New Zealand’s Motor Industry Association said January 2023 registrations of 12,481 new vehicles were 7.4% down year on year “on the back of a softening economy”.

Registrations of 9,274 passenger vehicles and SUVs were up 3.9% but registrations of 3,207 commercial vehicles were down 29.6%.

“It is pleasing to see confidence from private buyers is holding up however the business sector appears to batting down the hatches on unnecessary or unaffordable expenditure,” the MIA said.

“Registrations of new battery electric vehicles were softer than the last quarter of 2022 but non-plugin hybrid sales remained strong.

A trend to smaller vehicle continued with 61% of vehicles registered in January being medium or smaller.

The Toyota Hilux, followed by the Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, were the top sellers for the month.

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Toyota retained overall market lead for the month of January with a 20% share followed by Kia with 12% and Mitsubishi with 10%.

Toyota retained the overall market lead for the month of January with 20% market share (2,529 units), followed by Kia with 12% (1,506) units and Mitsubishi with 10% market share (1,298 units).

Top selling BEVs were the BYD Atto3 (235) followed by the MG ZS (166) and Kia EV6 (149).

Of the 495 PHEVs registered in January, the top models were the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (227), Ford Escape (57) and Kia Niro (38).

HEVs accounted for 2,075 sales in January. Hat trick for Toyota: top models were the brand’s RAV4 (337), Yaris Cross (212) and Corolla Cross (193).

Top selling commercials were the Toyota Hilux (800), closely followed by the Ford Ranger (796) and Mitsubishi Triton (311).