New vehicle sales hit fresh annual record in 2017 for fourth year running

Latest data for November shows motor vehicle registrations so far this year are 9.5% ahead of the same period last year.

New Zealand new vehicle sales will hit a record in 2017 for the fourth consecutive year, with November data showing sales so far this year are already higher than for the whole of 2016.

Some 14,594 new vehicles were registered in November, ahead of the 13,740 registered in the same month last year and marking a new November record, according to the Motor Industry Association.

The latest data for November shows motor vehicle registrations so far this year are 9.5 percent ahead of the same period last year at 148,335 and are already ahead of the total for the 2016 calendar year of 146,753. Vehicle sales have been on a tear over recent years as the economy is buoyed by low interest rates and record migration and as consumers benefit from a higher local currency and competition among car dealerships.

"With one month to go the question on everyone's lips is whether the total for the year will break through the 160,000 mark for the first time," said MIA chief executive David Crawford. "The 150,000 total mark for a calendar year is no longer a question."

In November, registrations of new passenger vehicles increased 5.9 percent to 10,289 compared with the year earlier month, while registrations of commercial vehicles jumped 7.2 percent to 4,305.

Japanese car maker Toyota remained the market leader in November, with a 22 percent market share, followed by Ford on 11 percent and Holden at 10 percent, the MIA said.