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NZ Sales: May continues record run

Commercial growth: Holden's Colorado was the third best-selling pick-up in new Zealand last month behind the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.

Light commercials drive record May for New Zealand new-car sales

6 Jun 2016


The New Zealand new-vehicle market recorded its highest May sales result since the Motor Industry Association began collating data in 1975, largely on the back of strong light-commercial vehicle registrations.

Last month 11,180 new vehicles found homes, with MIA chief executive officer David Crawford confirming that registrations were up 11.4 per cent over May 2015, with 7502 passenger registrations and 3678 commercial.

Mr Crawford said it was the best May on record for light-commercial vehicle sales.

Seasonally adjusted volume for the most recently available figures shows the March quarter ahead of the December 2015 quarter by 5.5 per cent for residential building activity, and 5.0 per cent for non-residential building activity, for an overall rise of 5.3 per cent in an industry worth $4.4 billion ($A4.1b) for the period.

The first quarter of 2016 is up 8.3 per cent overall on the previous highest peak in 2005.

The building industry saw growth in all regions but Canterbury, where it has steadied over the last year, although the value of non-residential building work was up 21 per cent in Auckland from the same quarter last year to $505 million, and up 12 per cent in Canterbury, up $458 million.

Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that New Zealand’s top models for May were all light commercials, with Ford Ranger (755, including 49 rentals), Toyota HiLux (573) and Holden Colorado (382) taking the top three spots, followed by Toyota’s Corolla (323, including 51 rentals) and Toyota RAV4 (249, including 85 rentals).

Rounding out the top 10 were the Mitsubishi Triton and Mazda CX-5 (both 246), Kia Sportage (232), Hyundai Tucson (216, including 58 rentals), and Toyota HiAce (200).

Toyota topped the May sales table, up 9.3 per cent to 1753, with Ford rapidly closing the gap, up 47.4 per cent to 1511.

Ford NZ general marketing manager Cameron Thomas said May was the first time the Blue Oval had exceeded 1500 in a single month since 2007.

Mr Thomas said Ranger numbers were up thatnks to better supply after a strong start to the year left Ford short of numbers. He said he expects no further supply issues and good numbers for the rest of the year.

He said that the Focus maintained its place as the third best-selling model in the small segment which is helping drive the company's strategy around passenger vehicles, along with the Mondeo mid-sizer and the Mustang sportscar, both leading their respective segments.

GM Holden sales dropped 1.5 per cent to 1088, but the company's general manager of sales Sean Tupp said it was ahead of target for the year.

He cited a drop in rental volume compared with the same month last year, but said sales were up at dealer level with strong inquiry, especially around the new Fieldays campaign, and a new campaign highlighting the Spark micro car.

He said he expected Holden's numbers to pick up in the second half of the year, with the arrival of facelifted Barina light car, Trax crossover and Colorado ute and the all-new Astra five-door hatch.

Mazda sales rose 6.6 per cent to 854, followed by Mitsubishi up 16.1 per cent to 720, and Hyundai up 3.7 per cent to 705.

Nissan sales dropped 17.5 per cent to 588, while Suzuki had a strong month, up 28 per cent to 430.

Suzuki NZ general manager motor vehicles Garry Collins said the result was largely down to the new Vitara crossover, although Jimny was also up on last May, as was Swift.

Volkswagen figures dropped 5.6 per cent to 405, while Kia consolidated its top 10 position, up 79.4 per cent to 400 units.

Kia NZ general manager Todd McDonald put the result down to the new Sportage, with dealer traffic benefiting other models – particularly Sorento and Picanto.

NZ Top 10 makes May 2016
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