Honda blames a lack of stock for what might be its worst sales month on record in New Zealand – meaning it didn’t have enough cars on hand for its dealers to sell.
“Simply stock supply timing issues,” said marketing manager Nadine Bell, in answer to why its registrations totalled only 81 new passenger cars in April.
‘Supply issues’ can be industry speak for (a) demand in other markets has strangled supply to NZ, (b) the boat was late leaving, (c) it’s still at sea but not far away, (d) it’s a factory problem, something that couldn’t be avoided, (e) we didn’t order enough in the first place, (f) oops, we forgot to place an order with the factory for that month.
At the end of March, 1099 new Hondas had been registered – a month later 1180 were on the Motor Industry Association (MIA) books, an average of just 20 registered cars a week in April.
The shortage of new vehicles caused the collapse in sales, from a monthly average of 366 vehicles after three months to 295 after four.
The small Jazz hatchback (top) has been Honda’s mainstay so far in 2016, accounting for 543 registrations – 46 per cent – of the 1180 Hondas registered.
But the MIA logged only 16 new Jazz units in April, after Honda had averaging 175 a month for January, February, and March.
Whatever the reason for the shortfall, Honda will bounce back. The sales success up to April of the Jazz alone points to obvious demand for the car once supply is restored.
Also, Honda goes into the next month or so knowing that it can expect a sales surge when it launches the all-new Civic range in July.
Meantime, overall new vehicle registrations of 9939 units in April were down on the 12,110 logged in March, say the MIA figures.
But it was still the strongest April since 1982, made up of 6789 passenger cars and 3150 light commercials.
The sales drop of around 540 vehicles a week was expected after the boomer March, the end of the financial year for most businesses and traditionally a strong month.
Toyota was the overall market leader for the month of April with 15 per cent market share (1516 units) with Ford second on 13 per cent (1276) and Holden third with 8 per cent (829).
The Kia Sportage was the top selling passenger model with 4 per cent market share (290 units), followed by the Mazda CX-5 on 3 per cent (224) and the Toyota RAV4 on 3% (204 units).
Toyota Hilux regained its position as the best selling commercial model for April with 17 per cent market share (535), ahead of the Ford Ranger with 16 per cent (507). Third was the Nissan Navara with 10 per cent (327).