July brought exceptional car buying activity across the board.
It was the month that the Government's signalling for "new energy vehicle" (NEV) preferences and incentives first kicked in - and there was an immediate impact.
There were 760 new pure electric vehicles, 431 new PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) and 1,163 new hybrid vehicles sold in the month, a total of 2,354 and a share of 23.6%. That is some impact. In June it was just a 14.6% share. In May it was a 16% share.
The number of NEVs purchased via the used imports channel is unknown at this time but is likely to be quite low.
But sales of used imports were strong overall. In fact, more were sold in July than in any month since August 2018, marking a recovery for this segment that has been a long time coming.
Sales of new passenger cars may have been bolstered by NEVs, and overall they were very strong for a July. It has been 37 years - back to 1984 and the sudden release from the Muldoon grip - since a July has seen passenger car sales this high.
Three quarters (74.4%) of these sales were SUVs, with the small and medium sized categories particularly dominant.
But none of this new-found buying of electric/hybrid cars seems to have been at the expense of double-cab utes. Across all vehicle types, the top three models for the month of July were the Ford Ranger (1,418 units), followed by the Toyota Hilux (809 units) with the Mitsubishi ASX in third place (737 units, although 349 of these were for rental fleets).
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As in June, 85% of the commercial sales were these double-cab utes or pickup trucks. Many (most?) would have been diesels.
Another big mover in July was sales to rental fleets. More than 750 cars went that way or almost 8% of all sales.
All this July activity may herald a new surge in car buying because typically in August, September, and October car sales grow from the July level.