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New vehicle sales flatten out in June

New vehicle sales flatten out in June

Although June was the second highest month of the year so far for both new cars and new commercial vehicles, there are signs that the new vehicle market has reached a plateau after five years of unbroken growth. June is traditionally a strong selling month, and while commercial vehicle sales of 2599 were virtually level-pegging with the same month in both 2005 and 2004, new car sales of 6392 were considerably down on the equivalent month in the previous two years. June 2005 (7713 new cars) was in fact the biggest month for new car sales in the last 17 years.

New car sales for the half year are 0.4% down on the equivalent period for 2005, while year to date new commercial sales are 5.7% down. This is the first time in five years that the new vehicle market has not been running ahead of the previous year.

“The new vehicle market is adjusting to some of the pressures that have been building up since late 2005,” said Perry Kerr, CEO of the Motor Industry Association. “The price of fuel, together with the forecast of softer economic growth, is having an effect on purchasing patterns, but we see it as a market adjustment rather than a doom and gloom situation. There’s still plenty of confidence out there, and the threat of the falling New Zealand dollar affecting prices will remain an incentive.”

Toyota took a huge step ahead of traditional rival Ford in June to consolidate their position at the head of the market, while Commodore and Falcon finished an uncustomary third and fourth in the individual model stakes for the month, behind Corolla and Mondeo.

Ends

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