New vehicle registrations in New Zealand to the end of November averaged a record 11,256 units a month – up 551 on the average 10,705 each month for the same period last year.
Sales this year to last month were at 123,816 – up 5.1 per cent, or 6058 units, on the 117,758 for the same period last year and only 3363 behind the 127,179 units registered in all of 2014, says the Motor Industry Association (MIA).
Maintaining the 11,256 average in December would push total sales for 2015 into the record books at upwards of 135,000, around 7800 more than 2014 and 2000 more than market leader Toyota’s analysts expected.
But December sales are traditionally down on the average for the previous 11 months. If that happens, Toyota NZ’s prediction last month that 2015 would end on around 133,000 units would be about right.
It believes the new vehicle market in NZ is “saturated” and that sales next year will fall back by around 8 per cent to roughly 122,500, aided by weak dairy prices, weaker GDP growth, and a falling exchange rate that will push up prices of new vehicles.
But there are no obvious signs of a slowing based on last month’s sales of 11,620 units, the strongest November on record, says the MIA, and 364 more than the monthly average this year of 11,256.
“Registrations of new vehicles year to date is already the second highest for any year,” says David Crawford , CEO of the MIA. “The total for 2015 will break through 130,000 units for the first time by some margin.”
The Ford Ranger ute (pictured at top) continues to be the best selling vehicle in NZ, with 6213 registered at the end of last month against the Toyota Corolla’s 6043. But, interestedly, Ford doesn’t have a passenger car in the top 15.
The Ranger was last month’s best selling new vehicle (690), just pipping the new Toyota Hilux (683) in a commercial segment of 3505 units, up 392 (12.6 per cent) on November 2014.
The 8115 passenger car registrations last month were up 52 units (0.6 per cent) on November 2014 sales of 8063 vehicles. The two best sellers were the Toyota Corolla (652) and Toyota Highlander (295) followed by the Holden Captiva (291) and Mazda CX-5 (241).
Sports utility vehicles continued to dominate sales in the passenger car segment with a 33 per cent share last month and a 34 per cent year to date. The pick-up/chassis cab segment was the second strongest with 22 per cent for the month and 21 per cent year to date. Small passenger vehicles came next with 16 per cent for the month and 15 per cent year to date.