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New Zealand March 2023: Suzuki (+102.8%), Kia (+82.7%), Hyundai (+23.7%) defy market off -24%

The Kia EV6 is inside the New Zealand Top 25 in March.

New Zealand new vehicle sales continue to plunge in March at -24% year-on-year to 15,997 units. Keep in mind March 2022 was the highest on record and we are simply returning to the March 2021 level (15,501). Indeed March 2022 coincided with the last month of sales before the implementation of the Clean Car fee on Light Commercials and as a result many sales were brought forward. Year-to-date volumes are off -19.3% to 38,019. Passenger Cars are down -16% to 2,319, SUVs are actually up 11.6% to 9,293 and 58.1% share vs. 39.6% a year ago and Light Commercials dive -60.9% to just 3,588. Year-to-date, Passenger Cars drop -12% to 6,040, SUVs edge up 1.4% to 21,089 and Light Commercials sink -48.8% to 8,974. 2,656 BEV, 515 PHEV and 2,503 HEV were sold this month.

In the brands ranking, Toyota (-4.2%) easily keeps the lead with 16.6% share and manages to stabilise its sales in a devastated market. Ford (-23.2%) matches the market due to its heavy reliance on its Ranger pickup, but Hyundai (+23.7%) and Kia (+82.7%) defy the surrounding gloom with outstanding upticks. Tesla (-7.7%) is down year-on-year but climbs 10 spots on last month to #5. Mitsubishi (-76.4%) is hit full frontal on an exceptional year-ago month when it led the charts outright. Suzuki (+102.8%) remains the best performer near the top of the charts. Newcomer BYD equals its ranking record at #9 and smashes its share record to 3.9%.

Model-wise, the Ford Ranger (-31%) and Toyota Hilux (-47.2%) hold onto the top two spots despite big losses. The Tesla Model Y is up 21 spots on February to land in the third place overall, followed by the Hyundai Tucson (+127.4%) helped by rental sales which account for 51% of its March volume. The new BYD Atto 3 is at a record 5th place, eclipsing its previous best of #6 hit last August and November. The Suzuki Swift (+119.8%), Honda Jazz (+100.7%) and Nissan X-Trail (+95.2%) shine below, the latter thanks to rental sales at 67% of its March total. Notice also the Kia Sorento at #16 and the Kia EV6 at #23.

Previous month: New Zealand February 2023: Suzuki (+42%) stuns in worst February in 9 years (-24%)

One year ago: New Zealand March 2022: Mitsubishi (+104.5%) back on top in euphoric market (+36%)

Full March 2023 Top 75 All brands and Top 25 models below.

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