NZ new vehicle sales post modest gains in July, heading for annual record

Registrations of new vehicles edged up 0.5% to 11,631 in July from the year earlier month.

New Zealand new vehicle sales rose at a modest pace in July following a record month in June, keeping the industry on track to hit their highest ever level this year.

Registrations of new vehicles edged up 0.5 percent to 11,631 in July from the year earlier month, according to the Motor Industry Association. Passenger car and SUV registrations slipped 1 percent to 7,605, while commercial vehicle registrations rose 4.3 percent to 4,026.

Motor vehicle registrations in the first seven months of this year are 13 percent ahead of the same period last year at 90,737. That suggests 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 and tourism.

"Following the all-time record month of June, the July results were a little more modest but still consistent with the long-term trend of strong monthly sales," said MIA chief executive David Crawford. "Continued strong net immigration, robust New Zealand dollar and a sturdy local economy remain the key drivers to healthy new vehicle registrations."

Japanese car maker Toyota remained the market leader in July, with a 16 percent market share, followed by Ford on 10 percent and Mazda at 9 percent, the MIA said.