Toyota increases lead in new vehicle sales

By David Thomson on Sat, 26 Jan 2013 | Toyota | Latest News
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The Toyota Corolla continues to be popular with Kiwi motorists.

Toyota extended its position as New Zealand's top-selling brand last year, increasing its market share as new-vehicle sales topped the 100,000 mark for the first time since 2007.

A surge in December sales pushed total new-vehicle registrations to 100,795 for the year, a hefty 19.1% increase on the 84,640 registrations recorded for 2011.

Within that total, passenger cars accounted for 76,871 sales (up from 60,019) and commercial vehicles for 23,924 sales (up from 20,621).

Leading the way for the 25th consecutive year, Toyota accounted for more than one in every five vehicles sold, almost double the market share of second-placed Ford.

Holden, Hyundai, Nissan and Mazda rounded out the top six marques for 2012 sales, followed by Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Honda, Kia and Subaru.

Meantime, BMW overhauled Audi to regain market leadership among the luxury brands.

With the market up so strongly there were few losers in overall sales terms.

Outside the top 15 brands, Great Wall, Peugeot, Jeep, Mini, Volvo, Jaguar and Chrysler all saw sales increases of more than 20%. On the other hand, Land Rover, Skoda, Lexus and Porsche saw sales grow by less than 10%.

Turning to individual models rather than brands, the Toyota Corolla and Suzuki Swift retained their positions as the country's two top-selling cars, with the Swift the top choice among private buyers.

Holden's Captiva was one of the big movers, climbing from seventh in 2011 to third for new-car sales.

Other notable upward movers were the Ford Focus and Hyundai Santa Fe, both of which climbed from outside the top 15 in 2011 to record top-10 sales results in 2012.

While the Hyundai i30 lost ground after a bumper 2011 (due in part to the transition to a new i30 model), the notable downward move came from the Ford Falcon, which dropped outside the top 15.

The Falcon's slide highlighted the ongoing fall of the large car in the New Zealand market.

Demand for medium-sized cars also slipped, while that for small cars and SUVs increased. The latter now account for more than one in every four new vehicles sold here.

The Holden Captiva was the top-selling SUV overall, with the Nissan Qashqai the most popular small SUV and the Toyota Highlander the most popular large SUV.

The Toyota Hilux retained leadership in the commercial vehicle segment, while the Ford Ranger ousted the Nissan Navara from second spot.

In contrast to a boom year for new vehicles, the used import market softened, with registrations dipping by 2.6% to 81,827 vehicles.