Car sales "soften" through March, as Ford Ranger stays on top
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While new vehicle sales for the month of February were slightly up on 2018's numbers, March's newly released registration figures has shown a decline — a sign of a "softening" market according to David Crawford.
"March 2019 registration figures were down 5.4 per cent (757 units) on the same month in 2018. Year to date the market is down 3.7 per cent (1,485 units) on the first three months of 2018 indicating a softening market,” said Crawford.
The Ford Ranger was the most registered car in March with 850 units, followed by the Mitsubishi Triton with 594 units and the Toyota Hilux with 581 units.
While the total number of new cars were slightly down, SUV's and light commercial vehicles managed to stay dominant throughout the month, with Toyota and Ford leading the two sectors according to the Motor Industry Association new vehicle sales figures.
Toyota stayed on top of passenger and SUV registrations with an eleven per cent market share (960 units), followed by Mazda with ten per cent (805) units) and Honda slips into the third position with eight per cent (699 units).
Total registrations in the passenger and SUV sector were down 6.9 per cent (625 units) on the numbers from March 2018, while commercial vehicles were only down 2.7 per cent (132 units). The Kia Sportage was the best selling passenger and SUV model (379 units), the Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota Corolla came in after the Kia with 310 and 301 units respectively. Knocked out of the top three, only 263 new Suzuki Swift's were registered in March.
Given they the Ranger was the most registered vehicle, it's no surprise that Ford held on to the Commercial vehicle registrations lead with 20 per cent market share (982 units) followed by Toyota with 15 per cent (737 units), and Mitsubishi with 12 per cent of the market share (594 units). Following last month's trend, the Ranger took out the top spot with the Hilux and the Triton taking out the second and third spots.
“The outturn for March 2019 was weaker than the same period on 2017 and 2018, but still strong compared to 2009 to 2016 period. However, it indicates that after a sustained period of growth the 2019 market is likely to be down on last year” added Crawford.