The vehicle market, including all New Zealand new and first time registered used imported vehicles enjoyed a strong start to 2013. With total sales of 17,119 units, the market was up by 1,818 units (12 percent) compared to January 2012.
The stand-out sector though was used imported vehicles, aided by the strength of the New Zealand dollar and growing availability of ‘qualifying’ stock. While a comparatively small market, used imported commercial vehicles showed an even greater improvement than their New Zealand new counterparts. The 429 sales recorded in January was up 184 units (75 percent) compared to a year ago, and was the best single month for sales since December 2009.
Used imported passenger cars of 7,397 were up 1,022 units (16 percent) compared to 2012, and proved to be their best January month in over a year, with Mazda’s Demio the most popular individual model. Used imported passenger car sales were just ahead of their New Zealand new counterparts for the month (12 units).
MTA spokesman Ian Stronach says "This contest – between brand new and New Zealand new – is shaping up as an intriguing one in the months ahead. It will be interesting to observe the progress of the used imported market, in light of the recent improvement in the cross-rate of the Kiwi dollar against the Yen."
"The sales count exceeded ‘arrival’ numbers by a considerable margin in January and more stock will need to arrive if sales volumes are to be maintained at current levels."
Total new vehicles sales of 9,293 were 612 units (7 percent) ahead of 2012. Toyota led the new vehicle market with 1,936 sales (1,528 passenger cars and 408 commercials) for a 21 percent market share.
New passenger vehicle sales of 7,385 were down 114 units (2 percent) compared to 2012. New commercial sales were strong (up 61 percent), bouncing back from an artificially low January 2012 that was heavily affected by the aftermath of the tsunamis that struck Asia.
On road motorcycle sales remained subdued in January. Total sales of 717 units was down by 31 units (4 percent) compared to 2012. While all segments were down, used imported sales were particularly soft, down 9 percent. Suzuki led the way in new sales with 110 units, followed by Honda with 72 sales and Harley Davidson who recorded 56 sales.
Figures provided by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).