AUTO POW­ERS TRAN­SIT

Ford’s auto keeps the num­bers rolling, and though Hi­ace is still strong, its yearly num­bers are fall­ing.

New Zealand LCV - - MARKET WRAP VANS - Words: Mike Stock

ADDING AU­TO­MATIC GEAR­BOX VER­SIONS TO BOTH its Tran­sit mod­els has ce­mented Ford’s solid sec­ond place in the New Zealand van mar­ket, de­spite los­ing two per­cent of sales to Hi­ace over the past two months.

To the end of Au­gust, NZ Trans­port Agency fig­ures showed Ford had sold 730 Tran­sits.

The New Zealand ve­hi­cle mar­ket is heav­ily skewed to­wards au­to­matic gear­boxes, and it’s cru­cial for NZ van dis­trib­u­tors to have self-shift­ing ver­sions of their prod­ucts, and that’s re­flected in Tran­sit sales.

At the top of the mar­ket, of course, was the Toy­ota Hi­ace, still un­catch­able af­ter more than 20 years in the num­ber one spot.

With 1227 sales in the first eight months of 2018, the Hi­ace is show­ing some signs of los­ing mo­men­tum, with av­er­age monthly sales slightly down year-on-year to Au­gust. Toy­ota re­tailed 2961 Hi­aces in 2017, and is on track for less than 2000 in 2018.

Hyundai’s iload was in third spot to Au­gust 31, with 483 sales. Then came the big­ger of Chi­nese brand LDV’S two load haulers, the front-wheel-drive, diesel-en­gined V80, which is sold in three van vari­ants and a cab/chas­sis. YTD sales sat at 307.

Its sta­ble­mate, the rear-wheel drive G10 which is sold in diesel and petrol ver­sions, found 301 buy­ers to slot into fifth place, giv­ing LDV to­tal sales of 608 in the first eight months.

LDV also re­tailed nine EV80S, the first all-elec­tric mid-sized van to go on sale in New Zealand.

Volk­swa­gen is a sig­nif­i­cant player in the NZ van mar­ket, sell­ing a to­tal of 570 to Au­gust 31. The largest num­ber were the mid-sized Trans­porter T6 (regis­tra­tions of 287), the sixth gen­er­a­tion of a line that be­gan with the rear-en­gined Kombi.

VW dom­i­nates the city van mar­ket with its petrol-en­gined Caddy van based on the same plat­form as the Golf hatch­back car. Volk­swa­gen NZ sold 105 Cad­dys which are sold in short-wheel­base and Caddy Maxi long-wheel­base ver­sions.

Volk­swa­gen’s third van, the all-new big front-wheel drive Crafter, is mak­ing good in­roads in the large van sub-seg­ment, with 178 sales to the end of Au­gust.

Like its sta­ble­mates, the Crafter is good to drive and its all-new styling and all-vw struc­ture – the pre­vi­ous model shared body­work with the Mercedes-benz Sprinter – give it a dis­tinctly-dif­fer­ent look and feel.

Mercedes’ Sprinter big van was eighth with 166 regis­tra­tions, fol­lowed by VW Caddy and then the Daily on 83 in tenth spot.

Above: Volk­swa­gen’s ver­sa­tile Trans­porter T6 is pop­u­lar for both the pro­fes­sional and pri­vate mar­kets.Right: Volk­swa­gen’s Crafter has scored a re­cent up­date and is sell­ing solid.

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