Fewer new vehicles were sold in New Zealand in July compared to the same month last year continuing the local Motor Industry Association's (mia) expectation the overall market for the year will be down on 2018.

July new vehicle sales were 3.5% lower at 11,897 than July last year.

Year to date sales were down 5.2% to 87,509.

"The trend for 2019 is a bumpy ride but overall downwards compared to 2018," MIA CEO David Crawford said.

Registrations of 7,925 passenger cars and SUVs for July 2019 were down 1.4% at 7,925 on 2018 volume and commercial vehicle registrations of 3,972 were down 7.3%.

The top two models for the month of July were utes (pickup trucks) with the Ford Ranger continuing its hold on the top spot (657 units) followed by the Toyota Hilux (534) and the Toyota Corolla (500).

Toyota remained overall market leader with an 18% market share (2,185), followed by Ford with 9% (1,040) and Mitsubishi regained third spot with 8% market share (950).

Toyota was the market leader for passenger and SUV registrations with 18% market share (1,432) followed by Mazda with 9% (713) and KIA with 7% market share (585).

The top selling passenger and SUV models for the month were the Toyota Corolla (500 units) followed by the Toyota RAV4 (442) and the Kia Sportage (302).

Ford retained commercial vehicle market lead with 19% (760) closely followed by Toyota also with 19% (753) and Mitsubishi with 11% market share (451).

The Ford Ranger remained best selling commercial model with 17% share (657) followed by the Toyota Hilux with 13% share (534) and the Mitsubishi Triton with 11% market share (451). 

The top three segments for the month of July were SUV medium vehicles with 20% share followed by the Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4×4 segment with 16% share and the SUV Compact with 14% market share. 

Year to date SUVs account for 43% of the market and light commercials 41%. The share of the passenger car market has fallen year to date to 24%. 

This reflects a fundamental change over the last five years in Kiwi consumers' preferences for vehicles. In July 2014 the SUV share was just 30% of the market and passenger vehicles accounted for 42%.