Market slipped but all's well

Something new and different happened to the new car market last month … it went backward. Just a touch.


MORE stellar performances from most of the usual suspects were recorded in June, yet the market also slipped back.

New car sellers achieved 9725 new passenger vehicle registrations last month, a big count yet also a 456 unit (4.5 percent) decrease on June 2017.

The Motor Industry Association, which provided the data, doesn’t seem too concerned, with chief executive David Crawford pointing out that it was still the second strongest June since data recording began back in the mid-1970s.

Year to date, too, “the market is marginally up by 0.5 percent (428 units) compared to the first six months of 2017.”

The Ford Ranger maintained its status as New Zealand’s best-selling new vehicle in June 2018 with 1049 units, buyers clearly making the most of a runout to clear stock before arrival of the updated editions – whose pricing and October launch timing has already been announced.

 Second place went to the Toyota RAV-4, though rental business accounted for 499 of the 678 units.

The medium sports utility segment was the most popular last month with 18 percent market share, just pipping the pick up/chassis cab 4x4 sector (17 percent) and compact SUVs (13 percent).

Toyota retained the market lead with a 22 percent share (1558 units), followed by Mazda with nine percent (862 units) and Hyundai with eight percent (823 units).

Five of the top six models for the month of June were light commercial vehicles.

In third place was the Toyota Hilux with 646 units sold, followed by the Holden Colorado with 567 units then the Mitsubishi Triton (507) and the Nissan Navara (365).

Not everyone was looking at big numbers. Holden New Zealand continues to struggle with the ZB Commodore, whose 96 registrations is thought to be the lowest-ever count for the nameplate. The car achieved 119 units in May and 109 in April – in sharp contrast to the launch month of March, when Holden saw 310 registrations, a tally which included the outgoing VF as well as some ZB.

Holden has this week completed its ZB introduction with arrival of LT liftback and station wagon diesel variants, with a common 2.0-litre engine.

It has also introduced a .15-litre diesel to the Equinox compact crossover, in a front-drive base and higher-spec LTZ and LTZ-V all-wheel-drive edition.

A Chevrolet sourced from Mexico, Equinox has also failed to penetrate well despite being in one of the most fired-up segments, Holden having achieved just 390 sales since it released in January.