As regular readers know, New Zealanders are fed up with Ford Rangers, Toyota Hiluxes and ordinary cars.
Our new car registration data shows a shift where electrified vehicles (pure BEVs) seem to be slowly but surely climbing the rankings. However, Utes is still one of the most popular vehicles in the country.
Are these trends local or global? Let’s take a look at the world’s best-selling cars in 2022.
Australia: Toyota Hilux (64,391 units sold)
Damian O’Carroll/Courtesy of video
Toyota is serious about stealing the top spot from Ford with a much-improved Hilux.
With over 1 million new cars sold last year, the Hilux overwhelmed the Ranger. Australia is arguably even more enthusiastic than New Zealand, with Pickup taking his fourth place in the top 10 in the country.
* Tesla cuts prices on NZ’s most popular model
*Local Electric Vehicle Sales Exceeding Industry Expectations
* From EVs to utes: NZ’s 10 best-selling cars of 2022
*Are we over Yute? (spoiler: no, it’s not)
Beyond all Yutes, the most popular passenger cars were the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Toyota Corolla, MG ZS and Hyundai i30.
Overall, as expected, there are many similarities between the two markets. There are also some curiosities, like Mitsubishi and Tesla’s relative lack of popularity.
Thailand: Isuzu D-Max (178,407 units sold)
It might seem a little left wing to include Thailand in this list, but given that it’s the producer of almost all the most popular utes sold in New Zealand, it’s safe to say that the Asian country is on track for 2022. It may be interesting to see how the
And sure enough, these utes are well into the top 10 in the country. The recently updated Isuzu D-Max outperformed the Toyota Hilux, with the Ford Ranger in fourth and Mitsubishi Triton in ninth. The best-selling passenger cars were the Honda City (a staple of taxi drivers in Southeast Asia), the Toyota Yaris and the Toyota Corolla.
While it’s worth noting that four utes officially entered Thailand’s top 10 bestsellers for 2022, two ute-based SUVs (the Toyota Fortuner and the Isuzu MU-X) also made the list. But in the SUV bodyshell.
Japan: Honda N-Box (202,197 units sold)
Japan may have a reputation for being behind the 8-ball in terms of EV penetration and adoption, but it doesn’t sell many big cars or utes.
Not only did last year’s top 10 not include a ute, it only included one SUV. All other cars in the top 10 are small minicars or hatchbacks. The Honda N-Box minicar was number one for the year, ahead of the Toyota Yaris, Toyota Corolla and Nissan Note.
6 out of 10 bestsellers are kei cars. A genre of microcars unique to Japan, tailored around the country’s dense urban centers and designed to offer customers maximum utility with a minimal footprint. And they are great.
China: BYD Song (459,424 units sold)
New to the New Zealand market in 2022, BYD is expected to be a huge mainstay in its home country of China. Three of his BYDs are in the country’s top 10 for 2022, with his BYD Song, a compact crossover available with either a combustion or EV powertrain, leading the way.
The Chinese automotive market is a major drag on the rest of the automotive industry in this current state of transition to electric vehicles. The company is arguably ahead of its time, with cars such as the MG ZS EV and BYD Atto 3 outperforming their mainstream New Zealand rivals on price.
Chinese consumers also appear to be lagging behind EVs, with three dedicated EVs (Wuling Hongguang MINI EV, Tesla Model Y and BYD Qin PLUS) making the top 10 nationally.
UK: Nissan Qashqai (42,704 units sold)
One interesting observation of the New Zealand market is how the Ford Ranger sells well while the rest of Ford’s rather solid and handsome line-up seems to be struggling. This is not the case at all in the UK, where his three Blue Oval models (Puma, Kuga and Fiesta) have sold to the top 10 nationally.
However, none of them took the top spot for 2022, instead the Nissan Qashqai took the honor. The updated Qashqai has just landed in New Zealand showrooms, but last year it made its way to the UK, where he dominated the market by almost 7,000 more than the second closest car (Vauxhall Corsa).
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the list of the UK’s most popular cars is that the top 10 doesn’t even include a single Toyota, despite the presence of local production by the Japanese giant. No Ute, no Japanese cars other than Qashqai.
Norway: Tesla Model Y (17,356 units sold)
The Tesla Model 3 will forever be a turning point for Tesla. What might be a little surprising, though, is how popular the Model Y has been since its 2021 debut.
The Model Y was a recurring model on all these lists and was Norway’s most popular new car, ahead of the Volkswagen ID.4 and the Skoda Enyak. Surprisingly, BMW’s very expensive electric luxury flagship iX SUV was the fourth best-selling model.
Norway is known as a world leader when it comes to the adoption of electric vehicles. EVs account for a whopping 73.9% of new car sales. And nine of the top 10 best-selling cars were pure EVs.
Germany: Volkswagen Golf (84,282 units sold)
The German charts are a complete Volkswagen festival, with Vedub’s Golf, Tiguan and T-Roc dominating the top three last year. Volkwagen products made up half of the top ten, along with the Passat and Audi A3.
Only one fully electric car (Tesla Model Y) made it into the top 10 in Germany. This is in contrast to Norway, which highlights that not all consumers on the continent are on the same plugin page.
Another interesting observation is that Germany is one of the few regions where traditional hatchback and sedan/wagon body styles make up the majority of the top 10, ahead of the SUV nameplate numbers 6-4.
USA: Ford F series (653,957 units sold)
Aaaaaand we are back in utes. The United States continues its enduring love of full-size pickup trucks. The Ford F-Series (a collective term for the F-150, F-250, etc.) led the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram pickups. Together, the top three supersizes alone account for about 1.5 million in sales.
Two other pickups fill the top ten, with five passenger cars (Toyota RAV4, Toyota Camry, Honda CR-V, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander) filling the gap. The best-selling compact car, the Toyota Corolla, ranked 11th.
They’re an American company, but Tesla wasn’t even in the top 10 in America, let alone the top 20. This is because the brand does not officially report sales numbers in the United States. If so, Models Y and 3 are both estimated to be classified in the top 15.