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NZ sales: Market softens in September

Fresh face: Recently launched in 12th-generation form, the Corolla hatch helped Toyota’s small car become the best-selling model in New Zealand last month.

Kiwi new-vehicle sales last month decrease by 4.1 per cent as market flat-lines

3 Oct 2018

NEW Zealand’s new-vehicle market took a step backwards in September, with the 13,910 sales recorded representing a 4.1 per cent decrease over the corresponding record-breaking month last year.
As a result, the market’s year-to-date total has begun to flat-line, with the 119,591 units sold only up one per cent over the first nine months of 2017. Nonetheless, another annual sales record is still within reach.
According to NZ Motor Industry Association (MIA) chief executive officer David Crawford, financial pressures are forcing new-vehicle buyers to reconsider their options.
“With the continued high price of petrol and recent new fuel taxes, the trend towards downsizing is becoming more apparent,” he said.
Sales of passengers cars and SUVs reached 9432 units (-4.3%) in September, while 4478 (-3.7%) light-commercial vehicles (LCVs) found homes.
With a market share of 17.7 per cent, mid-size SUVs were the most popular vehicles in September, followed by small SUVs (14.0%) and pick-up/cab-chassis 4x4s (13.7%).
Thanks to its 643 rental sales for month, the Toyota Corolla small car (872, -8.9%) was the best-selling model in September, followed by a trio of utes including the Ford Ranger (802, +2.7%), Toyota HiLux (667, -15.7%) and Mitsubishi Triton (452, +22.2%).
Toyota’s popularity among rental fleets also contributed exactly half of its fifth-placed RAV4’s 366 sales. However, the mid-size SUV took a significant 29.1 per cent hit during September.
Rental sales further added 134 units to the seventh-placed Mitsubishi ASX small SUV’s total (317), but it was just behind Kia’s Sportage mid-size SUV that claimed sixth position with 323 registrations (+2.9%), of which 77 came from fleets.
While the Toyota HiAce van backtracked by 14.5 per cent, to 290 units, its 94 rental sales ensured a top-eight finish in front of Mazda’s improving CX-5 mid-size SUV (288, +13.8%).
Holden’s declining Colorado ute rounded out the top 10 on 279 sales (-21.0%), barely holding off the Suzuki Swift light hatch by four units.
With four of the top-10 best-selling models for the month in its line-up, Toyota easily commanded pole position among the brands on sale in New Zealand, with its 2944 sales equating to a 15.2 per cent dip over September last year.
Ford stumbled but still assumed second spot with 1369 vehicles sold, down 11.6 per cent, while the hot-selling Mitsubishi rose to third position with 1219 registrations, up 19.5 per cent.
Mazda fell to fourth place with 1013 units finding homes (-6.2%), but it was one spot ahead of Holden, which continued its massive slide, down 34.1 per cent to 913 registrations.
Nissan improved by 8.1 per cent, with its 710 sales good enough for seventh place, while Hyundai had a positive result in seventh position, up 6.6 per cent to 646 units.
Eighth-placed Kia (592 units, +6.5%), ninth-placed Suzuki (568, +2.5%) and 10th-placed Volkswagen (498, +15.8%) also trended in the right direction and completed the list of the top-10 best-selling brands.
Honda missed out on the top 10 by eight units, while Subaru (325), Mercedes-Benz (304), Isuzu (217) and Audi (175) were even further off the mark.
For the year to date, Toyota holds a commanding market share of 17.8 per cent, with Ford (10.7%), Mazda (7.7%), Holden (7.7%) and Mitsubishi (7.7%) trailing behind, among others.

NZ top 10 makes September 2018
Ranking Brand Sales Share%
1 Toyota 2944 21.1
2 Ford 1369 9.8
3 Mitsubishi 1219 8.8
4 Mazda 1013 7.3
5 Holden 913 6.6
6 Nissan 710 5.1
7 Hyundai 646 4.6
8 Kia 592 4.3
9 Suzuki 568 4.1
10 Volkswagen 498 3.6

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