Good Trend: Kiwis Change To Compact Cars


Are Kiwis weaning off their dreadful love of SUVs and getting a little more sensible in the cars they drive in these peak-oil challenged times?

The latest car registration figures show a very encouraging sign. The winner is Suzuki’s little Swift car , which the company introduced to become a leading compact car manufacturer as well as one of the world’s leading motorcycle brands.

The stylish hatchback with beefy wheel arches, wrap-over head and tail-lights and a wide stance is imported into NZ from Japan although it’s also made in Hungary, China, India. Indonesia and Malaysia.

Suzuki Swift | Suzuki

Last month in New Zealand, In terms of individual models, the Swift was a surprise leader, accounting for 234 registrations ahead of the Mazda3 and Holden Commodore.

Perennial market favourite Toyota Corolla only managed 4th spot, with Ford Falcon rounding out the top five. However, there was no sign of an overall issue with Toyota, despite the continuing bad publicity overseas.

In the brands for the new car market overall, Toyota led with 551 units followed by Holden, Ford, Mazda and Hyundai.

The motor trade association said February vehicle sales were up 13% compared to the same month a year ago and so far overall this year, the sales are up 9%. The association is cautious whether this means a recovery, after a bad year.

It says: “While it’s a bit early to say the market has turned the corner, we are seeing some good signs out there.”

The news wasn’t so good in the motorbike categories.

February motorcycle registrations were down by 23% and are off by 28% for the year to date.

And while sales of scooters (those motorcycles and scooters of less than 60cc displacement) have suffered the biggest fall - down 34% for the year to date - February was the strongest month for scooter sales since April of 2009.

Suzuki remained market leader ahead of Honda, Harley Davidson, Triumph and Yamaha.




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    Hmmm… ACC levies have something to do with the motorbike stats I wonder..?

  2. max says:

    Possibly. Or maybe increased publicity about the dangers of motorcycling.

  3. Joshua says:

    Man If your gona drive a car drive a hilux! But I think it’s more to do with comfort-for-price than the environment.


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