Hilux back on top of Kiwi sales charts... for now
Here's proof of the healthy state of New Zealand's new vehicle industry - sales to the end of August are running 129 per cent higher than during the height of the global financial crisis in 2009.
Latest figures from the Motor Industry Association show that 103,923 new vehicles had been registered by the end of August, way up on 45,384 registrations over the same period eight years ago.
This is the quickest the 100,000 mark has been reached in a calendar year, and it is despite the fact passenger car and SUV registrations were down 3.2 per cent in August compared to the same month last year. But commercial vehicles are helping keep things strong. Their sales - particularly utes - were up 17.9 per cent during the month.
No surprises then that a pair of utes continue to be New Zealand's most popular vehicles.
But there's been change there too - whereas all year it has been the Ford Ranger that has led the sales race, in August it was overtaken by the Toyota Hilux. The Toyota achieved 779 registrations for a 17 per cent share of the commercial market, while the Ford had 690 registrations for a 15 per cent share.
But year to date it's still the Ranger that leads, with 6320 registrations compared to 5497 for the Hilux.
The mix of vehicles registered during August also underlined changing consumer preferences, says MIA chief executive David Crawford.
"Registrations of SUVs remain strong, however growth in registrations of passenger vehicles continues to weaken," he says. "Nevertheless, year to date passenger and SUV registrations still remain 7.5 per cent above this time in 2016, and commercial vehicle registrations are up 19.6 per cent."
Toyota remains the overall market leader with a 19 per cent share via 2511 sales, followed by Ford with 10 per cent (1305 sales) and Holden with 8 per cent (1071 sales).
The top-selling passenger model for August was the Toyota Corolla, followed by the Kia Sportage and the Mitsubishi Outlander. In the commercial vehicle category, other popular utes included the Holden Colorado and the Mitsubishi Triton.
Top 10 Best Selling Vehicles in August:
Toyota Hilux 779 sales
Ford Ranger 690
Toyota Corolla 540
Kia Sportage 370
Holden Colorado 361
Toyota Hiace 321
Mitsubishi Outlander 296
Mitsubishi Triton 278
Nissan Navara 256
Mazda BT-50 240