars could get near the Californian’s 189 sales.

 

Top 10 Brands August 2021

Brand Sales Share %
Toyota 1578 23
Ford 817 12
Mitsubishi 673 10
Mazda 434 6
Suzuki 414 6
Hyundai 276 4
Nissan 212 3
Volkswagen 206 3
MG 191 3
Tesla 189 3

 

Top 10 Models August 2021

Model Sales
Ford Ranger 671
Toyota Corolla 447
Toyota RAV4 302
Toyota HiLux 298
Mitsubishi ASX 245
Tesla Model 3 189
Mazda CX-5 179
Suzuki Swift 168
Mitsubishi Outlander 154
MG ZS 140

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