The top 10 set­tles as the 24yo Toy­ota RAV4 leads the up­dated Mazda CX-5… just.

New Zealand LCV - - CONTENTS - Words: Mike Stock

The month in the big­gest mov­ing au­to­mo­tive sec­tor.

MID-SIZED CROSSOVERS CON­TIN­UED TO DOM­I­NATE the SUV mar­ket in the first eight months of the year, Mo­tor In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion re­ported sales fig­ures show. Top of the table was Toy­ota’s RAV4, the old­est name­plate in the seg­ment, launched in 1994 – 24 years ago! Toy­ota re­tailed 2476, giv­ing it a 36 ve­hi­cle sales lead (or 1.4 per­cent!) over the Mazda join to­gether: CX-5, which is ben­e­fit­ting from a re­cent up­date for 2018.

In third place was Kia’s Sportage on 2208 sales, re­flect­ing both the Korean ve­hi­cle’s qual­ity and a vig­or­ous sales cam­paign, fol­low­ing a re­cent up­date.

Two larger crossovers filled the next two spots. Toy­ota’s Us-sourced High­lander was fourth with 1617 regis­tra­tions fol­lowed by the Mit­subishi Out­lander on 1565.

An­other Mit­subishi, the well-es­tab­lished ASX was sixth, ben­e­fit­ting from sweet­heart pric­ing and a TV ad cam­paign which por­trayed the chunky lit­tle wagon as a chic and classy ve­hi­cle at an at­trac­tive price. Both strate­gies worked well, gen­er­at­ing 1438 sales.

The sim­i­larly-sized Nis­san Qashqai slot­ted into seventh place, its 1431 sales breath­ing down the ASX’S neck.

Holden’s Cap­tiva is on run-out but still posted a strong 1406 sales. Holden was of­fer­ing good pric­ing on the Korean-de­rived wagon as it cleared the decks for the Amer­i­can-sourced Equinox (505 sales to Au­gust and grow­ing) and Aca­dia (eight regis­tra­tions for its of­fi­cial Oc­to­ber launch).

Hyundai’s Tuc­son, which shares its plat­form with the Kia Sportage, was ninth with 1146 sales, fol­lowed by its smaller, car-based and strik­ingly-styled Kona (1196 sales).

Out­side the top 10 is plenty of ac­tiv­ity and sub-class suc­cess: Toy­ota dom­i­nated the tra­di­tional large SUV sub-seg­ment with the Land Cruiser Prado (619 sales); add 255 Land Cruis­ers to that to­tal and the name­plate was firmly in charge.

About half the Land Cruiser’s com­bined sales is the Amer­i­can Jeep Grand Cherokee on 388 regis­tra­tions.

And the wagon that be­gan the lux­ury 4x4 cat­e­gory, the Bri­tish Range Rover, gen­er­ated 299 sales to Au­gust 31; of that to­tal, 221 were the per­for­mance-ori­ented Sport model.

Audi’s im­pos­ing Q7 found 215 buy­ers in the first eight months of the year.

The rel­a­tively new ute-based SUV seg­ment fea­tures ve­hi­cles with very high off-road-ca­pa­bil­ity along with a high de­gree of ruggedness and a good port­fo­lio of crea­ture com­forts; the Toy­ota For­tuner, based on the Hilux, topped the charts with 333 sales. Ford’s Ranger-based Ever­est was close be­hind with 322, fol­lowed by the Isuzu MU-X on 204, just ahead of Holden’s Trail­blazer (201) and Mit­subishi Pa­jero Sport (200).

One of the stars of the genre, the new Ssangy­ong Rex­ton G4, is next with 143 sales, fol­lowed by the value-for-money and new-tomar­ket Chi­nese-de­vel­oped LDV D90 on 23.

Above: Toy­ota first launched the RAV4 in 1994 to be­come a sta­ple of the seg­ment it helped es­tab­lish: 28 years later, it’s top of SUV sales. Above: Mazda’s CX-5 scored some re­cent up­dates, mov­ing it closer to RAV4 sales. Be­low: LDV’S G90 seven-seater has ar­rived, to join the T60 ute.

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