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New-vehicle sales drop 32%

Industry association says New Zealand “should be looking to move to alert level one sooner rather than later” to get economy moving.
Posted on 02 June, 2020
New-vehicle sales drop 32%

Registrations of new vehicles during May were down by 32 per cent – or by 3,946 units to a total of 8,313 – compared to the same month of 2019 when there were 12,259 sold.

David Crawford, chief executive of the Motor Industry Association (MIA), says last month saw the reopening of business “albeit in a constrained manner”. He adds: “It was a challenging month operating under alert level two and an economically depressed environment.”

Year to date, the market for new vehicles is down by almost 32 per cent – or by 19,622 units – on the same period in 2019.

As for the bigger picture, Crawford says: “The MIA shares the views of many that, with no new Covid-19 cases for the past 11 days and no known community spread for at least two months, we should be looking to move to alert level one sooner rather than later.

“The country is better prepared now to manage the odd case should it arise. Our health system has improved significantly in terms of testing capability, contact tracing and hospital intensive-care capacity. It’s time to get our economy moving forward while maintaining our health gains.”

May saw 5,401 new passenger vehicles sold, which was down by 29.2 per cent and 2,223 units on the same month of last year. Sales of commercials totalled 2,912 units – down by 37.2 per cent and 1,723 units compared to May 2019.

Toyota’s RAV4 topped the models’ chart with 533 units. It was followed by Ford’s Ranger with 498 sales and the Toyota Hilux on 440 units. There were 58 battery electric vehicles registered in May, along with 51 PHEVs and 721 hybrids. 

Toyota was May’s overall market leader with a 19 per cent market share and 1,611 sales. The Japanese marque was followed by Holden with nine per cent and 760 units, and Ford with eight per cent and 702 registrations.