Our reg­u­lar round-up of the lat­est light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle and SUV news from New Zealand and around the world.

LIGHT COM­MER­CIAL VE­HI­CLE (LCV) SALES IN AU­GUST WERE al­most 20 per­cent higher than in the same month of 2016.

In­dus­try-re­ported sales fig­ures showed the seg­ment was run­ning 19.6 per­cent ahead of Au­gust last year.

And for the first time in months, the Toy­ota Hilux ute out­stripped the mar­ket-lead­ing Ford Ranger by a sub­stan­tial mar­gin.

Toy­ota sold 779 Hiluxes to take 17 per­cent of the LCV sec­tor, com­pared to the Ranger’s 690 sales and 15 per­cent.

How­ever, in year-to-date (YTD) sales to Au­gust 31, the Ranger was the dom­i­nant ute – as well as the best-sell­ing new ve­hi­cle over­all – with 6320 reg­is­tra­tions com­pared to the Hilux’s 5497.

Toy­ota led the LCV mar­ket in Au­gust with a 25 per­cent share, and to­tal sales of 1114 Hilux utes and Hi­ace vans.

Ford was next with 19 per­cent and 833 Ranger ute and Tran­sit van reg­is­tra­tions.

Holden was a dis­tant third with a nine per­cent mar­ket share and sales of 385 Colorado and Com­modore utes.

David Craw­ford, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Mo­tor In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion (MIA) which rep­re­sents new ve­hi­cle dis­trib­u­tors, said that in Au­gust, sales con­tin­ued to boom.

There was no sign of the pre-elec­tion slow­down that some pun­dits had pre­dicted.

Strong Au­gust sales con­trib­uted to a year-to-date to­tal that was the big­gest-ever for the first eight months of a year.

“Year to date the new ve­hi­cle sec­tor passed 100,000 reg­is­tra­tions dur­ing Au­gust, the quick­est-ever in a cal­en­dar year,” Craw­ford said.

“By way of com­par­i­son, at the height of the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis in 2009 there were only 45,384 ve­hi­cles sold to the end of Au­gust com­pared to 103,923 this year, a 129 per­cent in­crease.” Year-on-year growth was strong too.

“Reg­is­tra­tions were 11.3 per­cent above this time in 2016 and reg­is­tra­tions of 13,063 ve­hi­cles for the month of Au­gust were up three per­cent on Au­gust 2016.”

Craw­ford said the mix of ve­hi­cles reg­is­tered in Au­gust showed how con­sumer pref­er­ences were chang­ing.

Though pas­sen­ger car and SUV reg­is­tra­tions of 8607 were down 3.2 per­cent (289 ve­hi­cles) on Au­gust 2016, reg­is­tra­tions of 4456 com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles in Au­gust were up by 17.9 per­cent (675 units) on the same month in 2016.

And though SUV reg­is­tra­tions re­mained strong, the growth in reg­is­tra­tions of pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles con­tin­ued to weaken. Nev­er­the­less, year to date pas­sen­ger and SUV reg­is­tra­tions still re­main 7.5 per­cent (4851 units) above this time in 2016 and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tions are up 19.6 per­cent (5691 units), Craw­ford said.

Toy­ota re­mained the over­all mar­ket leader in Au­gust with 19 per­cent mar­ket share (2511 ve­hi­cles), fol­lowed by Ford with 10 per­cent (1305 units) and Holden with eight per­cent mar­ket share (1071 reg­is­tra­tions).

Toy­ota was also the mar­ket leader for pas­sen­ger and SUV reg­is­tra­tions with 16 per­cent mar­ket share (1397 units) fol­lowed by Mazda with nine per­cent (814 sales) and Holden with eight per­cent mar­ket share (686 reg­is­tra­tions).

The top-sell­ing pas­sen­ger and SUV mod­els for the month were the Toy­ota Corolla (540 units) fol­lowed by the Kia Sportage (370) and the Mit­subishi Out­lander (296).

The top sub-seg­ments in Au­gust were SUV medium with 15 per­cent share, fol­lowed by Pick Up/cab-chas­sis, 4x4 with 14 per­cent and small pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles with 11 per­cent.

The next largest seg­ments were SUVS and two-wheel drive Pick Up/ Cab-chas­sis.

Toy­ota Hilux re­gained the ute lead in Au­gust and led the over­all new ve­hi­cle marker for the first time in re­cent his­tory

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