After a couple of shocking recent weather events it is perhaps no real surprise that new car sales for February 2023 were down by almost one-quarter on those of the previous year (total 9541 units). This was also the worst February new vehicle sales figure in nine years. High inflation and delivery delays because of damage to roading infrastructure contributed to the decline.
Passenger and SUV registrations (6259) were off by 18 per cent while sales of new commercial vehicles slid by almost one-third to 1386 units. Registrations of new BEVs were also down (773 units), as were those of PHEVs (354) although sales of conventional hybrids (1237) remained robust.
Overall, new vehicle registrations for February 2023 fell by 23.7 per cent. The trend towards smaller vehicles continued in February with 58 per cent being medium or smaller.
Top of the pops once again was the Ranger, followed by Hilux with Swift in third place for the month. The best selling battery electric vehicle was the Atto 3 (143), followed by ZS (104) and Tesla Model Y (95). Of the PHEVs, the most popular once more was the Eclipse Cross (170) followed by Sorento and Escape with 55 units between them. The top selling hybrids were Swift (171), Jazz (151) and RAV4 (122).
Toyota retained the overall market lead (18 per cent)), followed by Ford (12 per cent) and Suzuki (on 8 per cent). For SUV and passenger sales, Suzuki was the top performer in February on 12 per cent, just pipping Toyota and then Hyundai (9 per cent). The most popular models in these categories were Swift (487), ZS (234) and Kona (217, almost half of which were electric).
In the commercial sector, Toyota claimed 29 per cent market share, edging Ford with 28 per cent and Mitsubishi a distant third (7 per cent).
The top models for the month were the usuals in the usual order, Ranger (859 units), Hilux (849 units) and Triton (230 units).
With increasing sales in the small and medium area, for once the SUV compact segment came out on top (19 per cent), just pipping the SUV medium area (18 per cent), as it has been threatening to do, while the Ute segment was a close third (18 per cent).