SUV trend continues

SUV trend continues

As the popularity of SUVs continues to grow in New Zealand, the trend is heading in a direction where they will eclipse overall passenger car sales for the first time according to one vehicle distributor.

Reflecting the increasing popularity of SUV’s, the top three passenger vehicles for the month of June were all SUV’s. Toyota Highlander was the top selling passenger model with 5% market share (414 units), followed by the Toyota RAV4 on 4% (396 units) and the Kia Sportage on 3% (316 units).

The SUV segments accounted for 36% of vehicle registrations for the month of June followed by the Pick Up/Chassis segments with 25% share.

Kia New Zealand general manager Todd McDonald expects the trend to continue.

“Buyer preference for SUVs has been building over the last few years and we believe they will finally overtake passenger cars well before the end of 2016 and their sales will continue to strengthen,” McDonald says.

He believes it is easy to see why buyers are attracted to SUVs, as they offer increased interior space and utility over a traditional car – they also sit higher on the road, improving the driver’s view of other vehicles and the surrounding environment.

His own brand has experienced popularity among the SUV market in recent years with its Sportage and Sorento models. The company has also repacked its Soul model to sit more as an SUV in the market.

McDonald believes another trend, the majority of SUV’s bought today are now front-drive rather than AWD, as style and practicality have become more important than the ability to go anywhere.

“Very few people actually drive off-road in an SUV and it makes sense for us to provide other equipment that owners will find much more useful,” adds McDonald.

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