NZ vehicle sales reach new record for March

New Zealand new vehicle sales jumped to their highest level for a March month, continuing the run of record monthly sales this year.

Registrations of new vehicles rose 15 percent to 13,869 in March from the year-earlier month, the highest level ever recorded for the month, according to the Motor Industry Association. In the first quarter, registrations for new vehicles were up 15 percent to 39,477 compared with the same period last year.

The latest registration data shows the market continues to shine, with new records set for every month this year following three straight years of record sales as the economy is buoyed by low interest rates and record migration and tourism.

"Growth in the new vehicle sector continues to surpass expectations," said Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford.

Commercial vehicle registrations in March rose 18 percent to 4,639, the highest level for any month since the MIA began collecting the data in 1981. Passenger vehicle registrations gained 13 percent to 9,230.

Japanese car maker Toyota was the overall market leader for the month, with a 17 percent market share, followed by Ford with 11 percent and Holden with 8 percent, the MIA said.

The Ford Ranger was the bestselling vehicle model for the month, with 810 registrations, followed by the Toyota Hilux with 740 and the Toyota Corolla on 396, the MIA said.