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New Zealand’s new car market slowed down in February with 9,663 units sold. However, contrasting sales results came from across segments. According to the Motor Industry Association (MTA), light passenger vehicles experienced a historic low and heavy commercial registrations reaching an all-time high.

Passenger vehicle registrations totalled 5,951 units, 4.9 percent lower than the previous year and 22.2 percent lower than February 2022. It is also the lowest February result in 11 years.

In stark contrast, heavy commercial registrations soared to 660 units, 10.2 percent higher than February 2023 (61 units), 16.8 percent higher than February 2022 (95 units).

Market Leaders and Models

Toyota led the market with a 21.0 percent market share, followed by Ford (15.2 percent), and Mitsubishi (10.5 percent). The top five models this month were the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, and Toyota Hi-Ace.

Electric vehicles (EVs) represented 4.4 percent of the market with 430 Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and 1.7 percent with 164 Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs). Hybrid Vehicles (HEVs) accounted for 19.0 percent of the market.

Light Passenger Vehicles (Including SUVs)

Light passenger registrations witnessed a sharp decline, with the segment leader being the Toyota RAV4. Toyota dominated the segment with a 19.0 percent share, followed by Mitsubishi (9.7 percent) and Suzuki (8.0 percent).

The three top segments for light passengers were SUV Medium, SUV Compact, and SUV Large, collectively comprising 80.3 percent of registrations.

Electric Vehicles Breakdown

The top models BEVs included the Tesla Model Y, BYD Atto 3, Ford Mustang MACH-E, Kia EV6, and Audi E-TRON GT.

Notable PHEV models were the Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Mini Countryman, Porsche Cayenne, and Land Rover Defender.

Meanwhile, the Toyota RAV4, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Corolla Cross, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota Yaris Cross emerged as the top performers in the hybrid category.

Light and Heavy Commercial Vehicles

Light commercial vehicle registrations demonstrated a 26.8 percent year-to-date increase compared to 2023, with Ford leading the segment with a 35 percent market share. Heavy commercial registrations, at 660 units, marked a 10.2 percent increase from February 2023 and the highest year-to-date result since 2002.

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