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The New Zealand auto industry experienced a significant surge in new registrations in November, largely fueled by a staggering influx of rental vehicle units, according to Aimee Wiley, Chief Executive of the Motor Industry Association.

Ms. Wiley revealed that November saw a remarkable 4,466 rental units registered, marking the highest number in the past four years and contributing a substantial 30.7% to the month’s total registrations.

“This surge in rental registrations has notably bolstered November’s figures, bringing a welcomed boost to the market,” she stated.

While rental registrations soared, the light commercial segment faced considerable challenges, with registrations continuing to dwindle. Wiley highlighted the impact of consumers holding back on light commercial purchases in anticipation of the forthcoming removal of Clean Car Discount Fees. Comparing figures, commercial registrations in November 2023 were down by 32% compared to November 2022 and 40.9% compared to November 2021.

However, despite the rental surge and the struggles in the commercial sector, November registrations overall remained 7.1% lower than November 2022, with 15,621 units, and 11.1% lower than November 2021, with 16,327 units.

The year-to-date analysis presents a broader perspective, indicating a decrease of 8.9% from 2022 (13,637 units) and 9.0% from 2021 (13,870 units).

Key Figures

The new vehicle market was dominated by Toyota, securing the top position with a substantial 24.9% market share and 3,615 units sold, followed by Ford at 13.0% (1,894 units) and Mitsubishi at 8.0% (1,160 units). Meanwhile, the breakdown of registrations for the month revealed 11,497 Light Passenger vehicles, 2,169 Light Commercial vehicles, and 853 Heavy Commercial vehicles.

November’s registrations reflected 2,692 Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) constituting an 18.5% share, 1,164 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) at 8.0%, 3,426 Hybrids at 23.6%, and 7,237 Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, making up 49.8% of the market. The three leading segments in November were SUV Medium at 32.7%, followed by SUV Compact at 18.5%, and Small Vehicle at 12.6%.

Specifically focusing on Light Passenger Vehicles, the 11,497 registrations marked a 2.9% (322 units) increase from November 2022, predominantly attributed to a surge in rental vehicle registrations. In this segment, Toyota held the top position with 3,018 units and a commanding 26.3% market share, followed by Mitsubishi with 1,069 units (9.3% market share) and MG with 900 units (7.8% market share). The top three models sold were the Toyota RAV4 (1,419 units), the Mitsubishi Outlander (558 units), and the Tesla Model Y (544 units).

Consumer preferences in segmentation highlighted SUV Medium as the most sought-after, capturing 41.3% of the Light Passenger market, succeeded by SUV Compact at 23.4% and the Small Segment at 15.9%. Notably, the amalgamation of small to medium segments accounted for a significant 90.2% of the Light Passenger vehicle market.

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