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NZ sales: October shores up annual market decline

Down, down: While the Corolla small car was the Kiwi market’s best-selling model last month, its sales still dipped by a substantial 17.2 per cent, to 1269 units.

First annual decline since GFC now a certainty for New Zealand’s new-vehicle market

NZ sales logo6 Nov 2019

NEW Zealand’s new-vehicle market is inching closer its first annual loss since the 2009 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), with the 14,965 units sold last month equating to a 10.2 per cent decline over October 2018, which set the sales record for the 10th month of the year.

 

As a result, the Kiwi market is down 4.8 per cent in the year to date, to 129,753 sales, with it unlikely to make up the 6508-unit difference in the final two months of 2019 as December is traditionally one of the quietest months of the year.

 

Motor Industry Association (MIA) chief executive David Crawford said: “The month of October continues the up and down pattern for 2019, in what is a difficult and challenging market.”

 

Sales of passenger cars and SUVs contracted by 9.6 per cent last month, to 10,632 units combined, while light-commercial vehicles were also down, decreasing by 11.6 per cent to 4333 units.

 

In October, mid-size SUVs carried on as the most popular type of new vehicle, with a 20.5 per cent market share. They were followed by small SUVs (13.3%), which were just ahead of small cars (13.1%). Pick-up/cab-chassis 4x4s (12.5%) were left on the outside looking in.

 

Spurred on by three of last month’s four best-selling models, Toyota reasserted itself as market leader with a dominant 28.3 per cent share.

 

However, Brand T’s 4239 October sales were down 15.2 per cent, with the first-placed Corolla small car (1269 units, -17.2%), second-placed RAV4 mid-size SUV (887, -10.9%) and fourth-placed HiLux ute (692, -14.6%) all taking a corresponding hit.

 

The Corolla and RAV4 were buoyed by 1039 and 655 rental sales respectively, with Toyota fielding seven of the 15 best-selling rental models for the month, including the top five.

 

Ford once again claimed second position, selling 1235 vehicles, including 829 units (-5.4%) of third-placed Ranger ute, although a steady Mitsubishi (+0.9%) was only 67 sales behind, buoyed by the fifth-placed Triton ute (364, -9.5%) and 11th-placed Outlander mid-size SUV (274).

 

Holden fared much better across the ditch in October, finishing in fourth position after recording 1083 sales, but this still represented a substantial 24.5 per cent decline despite having the sixth-placed Colorado ute (349, -12.3%) in its model line-up.

 

However, it was Mazda that was the hardest-hit top-10 brand last month, with its sales down 32.1 per cent to 849 units as the 12th-placed CX-5 mid-size SUV (271, +2.3%) was unable to do the heavy lifting on its own despite its improvement.

 

Conversely, sixth-placed Nissan (785 units, +13.4%) was one the biggest improvers at the pointy end of the sales charts in October, with the Qashqai small SUV (279) and X-Trail mid-size SUV (234) playing key roles in its success.

 

That said, it was Kia (707 units, +15.7%) that grew more than any other top-10 brand last month. This came despite it only having the seventh-placed Sportage mid-size SUV (296, -6.9%) among the best-selling models.

 

Hyundai (654 units, -8.9%), Suzuki (498, -3.3%) and Volkswagen (405, -18.7%) rounded out the top 10 in a tough October.

 

While Tesla’s all-electric Model 3 mid-size sedan made an entrance into the Kiwi market last month with a healthy 359 sales – enough to be the third best-selling passenger car for the month – the MIA says zero-emissions vehicles returned to their “modest” volumes after the backlog of the popular American model was “largely satisfied”.

 

In the year-to-date sales race, Toyota’s 32,260 sales and 20.0 per cent market share have it a commanding 15,894 units ahead of second-placed Ford, which has the best-selling Kiwi model, the Ranger (8105), primarily driving its model line-up’s overall performance.

 
NZ top 10 makes October 2018
Ranking Brand Sales Share%
1 Toyota 4239 28.3
2 Ford 1235 8.3
3 Mitsubishi 1168 7.8
4 Holden 1083 7.2
5 Mazda 849 5.7
6 Nissan 785 5.2
7 Kia 707 4.7
8 Hyundai 654 4.4
9 Suzuki 498 3.3
10 Volkswagen 405 2.7

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