Mitsubishi Motors NZ (MMNZ) has pre-registered fewer vehicles this year than any of the top 10 nameplates, except market leader Toyota.
The statistic helps explain why Mitsubishi is one of the fastest-growing mainstream brands in the country.
It now has just over 7 per cent of the market – up from 6 in 2016 – and believes it can one day grab 10 per cent. Toyota has 19 per cent.
MMNZ sales and marketing boss Daniel Cook said a 10 per cent market share was the company’s next goal. ““We still have some big ambitions, so it is important we set ourselves a new challenge to ensure we build on our recent success,” he said.
“With the December release of the new Eclipse Cross (pictured at top), we believe a 10 per cent share is an achievable goal.”
Cook said MMNZ in 2009 set itself a target of 10,000 sales in a calendar year. “We have not let up since that moment. We have had eight years of consecutive growth. Our focus has been to deliver vehicles that suit modern Kiwi lifestyles and offer excellent value for money.”
Pre-registrations, or first registrations, are those vehicles registered with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) by distributors and/or dealers before they are actually sold to an end user.
The NZTA doesn’t record actual sales, only registrations. Its monthly numbers are picked up by the Motor Industry Association (MIA), the distributors’ representative.
In a word, a pre-registered vehicle, either by the distributor or dealer, becomes a ‘demonstrator’ and falls into the ‘Have I got a deal for you’ category.
MMNZ and its dealers to the end of last month had pre-registered just over 12 out of every 100 vehicles sold. Toyota and its dealers pre-registered just over nine out of every 100 on the NZTA books.
Next among the 10 best-selling brands is Mazda, with an average 15 out of every 100. Kia also averages 15. Suzuki averages 16 and Nissan 17. Ford and Holden average 19. The remaining two in the top 10 are Volkswagen and Hyundai. VW averages 28 out of a 100 and Hyundai 30.
Another brand enjoying year-on-year growth similar to that of Mitsubishi is Subaru, up 26 per cent. At the end of last month it and its dealers had pre-registered 21 out of every 100 vehicles sold.
Pre-registrations are almost certain to jump in December as distributors seek to inflate numbers in what is already a record sales year.
All eyes will be on the luxury segment, where Audi this year had pre-registered 38 and BMW 48 out of every 100 cars. Luxury leader Mercedes-Benz had pre-registered 29.
Audi had a sales advantage over BMW to the end of last month of 95 cars – 1751 against its German rival’s 1656. BMW pipped Audi in 2016 by 34 cars – 1864 against 1830.
BMW and Audi went toe-to-toe for the luxury title for many years. But in the past few years both have been overtaken by Mercedes-Benz. At the end of last month Benz had sold 2115 passenger cars – 459 ahead of BMW and 364 ahead of Audi.
The pre-registrations of other brands:
Alfa Romeo 32/100
Land Rover 32/100