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NZ sales: New-vehicle sales continue to soften

Bumper haul: The Triton's 29 per cent sales surge this year helped Mitsubishi breathe down Ford's neck in the August brand rankings.

Kiwis brace for six per cent slump by year’s end as commercial-vehicle demand droops

3 Sep 2019

NEW Zealand’s six-year run of record-breaking new vehicle sales is forecast to end with a six per cent decline by the end of this year, with the market already down 5.1 per cent year-to-date on the back of a 4.5 per cent year-on-year drop in August.


A total of 12,607 vehicle registrations made this the worst August since 2014 and 583 units lower than the same month last year, contributing to a 5148-unit shortfall over the first eight months of 2018.


NZ Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford said that growth had “disappeared from the 2019 market”.


“We are expecting an out turn for 2019 at about 6 per cent below 2018 levels.”


Commercial vehicles led the decline in August, with a 10.1 per cent slump to 4101 units compared to the 1.5 per cent decline in passenger and SUV sales that resulted in 8506 registrations.


But commercials still command a 15 per cent share of the market and Ford’s Ranger ute held onto the top spot in August with 733 units, ahead of the Toyota HiLux on 690. The RAV4 mid-size SUV secured a podium finish with 468 sales.


Year-to-date, New Zealand’s top sellers are the Ranger (6463 units, down 2.5 per cent compared with a year ago), HiLux (4727 units, down 10.5 per cent) and Mitsubishi Triton (3843 units, up 29.1 per cent). The top 10 includes two more, the Holden Colorado in fourth place with 3368 sales (up 3.7 per cent) and the Nissan Navara in seventh on 2493 (down 3.9 per cent).


Mid-size SUVs remain the most popular segment in NZ, accounting for one in five new vehicle sales, followed by compact SUVs with a 16 per cent share.


Toyota’s RAV4 leads the charge as NZ’s sixth most popular vehicle with 2788 sales YTD (up 8.2 per cent) and the Kia Sportage ranks eighth on 2337 (up 5.8 per cent), closely followed by the Mazda CX-5 that totted up 2257 registrations (down 11.1 per cent).


The Toyota Corolla is in eighth position and New Zealand’s most popular passenger car with 2960 sales (down 7.9 per cent), while Suzuki found 2012 homes for its Swift so far this year (down 3.7 per cent).


With an 18.8 per cent market share in August, Toyota remains very much at the top of the New Zealand sales tree, having offloaded 2372 vehicles for a 3.5 per cent year-on-year increase in contrast to second-placed Ford’s 24.1 per cent drop to 1084 units and an 8.6 share.


Mitsubishi was not far behind Ford with 1007 sales for the month, down 3.9 per cent to earn it an 8.0 per cent market share, while Holden grew 3.7 per cent to net a 7.7 per cent slice with its 971-unit performance, pushing Mazda into fifth position on 901 sales, down 14.4 per cent with a 7.1 per cent share.


Nissan remained in sixth place with 786 sales (down 9.6 per cent) and a 6.2 per cent share, while Hyundai leapfrogged Kia and Suzuki into seventh having sold 687 vehicles (up 3.0 per cent) for a 5.4 per cent share. The aforementioned Suzuki and Kia each scored a 4.1 per cent market share with 522 (down 12.9 per cent) and 511 (down 9.0 per cent) units respectively, while Volkswagen ousted Honda from the top 10 with 453 sales (down 9.2 per cent) and a 3.6 per cent market share.


Toyota’s total sales for the first eight months of this year amount to 16,394 units, a 10.6 per cent drop, while Ford is 11 per cent down with 10,119 units, Holden is 6.3 per cent adrift on 7776 units, Mazda is 5.9 per cent behind with 7755 units, Kia is 4.3 per cent in the red with 4559 units, Suzuki has slumped 4.8 per cent at 4371 units and Volkswagen sales shrank 12.1 per cent with 3449 units.


Brands on the up include Mitsubishi with its 8515-unit result a 7.5 per cent sales increase, Nissan is 4.3 per cent up on 5802 units, Hyundai has grown 6.4 per cent with 5589 units.


NZ top 10 makes August 2019

Ranking Brand Sales Share%
1 Toyota 2372 18.8
2 Ford 1084 8.6
3 Mitsubishi 1007 8.0
4 Holden 971 7.7
5 Mazda 901 7.1
6 Nissan 786 6.2
7 Hyundai 687 5.4
8 Suzuki 522 4.1
9 Kia 511 4.1
10 Volkswagen 453


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