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New Zealand recorded 149,260 new vehicle registrations in 2023. This, according to the Motor Industry Association, is down 9.5 percent from last year.

While the overall new car market is down, 2023 was a record year for low-emissions vehicles (LEVs) as the Clean Car Discount ended. LEV registrations were up 45 percent in 2023 compared to 2022 with 59,952 units sold.

Toyota emerged as the dominant force in the market, securing a 21.7 percent market share in 2023, followed by Ford with 10.9 percent, and Mitsubishi with 9.0 percent.

In terms of segment breakdown, medium SUVs held 27.0% of the market in 2023, followed closely by compact SUVs at 20.5%. Additionally, the data from the MIA emphasised a shift in motive power preferences, with BEVs gaining substantial traction, accounting for 14.5% of the market in 2023, a significant leap from previous years.

2023 Light Passenger Vehicle Market

For the light passenger vehicle market in 2023, Toyota emerged as the market leader, selling 21,913 units, followed by Mitsubishi (10,284 units) and Kia (10,065 units). Among the top-selling models, the Toyota RAV4 took the lead with 8,757 units, trailed by Mitsubishi Outlander (4,058 units) and the Tesla Model Y (3,936 units).

SUVs notably dominated consumer preferences, with the medium-sized category securing 40,164 units, making up 36.4% of the market. This was closely followed by compact SUVs (30,556 units) and larger SUVs (11,806 units), together encompassing a massive 85.4% of the light passenger vehicle market.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) showed substantial traction, with the Tesla Model Y as the top performer, accounting for 18.7% of sales. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) made a mark, led by the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (30.9% market share), while Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) retained significance, with the Toyota RAV4 dominating the segment.

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