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Used import arrivals highest in five years


Arrivals of used imported cars reached their highest level in nearly five years in April, spurred on by steadily improving availability of product and the continued strength of the New Zealand dollar.

The performance of the used imported vehicle sector backed up the strong results achieved in the new car and commercial vehicle market in April, says Motor Trade Association (MTA).

New commercial vehicle registrations had the biggest April since 1982, with 2,235 units sold. The number of new commercial vehicles sold was 38 percent higher than April 2012. New passenger car sales, of 5,908 vehicles, were also up 8.8 percent on April 2012.

In April, 10,539 used cars entered New Zealand – the highest number since January 2008. The surge in arrivals flowed through to actual sales with 7,418 used cars sold during the month, representing a 26 percent increase over the same month last year. For the year to date, used imported car arrivals are 51 percent ahead, while actual sales are ahead by 4,637 units (19 percent).

“The additional stock will replenish car yards, bringing more choice to consumers. There are a lot of vehicles looking for a buyer,” MTA spokesman Ian Stronach says. Leading the way in terms of individual used models was the Suzuki Swift (351 units) followed by the Mazda Axela (327 units) and the Mazda Demio (304 units).

Used imported commercials also enjoyed a strong month in April. The 401 vehicles landed was 145 units (57 percent) ahead of April 2012. Again, the strength in arrivals was matched in terms of sales, with 433 units sold for the month, up 88 percent compared to last April. For the year to date, used imported commercial arrivals are up a healthy 73 percent with sales ahead by 609 units (56 percent). The standout vehicle type in the used commercial market again proved to be the workhorse of the trades, the petrol powered van.

“The strong showing in April is not that surprising given the changes in the strength of our currency versus the Yen – up 30 percent since December. Factor in a larger number of vehicles that meet our emissions requirements, and you have an attractive mix for buyers,” Stronach says.

On road motorcycles sales rounded out a positive market, with sales up 23 percent over April 2012. Year to date, on road motorcycle sales are up 15 percent, driven largely by the growth (32 percent) in the scooter, or sub 60cc class. Suzuki led the market with sales of 94 units (19 percent market share) followed by Honda on 60 units (12 percent share) and Yamaha with 38 sales (8 percent).

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