New vehicle sales boom continues

New vehicle registrations counts are out and … well, surely you can guess the rest?

ANOTHER month of growth.

Another month in which the market leaders kept doing just that: Leading.

Another month when the Motor Industry Association, which represents all New Zealand’s new vehicle distributors, spoke of sales continuing to exceed expectation.

In short, just another month …

Still, who’s complaining? Certainly not MIA chief executive officer David Crawford, who circulated March registrations statistics today.

He points out that year to date the new vehicle sector is 15 percent – that’s 5161 units – ahead of the same period of 2016 which, need you be reminded, was itself a boom year.

But the good times just keep getting better. Year to date, 39,477 vehicles have been registered compared to 34,316 vehicles to the end of March 2016.

“Monthly registrations of 13,869 vehicles was also the strongest month of March on record, up 14.5 percent (1759 units) on March 2016.”

Last month saw 9230 passenger car and sports utility registrations. That’s a 1039 unit, or 12.7 percent, increase on March of last year.

It’s not just happening with passenger models. Commercial vehicle registrations – which include all those one-tonne utes we cannot seem to get enough of – were also up. A count of 4639 units was 720 vehicles up on last year – that’s an 18.4 percent increase, according to Crawford. 

More pertinently, it the first time since the MIA began collating commercial vehicle registration data in 1981, that registrations of heavy vehicles broke through the 4000 mark in the month of March.

“It was also the single largest month of all time,” Crawford adds.

No prize for guessing who is calling the shots. It’s Toyota New Zealand, of course.

The Palmerston North-based giant was easily March’s sales leader, with 2316 registrations delivering an overall market share of 17 percent.

Next came Ford with 11 percent and 1522 units, then Holden (eight percent, 1104 units).

Toyota was also the market leader for passenger and SUV registrations with 13 percent market share (1213 units) followed by Mazda with 10 percent (905) and Suzuki with eight percent (734).

In the commercial sector, Toyota claimed 24 percent, with 1103 units, followed by Ford (19 percent, 879) and Holden (eight percent, 393).

Once again, the Ford Ranger held fasr at the top of the bestselling vehicle model table with 810 units followed by the Toyota Hilux in second with 740 units then the Toyota Corolla with 396 units.

The Toyota Hiace was the top selling rental model for the month of March with 54 units.

Year to date the SUV medium segment accounts for 16 percent of the market, followed by Pick Up/Chassic Cab 4x4 utes with 12 percent and then large SUVs, also with 12 percent share.

Year to date, SUVs have accounted for 40 percent of new vehicle registrations.