July a top month for Toyota new car sales

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Words: NZ Autocar
4 Aug 2020

July was a big month for new vehicle sales in New Zealand, three per cent ahead of the same period in 2019.

This might seem surprising given New Zealand and the rest of the world are in a recession but there are a few reasons why this might be so. Kiwis had been in lockdown for part of the second quarter and had likely made purchase decisions then, acting on them in July.

Moreover, Fieldays had been cancelled and travel to overseas destinations is not likely this year (or indeed for a few years to coronavirus hotspots, unless a working vaccine is developed and rolled out). So for those reasons New Zealanders might have decided to brighten up their lives with a spot of four-wheeled retail therapy.

No surprise that New Zealand’s perennial best seller, Toyota, had its biggest month ever since the introduction of no-haggle drive-away pricing two years ago, taking 18.8 per cent of market share, selling just over 3000 passenger vehicles (official figures say 2217 registered). Exactly 70 per cent of those were hybrid models.

RAV4 was Toyota’s biggest seller (798 sold) comprising 70 per cent hybrids, and was also the best selling vehicle in New Zealand for July, just outselling Ranger on 781 units. Hilux was in third spot overall with 637 sold.

Toyota new vehicle sales for the seven months year to date 2020 are still down by 20 per cent compared with the overall market reduction of 25 per cent.

Toyota New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Neeraj Lala said July figures were a bit of a surprise. “The level of new orders across our entire range has surpassed our expectations,” he said.

Petrol-electrics for Toyota continue to outsell traditional models, with the current percentage sitting at a 54 per cent hybrid, 46 per cent non-hybrid for 2020.

Private and small business buyers represented over half of all new vehicle sales for Toyota (1755). This helped make it the biggest retail month since Drive Happy launched in April 2018.

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