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NZ new vehicle sales hit record in February on demand for commercial models

Thursday 3rd March 2016

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New Zealand new vehicle sales rose to a record for a second consecutive month in February, driven by demand for commercial models.

Registrations increased 4.4 percent to 10,313 in February, compared with the year-earlier month, eclipsing February 1984 as the highest level ever recorded for the month, according to the Lower Hutt-based Motor Industry Association. Commercial vehicle registrations rose 11 percent to 3,121, the highest for a February month, while passenger vehicle registrations gained 1.9 percent to 7,192.

New Zealand vehicle sales have hit annual records for the past two years, in the face of record migration and tourism. The first two months of this year have hit new records even though the MIA had predicted sales would slow this year in line with weaker growth in the domestic economy.

"The anticipated slowdown in new vehicle registrations has yet to materialise as businesses and consumers continued to purchase new vehicles at unprecedented rates in February," said MIA chief executive David Crawford. "Strong net immigration, a healthy tourism sector and a competitive market are helping to drive new vehicle sales which is already year to date 3 percent (662 units) ahead of this time last year."

Japanese car maker Toyota was the top selling brand in February, with 15 percent market share, followed by Ford with 12 percent, and Holden on 9 percent.

The three top-selling models for February were all light commercial vehicles, led by the Ford Ranger with a 6 percent market share, followed by the Toyota Hilux with a 4 percent share and the Mitsubishi Triton with a 3 percent share.

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