* See the Top 25 best-selling cars and Top 75 All-brands by clicking on the title *
Never before had New Zealand customers bought that many new vehicles: the Kiwi new car market is up a fantastic 12% year-on-year in 2014 to reach an all-time record 127,179 registrations, eclipsing the previous best of 123,247 units reached a full 30 years ago in 1984. Commercial vehicles, namely pickup trucks or “utes” as they are called here, pulled the market up with sales up an even more impressive 19% on the record it established in 2013 to lift it up to 36,662 units.
Toyota remains the king on board but sees its market share worryingly slip down two percentage points to 19.4% because of sales up just 2% on 2013. Ford (+9%) and Holden (+15%) follow, with Mitsubishi up 25% to bypass Nissan to #6. Notice also Mercedes up 27%, Isuzu up 42%, Ssangyong up 47%, Jeep up 57%, Land Rover up 63% and Fiat up 129%, placing the Punto at a best-ever rental-boosted #15 in December (90% of the nameplate’s sales that month were to rental companies).
As far as Chinese manufacturers are concerned, Great Wall steps out of the Top 20 but suffers much less than in Australia at just -7% to 955 sales. Foton is up threefold and 11 spots to #29 and 473 units while LDV is up 9fold to 391 deliveries at #31 but Chery tumbles down 17% to #33.
In the models ranking, the Toyota Corolla celebrates 7 consecutive years in pole position with 6,469 units and 5.3% share, however this crown is solely the works of rental companies: they purchased 3,046 or 47% of all Corollas in New Zealand this year. Instead, the main event is the 2nd place of the Ford Ranger with deliveries up an excellent 29% on 2013 to 6,330 and 5% share. This means the Ranger ends an incredible run of 32 consecutive years when the Toyota Hilux was the country’s #1 ute, and it was even #1 year-to-date up until October when the summer season boosted Corolla rental sales back into #1.
The Holden Commodore is back up one spot to #4 thanks to the new generation enjoying its first full year of sales, the Colorado is up 20% and 3 ranks to #5, the Toyota RAV4 keeps its #1 SUV crown despite sales down 6% to #7, the Mazda3 is up 47% to #12, the Toyota Highlander up 146% to #14, the Honda Jazz leaps up to #17 thanks to the new model and the Isuzu D-Max is now inside the annual NZ Top 25.
Previous month: New Zealand November 2014: Market on track for record year
Full Year 2014 Top 25 models and Top 75 All-brands vs. Full Year 2013 figures below.
Full December 2014 Top 30 models and Top 60 All-brands below.