New Zealand Company Vehicle

Fleet Buyers Guide 2019

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1 February – March 2019 W W W.COMPANY VEHICLE.CO.NZ 2019 FLEET BUYERS GUIDE Whew! What a year that was 2018! The automotive industry has every right to feel proud of the achievement of making 2018 the fifth consecutive year that our new vehicle registrations were up. Admittedly, the gain was an incremental one with just a one percent gap between 2017 and 2018, a meaningless number until we tell you there were 1648 units that tipped the scales. So with 161,519 total units sold, what actually happened? There were some serious upsets right the way through the year with our two top dogs battling it out on the streets and in the paddocks. You would have been hard pressed to pick the odds on who was going to ultimately come out on top, with Toyota redesigning the paradigm for dealership sales – a process 10 years in the making we might add. The Drive Happy dealership and dealer model which made industry pundits wonder if Toyota had been spending too much time in the same room with their advertising people who, let's face it, have had some, hmm, interesting marketing concepts in recent times: monkeys in motorcycle sidecars demanding Hokey Pokey ice cream springs to mind. Drive Happy sounds simple enough, but it was a lot of work bringing it all together. When Toyota first announced it, a number if distributors nodded and waited for the result. Others decried it, saying it would never work. Unfortunately for the naysayers, it did work and, with Drive Happy in place, Toyota went on to introduce new looks to familiar models, extended its hybrid footprint and... the last month of 2018, took the title of overall market leader with 26 percent overall share, claimed market leadership for passenger and SUV registrations in the same month with 28 percent share or 2175 units. In the land of commercials, Toyota was not exactly taking a backseat, but it did have to bow to pressure from Father Ford, who's commercial offerings were pretty much the backbone of Blue Oval sales in 2018. With the demise of the Aussie auto manufacturing industry, Ford pretty much took a scalpel to its passenger lines, bringing in the Mustang as a faux Falcon replacement, slicing into the Fiesta and Focus ranges with borderline brutality and introducing some SUVs which, well, they seemed to work out in the long run. But it was Ranger and Transit lines which really gave the Blue Oval something to celebrate this year. While Toyota claimed market leadership for commercials in the month of December, over the course of 12 months prior, it was a Ford fest. Ranger was the hero, with the eagerly anticipated Ranger Raptor stirring interest from the other side of December 25, 2018, Ranger just soared from sales high to sales high, occasionally giving way to Hilux, but not enough to stop Henry's juggernaut. Ranger accounted for 9,904 registrations for 2018, a gain of 484 units from the year before. Hilux made greater gains with 980 units sold over 2017, but the numbers overall weren't there. With 8,086 Crumpy- mobiles finding new homes, Ranger claimed the crown. And it is quite a crown. The 2018 result marked the first time in Ford's history of being in New Zealand when it could lay claim to be the number one commercial brand in the country. It also marked the fourth year of the Ranger being the number one best selling vehicle in the country overall and with the largest margin ever between it and its nearest rival. It wasn't all Ranger though. The Transit – introducing an automatic transmission in its largest van – while the Transit Custom also saw an auto arriving in June of 2018, along with some not insignificant upgrades. What was everyone else doing? Sitting on their hands? Far from it. Mazda was consolidating in preparation for a massive surge with an all-new model, an all-new specification level and a freshen up of its hero products. Holden in the meantime, was divesting itself of its Australian shackles (you Kiwis will take what we give ya an' like it) and opened the floodgates to the entire GM network, while Chinese brands were making massive gains in the commercial sector as well. Mitsubishi was gearing up for a Triton refresh this year, but shoring up its product portfolio at the same time, Skoda was muscling in on fleet turf and of course, EV's were making headlines with the prospect of ever growing numbers reaching 64,000 vehicles on the road by 2021. Which means, if the industry watchdogs are paying attention, the projected softening of the industry for 2019 may not hurt so much, given this expected influx of EVs that will be replacing our conventionally fuelled fleet. I have some Meridian and Genesis shares that just might be handy by this year's end... So what follows? Our take on the automotive industry as it stands in terms of segments and product offerings, from Compact through to Medium and Large cars, the three sectors defining the SUV market, utes, vans and of course EVs, BHEVs and PHEVs. While we have made all attempts to ensure the list pricing is correct, we do recommend you use this feature as a guide only and consult with your dealer or lease provider for firm pricing. New Zealand Company Vehicle Fleet Buyers Guide 2019

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