New sales continue to rise
The new vehicle market continues to show some gentle upward momentum with New Zealand registration data confirming the strongest month of July for 34 years.
New vehicle registrations of 12,324 units were up 6 per cent (693 units) on July 2017.
“It was the second strongest month of July ever, the strongest being back in July 1984 with 13,983 registrations,” said David Crawford, chief executive officer of the Motor Industry Association.
“Year-to-date, the market is up by 1.8 per cent (1621 units) compared to the first seven months of 2017.
“Despite there being several worrying signs the New Zealand economy is not as strong as it has been, combined with a significant drop in overall business confidence, new vehicle sales have for the time being held steady,” said Crawford.
Both passenger and commercial vehicle sales were ahead of July 2017 volume. Registrations of 8041 passenger and SUV vehicles were up 5.7 per cent (436 units) on July 2017 and commercial vehicle registrations of 4283 units were 6.4 per cent (257 units) up on a year ago.
The overall market leader in July was Toyota with 17 per cent market share (2070 units) followed by Ford with 10 per cent (1203 units) and Mazda with 8 per cent market share (1003 units).
Toyota’s leading share of the July passenger and SUV registrations was 15 per cent (1202 units) followed by Mazda with 10 per cent (817 units) and Mitsubishi with 7 per cent market share (603 units).
The commercial sector was closely contested with Toyota regained the market lead with 20 per cent share (868 units) followed by Ford with 19 per cent (799 units). Holden ranked third with 10 per cent market share (418 units).
The most-popular models in July were Pick-up/Chassis cab utilities which gained the top four places in the model rankings.
The Ford Ranger continued to lead the market with 674 registrations followed by the Toyota Hilux with 658 units, Holden Colorado (408 units) and Mitsubishi Triton (363 units).
SUV models lead the passenger vehicle segment headed by the Toyota RAV4 with 336 registrations, Mazda CX-5 (314) and Kia Sportage (306).
The popularity of those utility and SUV models is reflected in vehicle segmentation trends. Models in the SUV Medium segment gained 18 per cent of the July market share followed by Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4x4 utes with 15 per cent and SUV Compact with 14 per cent market share.
The popularity of utes and SUVs continues to be achieved at the expense of traditional car configurations. The small car segment, that represented 12 per cent of the market in 2017, has contracted to 9 per cent so far this year.
Light cars are unchanged at 8 per cent of the market while Medium and Large Cars remain at 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.