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NZ sales: Ranger takes top spot again

Top dog: The Ranger was the most popular vehicle in NZ in 2017, beating archrival the Toyota HiLux by more than 1300 units.

Pick-ups and SUVs dominate as New Zealanders buy in record numbers

NZ sales logo9 Jan 2018


NEW Zealand’s new-vehicle market hit its fourth consecutive annual sales record in 2017, with Toyota dominating with a 20 per cent share but, for the second year in a row, deferring to Ford and its Ranger utility for the coveted title of top-selling model.

A total of 159,871 vehicles were sold in New Zealand last year, representing a 9.0 per cent or 13,118-unit increase over the 2016 tally.

Overall sales of passenger cars and SUVs lifted by 5.8 per cent over 2016, while light-commercial vehicles, which includes pick-ups, grew by 16.2 per cent last year.

SUVs and LCVs dominated the NZ market last year, with medium SUVs capturing most sales and therefore the largest market share of 17 per cent.

Four-wheel-drive pick-ups and cab-chassis followed with 14 per cent of the market, with small passenger cars (12%), large SUVs and small SUVs (11% apiece) rounding out the top five segments.

Among the brands, Toyota was miles in front with 32,282 vehicles sold, representing a 20.5 per cent boost over the previous year.

Brand T had four models in the top 10 – HiLux, Corolla, RAV4 and HiAce – and another one (Highlander/Kluger) just outside the top 10. It was also market leader in passenger car and SUV models with a 29 per cent sales share.

Ford (16,827) held steady in second overall with growth of just 0.4 per cent and, mirroring the Blue Oval’s Australian sales performance, the Ranger made up 56 per cent of all Ford registrations last year.

Holden (14,411) also only recorded 0.5 per cent growth in 2017, relying heavily on the increasing popularity of the Colorado ute to keep the brand in positive territory.

Mazda’s new-generation CX-5 helped steer the Japanese car-maker to 8.1 per cent growth last year (to 12,135 units), while Mitsubishi’s 23.8 per cent sales increase was spurred on by a big lift for the Triton (+28%) and the slow-burn Outlander medium SUV (+40.7%) that finished just outside the top 10 in 11th position. The triple-diamond brand’s overall total was 11,456 units.

Hyundai (7892) dipped by 5.7 per cent and Nissan (7842) also lost ground by 9.0 per cent, but Suzuki (6983) grew by 31.5 per cent on the back of renewed interest in its fresh model range, despite the Swift dropping by 6.0 per cent.

Kia (6485) maintained its strong form by increasing its sales by 22.6 per cent last year, with the Sportage easily its best performer, while Volkswagen (5576) made up some lost ground with a lift of 9.5 per cent in 2017.

In taking the best-selling vehicle crown, the Australian-developed Ford Ranger nabbed 9420 sales, an 11 per cent hike over 2016 and enough to keep the Toyota HiLux (8106 sales) at bay in second.

The Corolla was third overall and the small hatch and sedan range benefited from an end-of-year sales boost, with 1116 units sold in December, making it the best seller for the month and almost doubling the second-placed Ranger.

Toyota’s ageing RAV4 SUV (4629) leapfrogged the Holden Colorado (4489) to take fourth place last year with the two models increasing sales by 28 per cent and 20 per cent respectively over 2016.

Mitsubishi’s Triton (4070) retained its sixth placing from last year, but the model grew by 28 per cent.

The Kia Sportage (3555, +16%) and Mazda CX-5 (3236, +14%) medium SUVs pushed their way into seventh and eighth spot, forcing the Nissan Navara pick-up to ninth spot (3056, -1.2%).

Toyota’s HiAce (2986, +14.3%) rounded out the top 10 models, while Holden’s Commodore – in its last year as an Australian-built car – did not make the top 15. It was 10th in 2016.

Toyota also dominated the rental sales chart last year, with no fewer than six models (Corolla, RAV4, Highlander, Yaris, HiAce and Camry) among the top 10 best sellers, with the Mitsubishi ASX, Holden Captiva and Trax and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van also in the mix.

NZ Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford predicted sales to be steady in 2018.

“Distributor expectations for 2018 indicate maintenance of current levels of activity, but further steady growth in the new vehicle sector above 2017 outturn is not expected.” he said.

Top 10 selling models 2017
ModelSalesShare %
Ford Ranger94205.9
Toyota HiLux81065.1
Toyota Corolla77974.9
Toyota RAV446292.9
Holden Colorado44892.8
Mitsubishi Triton40702.5
Kia Sportage35552.2
Mazda CX-532362.0
Nissan Navara30561.9
Toyota HiAce29861.8

Top 10 selling brands 2017
MakeSalesShare %
Mazda12,135 7.6

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