The motor vehicle sales industry continues to set the pace for economic recovery, with both the new and used import sectors reporting outstanding sales during May, says Motor Trade Association (MTA).
The strong tone recorded in the new vehicle market was repeated in both the used imported passenger car and commercial vehicle sectors, with on road motorcycles also enjoying a healthy May.
Sales of 6,347 new passenger cars in May 2013 were the best for May since 1990. Commercial vehicle sales were also very strong, with sales of 2,577 units – the highest May sales since 1982. Year to date, it is the strongest start to a year for new vehicles since 1984.
On a year to date basis, passenger car sales of 32,239 units are 1,236 units (4 percent) ahead of this time last year, while commercial vehicle sales of 11,573 units are 2,828 units (32 percent ahead). At current rates, sales of new vehicles are on target to top the 100,000 mark again this year.
In a flourishing market, used passenger car importers took full advantage of what was a strong Kiwi-Yen cross rate, landing 10,967 units during May, the highest level since July 2007. For the year to date, used import passenger arrivals are ahead by 3,274 units (49 percent).
Actual sales were up sharply as well. The 8,460 units sold was up 1,667 units (25 percent) compared to May 2012. For the year to date, used import passenger car sales are ahead by 6,304 units (20 percent). At this rate, used imported car sales could exceed 90,000 units for the year.
MTA spokesperson Ian Stronach says “While sales of used imported vehicles were strong, they weren’t sufficient to account for all the vehicles that have been brought in over the last month or two. Used importers have acted to take advantage of good buying conditions, but there is good stock availability that will need to be cleared in the coming months. Current conditions represent a good buying opportunity for anyone looking to replace their vehicle.”
Toyota proved to be the top used imported car brand with 2,158 units, followed by Nissan with 1,443 units and Mazda with 1,289. In terms of individual models, the Suzuki Swift (369 units) was again the most popular used import model, followed by the Nissan Tiida (361 units) just ahead of the Mazda Demio (359 units).
The good results also flowed through to on road motorcycles. While the colder months have traditionally not seen strong sales in this sector, May went against this trend with sales of 589 units being ahead of May 2012 by 129 units (29 percent). Honda enjoyed an outstanding month with sales of 148 units giving it a 25 percent share of the market. Suzuki was in second spot with sales of 84 units (14 percent) ahead of Harley Davidson with 42 units (7 percent).
For the year to date, on road motorcycle sales are up 18 percent, with growth continuing to come from the over 60cc class, which is up 26 percent.