Half of new car sales will be SUV – industry figures

Half of new car sales will be SUV – industry figures

The New Zealand market demand for sport utility vehicles (SUV) is among the highest in the world with annual growth up to 44% according to latest industry figures.

Automotive industry experts expect the sales trend to continue with some predicting that SUV will equate to half of all new passenger cars sold within three years.

It is the fastest growing category within new passenger and commercial sales locally with growth at around 27% per annum for the past five years, and already represent 47% of the cars sold this year.

Last year 37,000 new SUVs were sold, compared to 53,000 passenger cars, and by 2018 as many as one in every two vehicles sold in New Zealand is likely to be an SUV.

Volvo NZ general manager Steve Kenchington says new passenger vehicle sales were up last year overall by more than 9% to 90,152, but a large proportion of the increase was due to rising demand for SUV’s.

“While the passenger vehicle category is relatively flat at four percent growth, SUV’s are increasing at an average of 27% per annum,” he says.

Kenchington says the industry is experiencing record sales for SUV, and it’s a trend reflected worldwide as consumer appetite for these cars continues to increase.

He says improved fuel efficiency and safety features, combined with a greater range of SUV models including a better priced European offering has helped drive consumer demand in this market.

“Ten years ago there was only a handful of SUV models available in the New Zealand market, today we have more than 60 small, medium, large and extra large models,” he says.

“Similarly European brands have also become more accessible as the economies of scale have improved local pricing and availability of parts,” he says.

Kenchington says that Volvo SUV sales are increasing at a faster rate in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world at a rate of over 130% per annum.

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