New vehicles sales hit record for Nov due to higher migration, low interest rates

RAW DATA: New vehicle registrations by rank and brand (Excel spreadsheet)

High migration and low cost of debt is fuelling record sales of new vehicles which have already passed the amount sold for all of 2015 and looks likely to hit 140,000 for the full year.

November was another record month of registrations, up 18.2 percent on the same month the previous year and delivering a steady 9.5 percent growth for the year to date while new registrations of 13,750 for the month were also the strongest November month on record. This year there have been 135,544 new vehicles registered, compared to 134,234 for all of 2015.

Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford said sports utility vehicles (SUVs) had been steadily climbing in popularity in the light vehicle market and registrations of them will overtake those of passenger vehicles for the first time over the year.

He said families were taking advantage of cheaper petrol prices and low interest costs to buy SUVs which provided more space than the family sedan.

Toyota remained the overall market leader for the November month with 17 percent market share followed by Holden and Ford on 11 percent. Year to date Toyota, Ford, Holden, Mazda and Mitsubishi respectively remain the top five overall leaders.

New commercial vehicle registrations hit just over 4,000 in November, up 513 on the same month in 2015 with the Ford Ranger remaining the top-selling model followed by Toyota Hilux and Holden Colorado.

The Toyota Corolla was the top-selling passenger model with Toyota remaining the market leader in this category with 16 percent. New passenger car registrations were up 1607 units or 20 percent in November to 9,722.

Crawford said the economic conditions driving higher sales is expected to continue next year given the high level of business confidence. While prices haven't come down that much this year, he said manufacturers were providing more features for the same cost.

Economic analysis the association had done to the end of the October year 2016 showed new car prices had dropped 22 percent since 1994 while the consumer price index had risen 55 percent over that time.

November data on electric vehicle and hybrids won't be available until next week but Crawford said as of last month they accounted for 2,000 vehicles in the 2.7 million light vehicle fleet nationwide.

The association completed a survey mid-year of manufacturers' plans to import and distribute new models of electric vehicles and plugin hybrid electric vehicles between June 2016 and the end of 2020. Crawford said he expects to see the introduction of at least 44 new EV and PHEV models into the New Zealand market over that time which would boost sales.

(BusinessDesk)

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