Ranger runs extra hot in ute-tastic month

New vehicle registrations went through the roof in May.


THE strongest May ever for new vehicle registrations was also a ute-fest, with four of the top five models being light commercials.

The Toyota Highlander sports utility split the list in third spot, the Motor Industry Association has reported.

The industry body representing new vehicle distributors has noted that the Ford Ranger again topped the pile, with 1017 registrations. The current model is on run-out in expectation of a facelifted range coming in October.

Once again achieving its familiar runner-up spot on the best seller rating was the Toyota Hilux, a long way behind its Ford foe with 582 units. Next, on the back of a strong rental car order, was Highlander, with 467 units, one ahead of the Nissan Navara utility. Mitsubishi’s Triton traydeck was in number five, with 437 sold.

The second highest selling passenger model, after Highlander, was another Toyota, the RAV4, followed by another medium sports utility Mazda’s CX-5. These models respectively gathered 391 and 375 registrations.

The high interest in utes might well increase in June, given that sales of these types is traditionally pushed to highest annual outcomes due to makers’ incentive programmes tying to the annual national agricultural fieldays, at Mystery Creek. These start on June 13.

May delivered 14,169 new vehicle registrations, a 7.9 percent increase on the same month of lst year – when the tally hit 1037.

David Crawford, the MIA’s chief executive, says the impact of pre-Fieldays specials was powerful; the most recent count presented the strongest May since record-keeping began in 1973.

 “Year to date, the market is up by 2.7 percent (1741 units) compared to the first five months of 2017,” he noted.

“The market for new vehicles continues to operate at historically high levels with registrations underpinned by a range of positive economic factors and a wide choice of models at competitive prices,” he added.

Registrations of 9276 passenger vehicles last month was 889 units up on the count for May of 2017. That comes to a 10.5 percent lift. The commercial count of 4893 vehicles was a three percent increase on May, 2017.

Toyota remains the overall market leader with 18 percent share (2569 units), followed by Ford with 11 percent (1619 units) and Mazda with eight percent (1076 units).

Toyota regained the passenger market lead in May with its 1779 units representing a 19 percent share.  Mazda ran second, with nine percent (879 units) and Hyundai placed third, also with nine percent and 831 units.

In the commercial sector, Ford retained the market lead with 23 percent market share (1132 units) followed by Toyota with 16 percent (790 units) and Nissan with 10 percent (466 units).

The medium sports utility category was the largest of  the segments in May, achieving 16 percent market share. This was closely followed by the Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4x4 club, which claimed 15 percent of all sales. Large SUVs were third, also with 15 percent share. SUVs accounted for 43 percent of total market share followed by light commercials, with 30 percent.