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NZ vehicle sales continue at record pace
By Colin Smith • 20/03/2016
Three utes lead the showroom sales surge
Increased detail is now available in the monthly summary of new vehicle registrations with the most popular segments of the New Zealand market having been split into categories.
Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are no longer counted in a single category. There are Compact, Medium, Large and Luxury segments while the Pick Up/Cab Chassis utilities are now split into 4x2 and 4x4 categories.
The new segmentation gives a more accurate picture of trends in the New Zealand new vehicle market.
The first use of the refined data came with the release of February registration figures which confirmed that sales continue at record pace.
“The anticipated slowdown in new vehicle registrations has yet to materialise as businesses and consumers continued to purchase new vehicles at unprecedented rates in February,” said David Crawford, chief executive officer of the Motor Industry Association.
“A total of 10,313 new vehicle registrations during February eclipsed the previous strongest February back in 1984, the only other time more than 10,000 registrations for the month of February were recorded.
“Strong net immigration, a healthy tourism sector and a competitive market are helping to drive new vehicle sales which is already 3 per cent (662 units) ahead of this time last year,” said Crawford.
Toyota gained a 15 per cent share (1559 units) of the February market followed by Ford with 12 per cent (1266 units) and Holden with 9 per cent (894 units).
The top three selling models for the month of February were all light commercial vehicles — the Ford Ranger leading the way with 582 units, followed by the Toyota Hilux with 444 units and the Mitsubishi Triton, which sold 289 units.
Compared to February 2015, registrations of passenger vehicles were up 1.9 per cent on February 2016 (136 units). Sharing top position among passenger models were the Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5 with 236 units each, just ahead of the Toyota Corolla on 231 and the Toyota RAV4 with 214.
In the now-divided SUV market the medium category achieved 1385 sales in February with 1180 vehicles in the large category, 992 in compact and 47 in luxury. Grouped as one, SUV sales grew from 3116 units in February 2015 to 3604 last month.
Due to the popularity of SUV and Pick Up/Cab Chassis utes only two traditional cars made it into the rankings of the top-10 selling cars. The Suzuki Swift in 10th position joined Corolla at six.
The new separation of the Pick Up/Chassis Cab reveals 899 registrations of 4x2 models and 1385 units in the 4x4 category. It means the SUV medium segment and Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4x4 segments are the most popular contributing 13 per cent each of the market in February, followed by the small passenger car segment with 12 per cent share.
With momentum from the all-new Ford Mustang, the sports car segment achieved 170 sales in February, up from 115 units a year ago. Among the premium luxury brands, BMW topped the February charts with 193 sales followed by Mercedes-Benz with 164 and Audi 137.