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NZ Sales: LCVs lift Q1 haul

Fast track: While one-tonne utes routinely dominate the NZ market, Kia’s Sportage was the highest-selling passenger vehicle last month, upstaging Toyota’s Corolla to slot in among the big boys in the top five.

Strong first quarter in NZ on the back of commercial and SUV increases

5 Apr 2017

NEW Zealand’s first quarter new-vehicle sales tracked 15 per cent ahead of the same quarter in 2016 on the back of continued growth in the light commercial sector.

So far this year, New Zealanders snapped up 39,477 SUVs, passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles, which is about 5100 more than January-to-March 2016.

The March haul of 13,869 units was 14.5 per cent or 1759 sales in front of March 2016, representing a new record for March sales in NZ.

Of the March total, 9230 passenger cars and SUVs were registered, up 12.7 per cent over the same month last year, while commercials grew 18.4 per cent to 4639 units.

Motor Industry Association (MIA) chief executive officer David Crawford said the commercial vehicle figure was particularly strong last month, ensuring records were smashed.

“Not only was it the first time since the MIA began collating commercial vehicle registration data in 1981 that registrations of heavy vehicles broke through the 4000 mark in the month of March,” he said. “It was also the single largest month of all time.”

Medium SUVs were by far the most popular models with a 15 per cent share of the overall market, followed by 4x4 pick-ups and cab-chassis (13%), large SUVs (12%), small SUVs (11%) and small passenger cars (11%).

Toyota continued to rule the roost with 2316 sales and a 17 per cent share of the whole market, representing a 25 per cent hike over last March.

Ford followed in second place, capturing 1522 sales – a 21 per cent boost – for an 11 per cent share.

Holden (1104 sales) had a much stronger month than last March with a 24 per cent lift, while Mazda (1095, +13%) and Mitsubishi (1056, +3%) rounded out the top five brands in March with market share of eight per cent apiece.

The remainder of the top 10 included Hyundai in sixth with 808 sales – a one unit increase over March 2016 – with Suzuki next up on 736 (+19%), then Nissan with 631 (+3%), Kia on 626 (+54%) and Honda rounding out the list with 519 (+11%).

Toyota retained its lead in the passenger and SUV segment with 1213 sales and 13 per cent market share, followed by Mazda’s 905 sales and 10 per cent share, with Suzuki in third with 734 sales and an eight per cent share.

The commercial sector was also led by the dominant Brand T with a whopping 24 per cent share and 1103 sales, with Ford (19%, 879 sales) and Holden (8%, 393 sales) trailing.

Ford retained its place at the top of the best-selling model chart with its popular Ranger pick-up, which found 810 homes last month, followed by Toyota’s HiLux (740) and Corolla (396) in second and third respectively.

Highlighting the popularity of 4x4 dual-cab market, the Holden Colorado (380) and Mitsubishi Triton (365) rounded out the top five last month.

The rest of the top 10 best-selling modes was made up of the Kia Sportage (349), Toyota HiAce (338), Nissan Navara (291), Mitsubishi Outlander (287) and Toyota RAV4 (261).

In year-to-date sales, the top four retains the same order as the March result, but the Sportage is the fifth best seller in NZ so far this year, keeping the Triton in eighth spot.

Ranger is beating HiLux by about 500 units year to date, while the Corolla is a further 400 sales behind its workhorse stablemate.

The HiAce van was the highest selling rental car last month, shifting 54 units, with the Hyundai Tucson chasing it on 40, followed by the Ranger, Holden Captiva and Nissan X-Trail.

The most popular rental car at the end of the first quarter was the RAV4 with a 14 per cent share and 434 sales, with its Corolla stablemate in second on 408 sales and a 13 per cent stake.

Holdens made up the next few slots on the year-to-date rental charts, with the Commodore in third followed by Captiva, Cruze and Trax.

NZ Top 10 makes March 2017
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