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August passenger car sales defy economic sluggishness

Media Release 06 September 2011

August passenger car sales defy economic sluggishness

Motor Trade Association (MTA) said Augusts’ new vehicle market continued to defy the sluggish results being experienced in other sectors, with overall sales up nearly 16 percent compared to the same period last year.

Figures just released by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) show that in August, 7,465 new vehicles were sold compared to 6,437 in the same month last year, an increase of 1,028 units (15.9 percent).

Compared to July, overall sales were also up, by 760 units (11.3 percent). For the year to date, overall sales are still ahead of 2010 by 4,290 units (8.2 percent).

New car sales of 5,767 units were up by 888 units (18 percent) compared to July 2011, and by 1,047 units (22 percent) compared to August 2010. For the year to date, new car sales are still ahead of 2010 by 2,489 units (6.3 percent).

New commercial vehicle sales of 1,698 units were down 128 units (7 percent) compared to July 2011, and 19 units (1 percent) compared to August 2010. For the year to date though, new commercial sales are still ahead of 2010 by 1,801 units (14.4 percent).

Commenting, MTA spokesperson Ian Stronach, Marketing and Communications General Manager said “The market continues to defy the overall softness being experienced in other sectors. Passenger car sales remain relatively strong; the market is extremely competitive as shown by the fact that yet another model leads the race for individual model supremacy this month. Manufacturers are obviously unwilling to give up the gains recorded earlier this year, and there is a steady supply of willing buyers across the market.”

The new car sales race proved to be a relatively tight affair, with Toyota emerging on top with sales of 765 units for a 13 percent share of the market. Hyundai jumped back into second spot with sales of 617 units (10 percent share) ahead of Ford who were in third place with sales of 578 units (10 percent share).

In something of a surprise, Mazda3 led the way in terms of individual passenger car models with sales of 272 units. Suzuki Swift held on for second place with 221 units and remains New Zealand’s most popular passenger car for 2011. Hyundai i30 rounded out the top three with sales of 211 units.
In the commercial vehicle market, Toyota HiLux remained on top with sales of 340 units, also securing top spot as the most popular model overall in the market. It was followed by Nissan Navara with 127 units and Ford Ranger on 106 units.

Used imported car volumes remained unchanged during August. The 6,718 units sold was identical to that sold in July but 812 units (11 percent) down over August 2010. For the year to date, used import car sales are behind 2010 by 4,895 units (8 percent).

On road motorcycle sales showed a welcome rise from the low market in July, with sales of 384 units – up 88 units (9 percent). Overall motorcycle sales remain flat however, and for the year to date are behind 2010 by 142 units (3 percent).


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