Continued soft demand for new vehicles in March was attributable to the wider economic slowdown New Zealand was facing, according to Motor Industry Association (MIA) chief executive Aimee Wiley.

“Higher interest rates to combat inflation have also dampened consumer spending considerably,” she said in a statement.

The 11,616 registrations in March 2024 were 27.4% lower year on year and 44.7% lower than March 2022 (9,388).

Year to date sales were 10.8% lower than 2023, 27.8% below 2022 and 23.4% short on the 2021 tally.

The three overall market leaders in March 2024 were: Toyota with a 20.6% share, Mitsubishi (12.8%) and Ford (12.1%).

BEVs took a 4.5% share, PHEVs 1.9%, hybrids (22.2%) ICEs 71.4%.

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The top three segments last month were Pick Up/Chassis Cab 25.4%, SUV Medium (22.8%) and SUV Compact (22.1%).

Light passenger vehicle sale at 7,571 were 34.9% lower year on year and off 20.3% YTD.

Toyota led the segment with a 20.9% share followd by Kia (12.8%) and Mitsubishi (10.7%).

Top three models were the Toyota RAV4, Kia Stonic and Kia Seltos.

Commercial registrations of 3,373 units in March were 6.5% lower year on year but up 13.4% YTD.

Ford retained market lead with a 32.6% share followed by Toyota (23.9%) and Mitsubishi (20.2%).

The top five commercial models were the Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton, Toyota HiLux, Nissan Navara and Toyota HiAce.