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