Demand from car rental agencies continues to stand out among the numbers of new vehicles registered by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).
The best selling passenger car in January’s record 14,834 registrations was (above) the Toyota Corolla – but 696 of the 958 on the NZTA books were to rental operators.
So too the second best selling passenger car, the Toyota Highlander. Same with the third best seller, the Toyota RAV4.
Of the 427 Highlanders registered, 292 were rentals. That’s 68.3 per cent. Rentals accounted for 209 of the 421 RAV4s registered. That’s 49.6 per cent.
Add to the above rental numbers 98 Camrys, 83 Prados, and 38 Yaris models and at least 1416 of the 3270 new vehicles Toyota registered last month were rentals. That’s 43.3 per cent.
The fourth best selling passenger car in January was the Ford Focus,an unusually lofty position. It has rarely been on the top 15 ladder.
The NZTA registered 320 Focus models in January, 196 of which were rentals. That’s 61.2 per cent.
The Mazda3 hatchback was the seventh best seller with 266 registrations, 165 of which were rentals. That’s 62.0 per cent.
The tenth best seller in January was the Holden Captiva, with 211 registrations; 92 were rentals. That’s 43.6 per cent.
Motor Industry Association CEO David Crawford said January was the strongest ever start to a new sales year. “Nothing has changed with the economic environment that existed for most of the last 24 months,” he said.
“The key drivers of new vehicle sales remain the continued elevated levels of net immigration, low costs of debt, a strong national economy and a stable government.”
The Corolla (958) was the overall best selling vehicle in January, ahead of the long-time table-topper the Ford Ranger (713) and third-placed Toyota Hilux (636). Neither the Ranger nor Hilux utes appeared among the top 15 rentals.
Among the top 15 commercials in January was the four-door LDV T60 ute, the second time the Chinese model has listed since it landed here in September last year. It has just been joined by (right) the T60 single cab variant, a four-wheel drive priced from $26,990.
Of the luxury nameplates last month, Mercedes-Benz and BMW were separated by a solitary passenger car, Benz registering 188 and BMW 187. Audi’s numbers weren’t listed.
In January 2017, Benz registered 222 passenger cars, BMW 197, and Audi 154. Audi overtook BMW as the year progressed to wrap up 2017 with 2060 registrations against BMW’s 1954. Benz lead the premium nameplates last year with 2540.