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Vehicle sales off to a flier in January

2014 has started very strongly in terms of vehicle sales, with both the New Zealand new and used imported sectors performing ahead of January 2013. The passenger and commercial vehicle, as well as on-road motorcycle segments, all recorded strong gains.

MTA spokesperson Ian Stronach says “Overall, New Zealand new and used imported commercial vehicle sales of 20,625 units were the strongest for any month since July 2007. January is often a good month for sales, but the performance of the market exceeded most expectations. February normally sees a bit of scaling back, but 2014’s off to a flier for sure.”

Total New Zealand new vehicle sales of 10,528 units made it the strongest January on record and more than 13 percent ahead of the same month last year.

Used imported vehicles sales of 10,097 units were the best in six months, and 1,644 units (19 percent) ahead of January 2013.

Used imported passenger vehicle sales of 9,470 were 2,073 units (28 percent) ahead of January 2013, while used imported commercial sales of 627 units were 198 units (46 percent) ahead of the same month last year.

There was little change to the pattern of recent months in terms of best selling used import passenger car; Nissan Tiida, with sales of 510 units led the way, followed by Suzuki Swift on 449 units and Mazda Axela on 441 units.
New passenger vehicle sales of 8,293 units were 908 units (12 percent) ahead of January 2013, while new commercial sales of 2,235 units were 327 units (17 percent) ahead of the same month last year.

In terms of individual models, with sales of 722 units, Toyota Corolla was well clear of its nearest rivals Ford Focus on 301 units and Suzuki Swift on 261 units.

The race for the best selling New Zealand new commercial vehicle seems set to remain tight again this year; Ford ranger topped the market with sales of 314 units, followed by Nissan Navara on 291 units and Toyota Hilux on 231 units.

Buyers seemed to follow the better weather in January with on-road motorcycle sales of 773 units. This was 178 units (30 percent) ahead of January 2013 and the best month since March 2009. Suzuki led with overall sales of 149 units well ahead of Honda on 93 units and Triumph on 62 units.

“With strong economic forecasts coming from many quarters, and both business and consumer confidence being reported as improving almost across the board, there’s no doubt vehicle buyers now have the confidence to commit to replacing vehicles, which has been missing in previous months. Industry may well have to review its forecasts.” says Stronach.


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