Car sales hit the brakes
After years on a ‘bull run’, the new car market is turning with sales in March down five per cent compared with the same period last year.
Year to date, the market is down four per cent. Passenger car sales in March were down almost seven per cent (625 units), and even commercials were softer by almost three per cent (132 units).
There were 13,271 new vehicles registered in March, made up of 8425 passenger cars and 4846 commercials. Toyota led the way with a 13 per cent market share (1697 units), followed by Ford with 10 per cent (1328 units) and Mitsubishi on nine (1225 units). Toyota’s numbers for March 2018 were 2421, Ford’s were 1551, while Mitsubishi is actually ahead by 121 units.
Toyota led passenger sales last month (960) ahead of Mazda (805) and Honda (699). Sportage was the best selling nameplate (379) ahead of the CX-5 (310) and Corolla (301). There was very little activity in the rental market, hence Corolla’s relatively low volume.
Ford kept its nose in front in the commercial sector with 982 sold, with Toyota second (737) and Mitsubishi third with 594 sold. Some 850 Rangers were moved, ahead of 594 Tritons and 581 examples of the Hilux. Those three models are also the best selling vehicles overall year to date, with Ranger leading the way on 2385, followed someway back by the Hilux on 1698 and the Triton on 1541.
Motor Industry Association boss, David Crawford, commented that the March results ‘indicate that after a sustained period of growth the 2019 market is likely to be down on last year.’