New car sales remained strong throughout March 2023 according to the Motor Industry Association (MIA), albeit down 23.8 per cent on the same month last year which saw the highest number of registrations on record due to the pending Clean Car Discount fees for light commercial vehicles.
Approximately 11,626 new passenger cars and SUVs were sold last month which is up 4 per cent (444 units) on March 2022. However, registrations of commercial vehicles were down 55.5 per cent (5451 units) thanks to the aforementioned fees coming into play.
Who were the market leaders in March 2023?
Toyota retained the market lead with 17 per cent share (2650 units), while Ford came in runner-up with 11 per cent (1714 units) and Hyundai with 8 per cent (1256). Kia wasn’t far behind the fellow Korean carmaker, selling just one unit less.
Fully electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and hybrids
A total of 2637 fully electric light passenger vehicles and 18 light commercial vehicles were registered in March 2023, while just one heavy EV was sold. Topping the charts was the Model Y with 761 sales, followed by the Atto 3 with 617 and the MG ZS with 307.
Approximately 515 PHEVs were registered in March 2023 with the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross being the top choice amongst Kiwis with 176 units registered. The Kia Sorento came in second with 131 units while the MG HS came third with 31.
Hybrid registrations were also strong with 2503 new vehicles sold. The Toyota RAV4 was the most popular of them all with 455 units registered, followed by the Honda Jazz (245 units) and the Suzuki Swift (211 units).
What was the most popular segment?
The best selling segment for new cars in March 2023 was the SUV medium segment with a 31 per cent share of the market. SUV compact vehicles came in second-best with 18 per cent while utes and four-wheel drives were third with 13 per cent market share.
Small to medium vehicle segments made up approximately 60 per cent of the overall market in March 2023.