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New Zealand’s new car market continued to slow down in August 2023 with 9,808 new units registered for the month. According to the Motor Industry Association (MIA), this figure represents a significant decline of 33.2 percent compared to the same period last year. It is also 28.7 percent lower than the monthly average for 2022 and 22.4 percent lower than the average for the first eight months of 2023.

“August’s result is likely caused by several contributing factors: First, a continuation of market rebalancing from June’s record month, where savvy purchasers effectively pulled forward registrations to maximise Clean Car Discount (CCD) benefits prior to 1 July rate card changes,” said MIA Chief Executive Aimee Wiley.

“Second, current tougher economic conditions: higher interest rates, tighter lending and continued high inflation impacting the cost of living and the willingness or ability to purchase”

“Third, hesitation or reluctance to purchase pre-election, particularly with transport policy changes hinging upon the election result.”

Key Statistics

Overall, Toyota led the market with a 24.9 percent market share (2,442 units), followed by Ford at 14.7% (1,444 units), and Kia at 8.2% (803 units).

Light Passenger Market

The Light Passenger market (including SUVs) in August amounted to 6,982 units, a 36.2% decrease compared to August 2022. Year-to-date, passenger vehicles are down by 4% (2,980 units) compared to the same period in 2022.

The top three selling models for the month were the Toyota RAV 4 (773 units), Mitsubishi Outlander (321 units), and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (233 units).

There were 863 battery electric vehicle units sold this month representing 12.4% of the light passenger segment. the top models were the BYD Atto 3 (131 units) and MG 4 (96 units), tied with the MG ZS and Tesla Model Y (72 units each).

There were 780 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles sold or 11.2% of the segment. The top three models are the Mitsubishi Outlander (261 units), the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (144 units), and the Kia Sorrento (131 units).

Hybrid Electric Vehicles made up 34.6% of the segment with 2,417 units sold. The top three models are the Toyota RAV4 (760 units), Toyota Highlander (182 units), and Toyota Corolla (172 units).

Finally, Internal Combustion Engine vehicles accounted for 2,92 units sold representing 41.9% of the segment in August.

Light and Heavy Commercial Vehicles

Commercial vehicle registrations in August reached 2,826 units, marking a 24.6% decrease compared to August 2022. Year-to-date, commercial vehicle registrations are down by 11.7% (3,795 units) compared to the same period in 2022.

Ford led the commercial vehicle market in August, with a 32% market share (912 units), followed by Toyota at 25% (708 units), and Mitsubishi in third place with a 5% market share (153 units).

The top three selling models in August for commercial vehicles were the Ford Ranger (842 units), Toyota Hilux (465 units), and Mitsubishi Triton (153 units).

Light Commercial Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) amounted to 20 units in August and 198 units year-to-date, while Heavy Commercial BEVs reached 24 units in August and 91 units year-to-date.

Consumer Preference

The top three segments in August were SUV Medium (27.3% market share), SUV Compact (18.6% market share), and SUV Large (9.9% market share), with small to medium segments making up 58% of the total market.

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