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New-vehicle sales rebound

Best May on record for car and SUV registrations as the small to medium segments claim 67 per cent of overall total.
Posted on 03 June, 2022
New-vehicle sales rebound

The Motor Industry Association (MIA) says 13,337 registrations of new vehicles last month were strong given current production constraints, weakening market conditions and geopolitical factors. 

Car and SUV sales climbed by 5.6 per cent, and 563 units, to 10,575 when compared to the same month of 2021 for the biggest May on record.

However, registrations of 2,762 new commercials were down by 39.2 per cent and 1,778 units “and are likely to remain subdued in coming months due to the effect of the clean-car taxes”, says David Crawford, pictured, the MIA’s chief executive.

Overall, registrations of new vehicles were down by 8.4 per cent and 1,215 units versus May last year. However, year to date the market is up by 0.7 per cent and 491 units compared to the first five months of 2021. 

Crawford adds: “With high fuel prices, increasing costs of living and higher interest rates, sales of new vehicles are expected to progressively soften as the year progresses.”

With weak sales of utes since the launch of the clean car discount on April 1, “not surprisingly” the small to medium segments accounted for 67 per cent of sales in May and now have a 56 per cent share of the year-to-date market. 

Last month’s top segment was medium-sized SUVs with 25 per cent followed by compact SUVs on the same rounded percentage. Pick-ups and chassis cab 4x4s claimed nine per cent. Registrations of heavy vehicles remained “solid” on 588.

May’s top three models overall were the Toyota Hilux with 942 units, Toyota’s RAV4 on 923 and Mitsubishi’s Outlander with 824. 

Toyota topped the ladder for marques with a 23 per cent share of the market and 3,074 units. It was followed by Mitsubishi with 14 per cent and 1,848 units, with Kia third on 13 per cent and 1,713 units. 

When it comes to market share so far in 2022, Mitsubishi leads with 17 per cent, followed by Toyota on 15 per cent and Ford with nine per cent. 

Cars and SUVs

Toyota topped May’s table for marques for sales of passenger vehicles with 1,911 for an 18 per cent market share. Next up were Kia with 16 per cent and 1,713 registrations and Mitsubishi with the same rounded percentage and 1,685 units. 

The top-selling models in this segment were the RAV4 on 923 units, the Outlander on 824 and Kia’s Stonic with 564.

There were 629 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) of which 617 were light vehicles, 762 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and 1,663 petrol hybrids sold last month. 

The top-selling BEVs were the Hyundai Ioniq 5 on 102 units, Kia’s EV6 with 80 and the Polestar 2 on 77.

PHEV sales were steady on 762. Mitsubishi completed a one-two with 306 Eclipse Crosses sold and 207 Outlanders. MG’s HS came third on 69.

There were 1,663 petrol hybrids registered in May. The top three were the RAV4 on 428, Toyota’s Corolla on 217 and Honda’s Jazz on 192 units. 

Commercial market

In what Crawford describes as a “continuing weak market for light commercials”, Toyota dominated in May with a 42 per cent market share thanks to 1,163 sales.

Next up was Ford with 15 per cent and 418 units. Mitsubishi came third with six per cent and 163.

The Hilux was May’s top commercial with a market share of 34 per cent thanks to 942 sales. Next up was the Ranger on 14 per cent and 388, with Toyota’s Hiace claiming third with seven per cent and 203 units. 

As for market share so far this year, the Ranger leads with 20 per cent and 4,670 units. It’s followed by Mitsubishi’s Triton on 19 per cent and 4,362 units, and the Hilux with 17 per cent and 4,015.