European cars sold especially well in February, amid strong sales across the rest of New Zealand’s vehicle market.
The vehicle market, including all New Zealand new and first time registered used imported passenger and commercial vehicles was up strongly in February compared to the corresponding period last year. Sales of 15,229 units were up 1,757 units (13 percent) compared to February 2012. Also, more new vehicles in total (passenger and commercial) sold than used ones, with 7,947 new vs 7,282 used. This reversal of position first occurred in 2012, and appears to be continuing.
European passenger cars pushed ahead during the month with the four leading European brands, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mercedes, all finishing inside the top 15 new passenger car brands. Aided by an impressive performance by the new Volkswagen Golf, which recorded 144 sales on its own, these four brands between them recorded 742 sales and took a 12.8 percent share of the market. This compared to 551 units, and a 9.8 percent share, in February 2012.
MTA spokesman Ian Stronach said “While the strong New Zealand dollar has helped all distributors, the flow-on effect seems most apparent amongst the European brands. While all new cars are good value for money right now, those wanting a new European vehicle are finding it easier to get one.”
Total new vehicle sales of 7,947 units were 762 units (10.6 percent) ahead of 2012. Toyota led the new vehicle market with 1,465 sales (926 passenger cars and 539 commercials) for an 18.4 percent market share.
New passenger vehicle sales of 5,799 were up 164 units (3 percent) compared to 2012. New commercial sales of 2,148 units were up strongly again, rising 596 units (38 percent) compared to February 2012.
On road motorcycle sales showed a welcome lift in sales after the sluggish performance of recent months. Total sales of 649 units were the best for 20 months – and up 93 units (17 percent) compared to the same period last year. The increase was led by scooter (under 60cc) sales, which at 251 units was the best in 22 months, and up 77 units (44 percent) compared to February 2012. Used imported motorcycles followed the same pattern up 32 units (25 percent) compared to last February.
Figures provided by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).