Some surprise newcomers have elbowed their way into the 10 top-selling vehicles for 2012, bringing a changing profile to the national car park.
When only New Zealand new vehicles are considered, the most popular cars and trucks registered last year paints a quite different picture of the market says Motor Trade Association (MTA).
As with everything else about motoring in New Zealand, our vehicle market is unique, MTA Spokesperson Ian Stronach says.
Measures for motor markets overseas are quite different from those here – and figures need to be viewed in the context of the local environment.
"Even though used import numbers are well short of their level of the mid 2000's, they still play a strong part in the local market and help give it an overall look and feel that is a bit different to the one that most of the public perceive," Stronach says.
Last year, 81,827 used imports sold alongside 100,795 'New Zealand new' vehicles. While most rely on the strength of their New Zealand new sales to underpin their overall performance, some vehicle types rely almost entirely on the basis of used import volumes.
Heading the list of top sellers is the Toyota Corolla, in its numerous nameplates, with its sales of more than 10,000 split almost half and half between New Zealand new and used imports. Another traditional front-runner the Suzuki Swift, is another that enjoys good appeal with sales delivered almost evenly between the two sources. The Mazda3/Axela range benefits from strong used import sales to reach third place.
Amongst those nameplates benefitting particularly from strong sales as used imports, and reflecting the changing nature of domestic Japanese demand, are the Nissan Tiida, Mazda2/Demio and Mazda 6/Ateza ranges along with traditional import stalwart Subaru Legacy.
Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger on the other hand rely solely on their 'New Zealand new' sales to propel them into the top 10.The only model built by a non-Japanese manufacturer was the Ford Ranger, in 10th place.
Though they are only New Zealand new once, what gets sold now will have flow-on effects for years to come, affecting everything from repair cost to national fuel consumption.
Figures provided by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).