A bumper December has resulted in sales of new passenger vehicles coming in at 108,608 last year – 5.8 per cent ahead of 2016’s total of 102,644.
There were 8,151 units registered in the last month of 2017, which was a one per cent rise from 8,069 in December of the previous year.
The top-selling model for the year and month was Toyota’s Corolla on 7,801 units for 2017 and 1,116 in December, which represented an annual market share of 7.2 per cent. The RAV4 was second for the year on 4,635 and 4.3 per cent. Third spot went to the Kia Sportage with a market share of 3.3 per cent thanks to 3,559 sales.
The marques ladder for 2017 was also topped by Toyota on 20,919 units and a market share of 19.3 per cent. Mazda took the runners-up spot with 9,927 units and 9.1 per cent. Holden secured an 8.9 share with 9,709 registrations to come third.
Overall, Toyota NZ is celebrating 30 years as the dominant brand for passenger and light commercial vehicles in this country. In 2017, its 68 dealers sold 33,008 new vehicles for a 20.7 per cent share of the market, according to the marque. It says this was up by 5,533 on 2016 for a jump of 20.1 per cent.
Neeraj Lala, general manager of new-vehicle sales, expects Toyota to remain at the top in 2018. “We have another exciting year ahead with a number of significant new models, including an updated Hilux. We expect market growth to continue, particularly in the SUV segment where we have six models.”
Another marque patting itself on the back is Mitsubishi Motors NZ, which reports overall growth of 29 per cent year on year.
“The Outlander has been a Kiwi family favourite for some time and the ASX resonates with a broad range of New Zealanders,” says Daniel Cook, general manager of vehicle sales and marketing. “With the Eclipse Cross having joined the family, we’re confident of continuing our market-leading growth in 2018.”
Cook describes breaking through 10,000 overall new-vehicle sales during 2017 as “massive – we set this target for a calendar year back in 2009 and haven’t let up since”.
Eight years of year-on-year growth have seen Mitsubishi increase its total car and light commercial market share to 7.4 per cent supported by “new releases, updates and a comprehensive approach to customer service”. It says it has been ahead of the curve in key areas – especially with ute and SUV sales.
“We have also kept innovation at the forefront of our new releases, such as the Outlander PHEV, New Zealand’s most popular plug-in hybrid SUV,” adds Cook. “We still have some big ambitions, so it’s important we set ourselves a challenge to build on recent success. We’re operating in a dynamic, highly competitive market offering more choice to consumers than ever.”
Last year was one that entered Subaru of New Zealand’s record books with more than 3,000 units sold. Its 3,347 new-car sales secured a market share of 3.1 per cent.
Managing director Wallis Dumper says that by November the marque was 27 per cent ahead year on year from 2016. The Outback made up nearly half of its total sales achieved in 2017. After a good 2016, it exceeded sales expectations to sit 15 per cent ahead last year.
“There has been remarkable demand for the new XV,” says Dumper. “The high numbers flying out of our dealerships means we don’t have enough supply to keep up with demand. In response to the unprecedented demand for our eight-model range of Boxer-engined beauties, we have received more production allocation from Japan.
“We were targeting this never-achieved-before figure of 3,000 sales at the beginning of last year and couldn’t have done it without our 16 partners across New Zealand.”