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NZ sales: Commercials lead the way in January
New-vehicle sales in New Zealand kick off strongly as optimism prevails for 2013
5 Feb 2013
NEW ZEALAND has recorded one of its best January new-vehicle sales results on record, led by the strongest performance for the month by commercial vehicles.
The market reached 9293 units, an increase of seven per cent over the 8681 tally in January last year.
Commercial deliveries were the best for the month of January since 1982 and now appear to be back on track after lifting 61.4 per cent over last year’s flood-impacted level to 1908.
Motor Industry Association CEO Perry Kerr said passenger car registrations were down 114 units to 7499, but that remains among the best totals in 38 years.
“This is only the fourth time since 1975 the January monthly total has exceeded 7000 units,” said Mr Kerr. “The previous times were 1982, 2008 and 2012.”
Toyota led the market with 1936 sales, down 2.1 per cent, for a 20.83 per cent share.
“We exceeded our target by six cars, so I was quite happy,” said Toyota NZ general manager sales and operations Steve Prangnell.
From top: Holden Cruze Suzuki Swift Toyota HiLux Holden Commodore.
Mr Prangnell said he expected market growth of around five per cent this year, with Toyota lifting sales by 2000 “on the back of a full year of Corolla, and new RAV with diesel auto and 2WD auto”.
Holden had a strong start to the year with 1092 sales, up 28.9 per cent, but Holden NZ managing director Jeff Murray said he expects two per cent growth for the calendar year, this time led by the private market after last year’s growth from the business sector.
Ford dropped 4.5 per cent to 804 and Hyundai also dropped, by 13.7 per cent to 725. However, Hyundai NZ general manager Andy Sinclair was not too upset because it was still the brand’s second-best month on record, after last January.
Mazda sales rose 10.4 per cent to 614, while Nissan numbers lifted 20.8 per cent to 574 with a “significant retail push”.
Nissan NZ managing director John Manley predicted a rise of around six per cent in the market this year.
Suzuki sales were down 22.7 per cent to 445, but that was its second-best January result after last year, while Volkswagen lifted 19.6 per cent to 403 and Mitsubishi sales rose 8.8 per cent to 385.
Having been hard hit a year ago by supply issues caused by the Thailand floods, Honda was up 114.9 per cent to 331 sales.
Honda NZ head of marketing Graeme Meyer said: “We now have no supply issues. Jazz, Euro Civic and CRV are our core products and, as we consolidate those models through the year, we expect to see more growth to claw back numbers lost in the last two years.”
Mr Meyer estimates 20 per cent growth for Honda this year and five per cent for the market overall.
New Zealand’s top models in January were the Toyota Corolla (658), Holden Cruze (367), Suzuki Swift (254), Toyota HiLux (252) and Holden Commodore (246).
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