Turners says used car demand strong despite December downturn
By Jenny Ruth
Jan. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Turners Automotive Group says a lack of used car imports from Japan has meant total used car sales in December were down 6 percent on the same month of 2017.
Registrations of used cars imported from overseas fell a much greater 21.6 percent in the latest month, taking the annual fall in imports to almost 11 percent.
Nevertheless, 1.13 million used cars were sold in 2018, down only 0.76 percent on the previous year.
“Demand for second-hand vehicles is still strong. The fact that 2018 has remained flat on 2017, despite the massive decline in import sales, bodes very well for people looking to buy and sell cars domestically within New Zealand," says Greg Hedgepeth who heads the group's second-hand cars and related financial services.
The data shows public-to-dealer, dealer-to-dealer and dealer-to-public sales were all positive in calendar 2018, although public-to-public sales fell marginally.
“The continuing demand from public buyers is shown in the figures by a solid increase of 2 percent in dealer-to-public transactions – and the corresponding increase of public-to-dealer (transactions) due to trade-ins in 2018 versus 2017,” Hedgepeth says.
“With import supply hopefully continuing to stabilise, and strong increases in consumer confidence reported by ANZ-Roy Morgan, the start of 2019 is looking like it will be positive for the industry,” he says.
The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan survey showed its index at 121.9 points in December, up 3.3 points from November. A reading above 100 means consumers on average are positive about the economic outlook.
Figures released by the Motor Industry Association earlier this week showed new vehicle registrations of 161,519 hit a record in 2018 for the fifth consecutive year, although the association expects the market to soften in 2019.