The continuing popularity of the Ford Ranger ute in New Zealand shows up in year-on-year figures: at the end of July last year 3494 had been registered – this year 4925 are on the Motor Industry Association’s (MIA) books.
That’s growth for the Ranger of 41% over the same seven-month period in 2015, one reason why it’s the No. 1 selling vehicle in the country in 2016 and why it set an all-time monthly record for commercial registrations of 925 last month. The previous best was 847 for the Toyota Hilux in June, 2014.
New vehicle registrations going into the second half of 2016 are up 6% on this time last year and averaging 11,516 a month against 10,864 last year. The total number at the end of July was 80,612; last year it was 75,928. At this rate 2016 will be knocking on 140,000 units, eclipsing the record 134,000 in 2015.
Demand for utes and SUVs is driving growth. The top six ute nameplates – Ranger, Hilux, Nissan Navara, Holden Colorado, Mitsubishi Triton, Isuzu D-Max – at July last year totaled 13,161 registrations. At the end of last month the six had accounted for 15,752.
But the growth has come from Ranger, Hilux, Triton and D-Max – Navara and Colorado numbers are down, Navara 17% (2122 last year, 1762 this year) and Colorado 1.5% (2106-2076).
Hilux registrations are up 23.7% (3749 this year, 3029 last year); Triton 38.7% (1889-1361); D-Max 28.7% (1351-1049). Hilux remains NZ’s second most popular vehicle; Corolla is the third.
SUVs accounted for 34% of registrations in July and look likely to move up a few percentage points. Says David Crawford, the chief executive of the MIA: “The SUV segment accounted for only 12% of the market in 2002 and 18% during the global financial crisis, but by the end of 2016 it is likely to be 37%. In which case, 2016 will for the first time see the SUV segment outselling the passenger segment over a 12-month period.”
July registrations totaled 11,570 units, or 7702 passenger cars and 3868 commercials. Toyota was the overall market leader with 2024 units (17%), followed by Ford’s 1550 (13%) and Holden’s 980 (8%).
The Corolla was the top selling passenger car for July with 486 units (6%), followed by the Kia Sportage’s 378 (5%) and the Toyota RAV4’s 326 (4%). The Corolla is the No. 1 passenger car over seven months, with 2564 registrations.