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