The New Zealand-new vehicle market has rolled through the first quarter of the year with sales continuing to run at record volumes.
There were 12,110 new vehicle registrations for the month, up by 3 per cent (355 units) on March last year and the strongest March result since 1984. Most of the growth continues to be contributed by strong commercial vehicle sales.
There were 3919 commercial vehicle registrations for March — up by 6.5 per cent (239 units) on the same time last year— and the strongest March on record for commercial vehicle registrations.
Year to date, the commercial vehicle market is 9.6 per cent (876 units) ahead of last year’s first-quarter total.
Passenger car registrations of 8191 units were up 1.4 per cent (116 units) on last March and was the strongest March passenger vehicle result since 1989. For the second month in a row, New Zealand’s top-three selling models were light commercial vehicles.
The Ford Ranger led the market with 661 units, followed by the Toyota Hilux with 601 units and the Mitsubishi Triton with 462 units. The top-selling passenger model for the month was the Suzuki Swift with 304 units just ahead of the Toyota Corolla with 302 units and the Mazda CX-5, which led the SUV category with 242 registrations.
The Ford Ranger maintains a clear lead over the Toyota Hilux with 1904 registrations, followed by the Hilux (1345), Corolla (1251), Triton (942) and Toyota RAV4 (787).
“Strong net immigration, competitive pricing and end-of-financial-year deals drove strong new vehicles registrations in March,” said David Crawford, chief executive officer of the Motor Industry Association.
“March continued the overall strong performance of the new vehicle sector over the last three years. With the first quarter done and dusted, the new vehicle market is 3 per cent [1017 units] ahead of the first quarter for 2015,” said Crawford.
Toyota was the overall market leader for March, with 15 per cent market share (1850 units), followed by Ford with 10 per cent (1261 units) and Mitsubishi with 8 per cent overall market share (1029 units).
Toyota leads the overall market with 16 per cent market share (5650 units) followed by Ford with 12 per cent (3971), Holden with 9 per cent (3027), Mazda 8 per cent (2759) and Mitsubishi 7 per cent (2289).
A recent revision of the market segments has divided pick-up/chassis cab utes into 4x2 and 4x4 segments, and SUV sales are no longer grouped as one but split into compact, medium, large and luxury segments.
The pick-up/chassis-cab 4x4 segment was the largest last month, representing 13 per cent of the market (1543 units) followed by the SUV medium segment with 12 per cent market share (1491 units) and the light passenger segment with 12 per cent market share (1413 units).
Among the European luxury marques, BMW is the first-quarter market leader with 592 sales, closely followed by Mercedes-Benz on 579.
Audi has recorded 455 sales for the month.
March top 10
1 Ford Ranger, 661 2 Toyota Hilux, 601 3 Mitsubishi Triton, 462 4 Suzuki Swift, 304 5 Toyota Corolla, 302 6 Holden Colorado, 263 7 Mazda CX-5, 242 8 Toyota Hiace, 235 9 Nissan Navara, 234 10 Honda Jazz, 225