Golden weather and summer holidays have not interrupted activity in New Zealand’s vehicle sales industry, with large numbers of used imported cars in particular driving off dealerships in January.
In the first month of the year, 24,102 new and used imported vehicles (passenger and commercial) were registered, 17 percent more than the 20,625 vehicles sold for the first time in January 2014.
MTA chief executive Warwick Quinn noted the vehicle sales sector was off to a roaring start in 2015, picking up from last year and led by strong activity in the passenger segment.
“January 2015 has started as 2014 finished: big volumes, broken records and double-digit growth in almost all sectors. Fuel is the cheapest it has been in years, consumer confidence is high, and the Kiwi dollar is buying a lot of Yen,” Quinn said.
“The passenger segment, in particular, has seen a huge start – the biggest January for new cars on record, and the fourth-largest January for used imports.”
The new passenger segment sold 9,010 units, up 9 percent on January 2013’s 8,293 – and making for the biggest January for new car registrations on record. The Toyota Corolla started 2015 the way it finished 2014: as the best seller. New Zealand’s favourite car sold 792 units for the month. Holden’s Commodore followed with 445 units, and Toyota’s Rav4 in third, with 436 units.
The used imported passenger segment sold 11,791 units sold in January, up 25 percent on 2013’s 9,470 – and closing the gap with highest-ever sales volumes of the early 2000s. Suzuki Swift led the way with 672 units, with Mazda taking both second and third place: the Axela sold 559 units, followed by the Demio with 505 units.
The new commercial sector sold 2,657 trucks, vans and buses this January, 19 percent more than the 2,235 sold in the same month in 2014. Last year’s top-selling ute, the Ford Ranger, started 2015 in top spot again, selling 417 units. Toyota’s Hilux sold 324 units, followed by the Nissan Navara, with 254 units.
Used imported commercial sold 644 units this January, a 3 percent increase on the 627 units sold for the same month last year. White box vans were the order of the day: Toyota Hiace led, with 242 units sold, followed by the Nissan Caravan with 59 units and Mazda Bongo with 37 units.
Motorcycle sector: making hay while the sun shines
The total for new and used imported road-registered motorcycles for January 2015 reached 1,095 units, up 15 percent increase on last January’s figure of 955. The new motorcycle segment sold 852 units, up 10 percent on last January’s figure of 773, while the used imported two-wheel segment sold 243, gaining a solid 34 percent on 2014’s 182 units.
Quinn said the outlook for 2015 looks strong, with many pundits picking to be at least as good as 2014.
“However, while we’re off to a promising start, it is too early to predict how 2015 will unfold. The current key drivers of a strong kiwi dollar, good economic conditions and high consumer confidence need to remain in place if the new vehicle registrations are going to continue to grow or maintain current levels,” he said.