New Zealand's Motor Industry Association (MIA) said vehicle sales in July 2020 were "surprisingly strong".

July 2020 registrations were up 3.1% over July 2019 with 12,263 vehicles registered. 

"Year to date the market is down 24.8% in a year that is heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which makes July a surprisingly strong result given the worldwide economic conditions. Sales of both passenger and commercial vehicles were up on the same month in 2019," the MIA said.

"Returning cashed up Kiwis and alternative spending to international travel is thought to be behind the July result. However, as the year progresses, the economic outlook is for a continuing tightening market."

Key points

  • 90 pure electric vehicles, 69 PHEVs and 1,045 hybrid vehicles were sold 
  • 641 Toyota RAV4 Hybrids were registered in July.
  • The market year to date to the end of July was down 24.8% (21,694 units) on the first six months of 2019 at 65,825 units.
  • Registrations of 8,200 passenger and SUVs for July 2020 were up 3.5% on 2019 volumes while commercial vehicle registrations of 4,063 were up 2.3% (91 units) compared to July 2019.
  • The top three models in July 2020 were the Toyota RAV4 (796 units), the Ford Ranger (781 units) and Toyota Hilux (627 units).

Market leaders in July

Toyota remained overall market leader with 18% market share (2,217 units), followed by Ford with 10% (1,246 units) and Mitsubishi in third spot with 8% market share (1041 units).

SUV and passenger vehicle sales

Toyota was the market leader for passenger and SUV registrations with 17% market share (1,416 units) followed by Kia with 9% (719 units) and then Mitsubishi with 8% market share (658 units).

The top selling passenger and SUV models for the month were the Toyota RAV4 (796 units) followed by the Kia Sportage (320 units) and the Mitsubishi ASX (265 units).

Commercial vehicle sales

Ford regained the market lead with 22% market share (912 units) followed by Toyota with 20% (801 units) and Holden third with 10% market share (389 units).

The Ford Ranger retained the top spot as the bestselling commercial model with 19% share (781 units) followed by the Toyota Hilux with 15% share (627 units) and the Mitsubishi Triton in third place with 9% market share (383 units). 

Smaller vehicles dominated the market in July

Overall the top segments for the month of July were dominated by SUVs. The top spot went to the SUV medium vehicles with 22% share followed by SUV Compact with 19% market share and the Pick Up/Chassis 4x4 segment with 16%.