After more than six months of speculation about whether the local motoring industry has ‘turned a corner’ since its big losses during the Covid-19 pandemic’s numerous lockdowns, January’s local registrations figures show huge amounts of promise.
According to the Motor Industry Association, January 2021 was the third most successful January on record for car purchases — up 6.2 per cent on the same month in 2020. In total 13,893 new vehicles were registered in New Zealand.
The caveat that the MIA rightly points out is that the month also saw comfortable amounts of supply land on our shores, with backorders from previous months able to finally be fulfilled as stock arrives from around the world.
Most of the growth was in the passenger vehicle and SUV sector, which saw a 6.7 per cent rise year on year. Commercial vehicles (a sector driven largely by utes) also increased, but by a lesser 5.1 per cent.
The Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux once again lead the pack, with 948 units and 750 units registered in January, respectively. The Toyota RAV4 was third, with 471 registrations. Toyota also still held its spot as market leader, with 17 per cent market share. Mitsubishi, Ford, and Kia were all trailing, on 10 per cent market share a piece.
It was also a strong month for electrified vehicles, which perhaps isn’t a surprise given the government’s various announcements in recent times. In total, 1073 hybrids, 93 PHEVs, and 244 pure electric vehicles sold in January — each a respective improvement on last January.
Behind the Ranger, Hilux, and RAV4 on the outright podium, Mitsubishi’s Triton and Outlander were fourth and fifth. The Kia Seltos, Mitsubishi ASX, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, and Nissan Navara rounded out the top 10.
Narrowly missing out on the top 10 were the month’s best selling passenger cars; the Toyota Corolla and Suzuki Swift. It’s also worth noting that the all-new Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 ranked 13th and 14th (fifth and sixth on the commercial charts).
Other notable inclusions include the Great Wall Motors Cannon, which ended up 11th on the commercial vehicle list with 73 registrations, equalling the Ford Transit. The fourth best-selling rental car of the month was the Ford Mustang (20 units), outsold only by the Ranger, Outlander, and Suzuki Vitara.