February continues record trend for new vehicle sales
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New vehicle registration data for New Zealand last month turned up another sales milestone with the strongest February on record.
Monthly registrations of 11,875 new vehicles were up 14.3 per cent (1472 units) on February 2016. The strong performance is consistent with industry forecasts that the market will power past 150,000 units for the first time in 2017.
The New Zealand appetite for pick-up/cab chassis utes and sport utility vehicles propelled the February market.
Commercial vehicle registrations of 3733 units were up 19.6 per cent on February 2016 and the combined 4x4 and 4x2 utility segments represented 23 per cent of all new vehicle sales.
The combined passenger car and SUV segments recorded 8052 units in February, up by 12 per cent (860 units) on February 2016.
Buyer preferences for new utes and SUVs were clearly illustrated by the February rankings of top-selling models. The Ford Ranger led the market with 664 units ahead of the Toyota Hilux on 533.
The Holden Colorado and Toyota Corolla tied for third position and next were Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton giving utility models five of the top six rank positions.
The Corolla was the sole traditional passenger car within the top-10 as four SUV models – the Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5 occupied the next four places.
The most popular vehicle segment in February was the medium SUV category which accounted for 16 per cent of the market ahead of 4x4 pick-up/cab chassis utes, SUV large and SUV compact categories. The large car category was just 2 per cent of the February market.
In total the SUV segments accounted for 39.5 per cent of the February market while the other passenger car segments combined were 28.5 per cent of registrations.
Among the luxury car marques Mercedes-Benz led the February market with 245 registrations, ahead of Audi on 176 and BMW 160.
Most industry observers are forecasting last year’s record new vehicle market of 146,753 units to be comfortably exceeded by sales above 150,000 units in 2017.
‘‘Registrations data for February shows growth in the new vehicle sector continues as expected,’’ said David Crawford, chief executive officer of the Motor Industry Association.
‘‘As the 2017 year progresses, market conditions remain unchanged from 2016, with record net immigration, low cost of debt and a strong economy.’’
Toyota was New Zealand’s top-selling brand in February with 15 per cent market share (1738 units) ahead of Ford with 11 per cent (1324 units) and Holden with 9 per cent market share (1018 units).
February Top - 10
1 Ford Ranger, 664
2 Toyota Hilux, 533
3= Holden Colorado, 351
3= Toyota Corolla, 351
5 Nissan Navara, 346
6 Mitsubishi Triton, 282
7 Kia Sportage, 279
8 Mitsubishi Outlander, 217
9= Hyundai Tucson, 213
9= Mazda CX-5, 213