New vehicle sales rise 4.5% in September

Sales are heading towards an annual record.

New Zealand new vehicle sales rose 4.5 percent in September to hit a new high for the month, eschewing expectations for a slowdown during the election.

Some 14,507 new vehicles were registered in September, ahead of the 13,884 registered in the same month last year and the highest ever level recorded for a September month, according to the Motor Industry Association. Passenger car and SUV registrations advanced 1.6 percent to 9,855, while commercial vehicle registrations jumped 11 percent to 4,652, with both segments reaching their highest ever level for a September month.

Motor vehicle registrations in the first nine months of this year are 10 percent ahead of the same period last year at 118,256, suggesting vehicle sales may be headed for a fourth straight annual record this year as the economy is buoyed by low interest rates and record migration.

"The traditional slowdown in new vehicle registrations during an election period failed to materialise in September," said MIA chief executive David Crawford.

"As the 2017 year progresses, economic conditions of the last 18 months remain largely unchanged with low interest rates, strong net immigration, strong New Zealand currency and stable domestic economy. The combination of these factors underpins record sales of new vehicles."

Japanese car maker Toyota remained the market leader in September, with a 24 percent market share, followed by Ford on 11 percent and Holden at 10 percent, the MIA said.


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