The Tesla Model Y has emerged as the top-selling new vehicle in New Zealand for the month of September, according to preliminary sales data from Waka Kotahi. The fully electric SUV narrowly edged out the Toyota RAV4 with 697 registrations, making it the leader in both passenger car and overall registration figures. The Ford Ranger, a popular choice in the commercial market, secured the third spot with 605 registrations. The Toyota Hilux followed closely behind with 540 registrations, while the Toyota Yaris Cross, Mitsubishi ASX, Mitsubishi Outlander, MG ZS, and Mitsubishi Triton rounded out the top ten.
Interestingly, the all-new MG4 made its debut in the top ten list with 159 registrations, even though it has only been on sale for two months. This electric hatch is now the most affordable pure plug-in car available in the country. The success of Tesla and MG4 sales comes at a time when the National Party has announced plans to discontinue the Clean Car Discount rebate for electric and low-emission vehicles by the end of 2023 if elected. However, it is worth noting that these strong sales figures are likely due to pre-existing historic orders rather than a direct result of the rebate.
Although September showed a slight improvement compared to August’s new-vehicle sales, the overall numbers are still significantly lower than they were a year ago. Only 10,909 new vehicles were registered in September, consisting of 8,150 passenger vehicles and 2,759 commercial vehicles. This represents a 26.5% decline in the market compared to the same period last year.
Aimee Wiley, the chief executive of the Motor Industry Association, attributes the industry’s current decline to several factors. These include the ongoing effects of the record-breaking sales in June, the challenging economic climate, and consumer hesitation or reluctance to make purchases before the election, especially considering the potential changes to transport policies depending on the election outcome.
In summary, the Tesla Model Y has emerged as the top-selling new vehicle in New Zealand for September, closely followed by the Toyota RAV4. The Ford Ranger continues to dominate the commercial market, while the MG4 makes its first appearance in the top ten list. However, despite the slight improvement in sales compared to the previous month, the overall new-vehicle registrations are still significantly lower than they were a year ago. The industry’s performance is influenced by a variety of factors, including the record-breaking sales in June, the economic climate, and consumer uncertainty surrounding potential policy changes.