Good sales year gets even better

By Liz Dobson

Toyota's Hilux celebrated another strong month as NZ's leading ute.
Toyota's Hilux celebrated another strong month as NZ's leading ute.

Fieldays gave a boost to new vehicle sales last month.

Hamilton's recent Fieldays provided a bumper crop of sales for New Zealand car companies.

Last month, 10,101 new vehicles were sold overall, compared to 7652 in June last year, an increase of 32 per cent. Year to date, overall sales are up by 7837 units (19 per cent).

Motor Trade Association spokesperson Ian Stronach said Fieldays specials worked well.

"The Fieldays season is also now well and truly entrenched in buyers' minds, and although there are some who obviously wait for it, this doesn't appear to be having much effect as sales have lifted for virtually the whole year so far. These recent figures show that the new vehicle market is well on the way to recovery," said Stronach.

"While some traditional commercial models fared really well in June, many models that are not usually associated with farming activities also enjoyed a good month."

It was the strongest June sales month since 2005 with 2959 new commercial vehicle sales (a 29 per cent increase over 2011). Year to date, overall new commercial sales are ahead of 2011 by 983 units (9 per cent).

The main player in the commercial segment continues to be Toyota, which celebrated a great month for its Hilux ute.

The Hilux has been New Zealand's top-selling light truck for 30 years and recorded its second best sales month in the past 25 years for June 2012.

Preliminary Land Transport Agency data showed Toyota sold 676 Hilux in June - nearly 240 units ahead of its nearest competitor, Ford's Ranger.

Toyota also dominated the new passenger car market with its Corolla and has extended its overall sales to 10,118 units year-to-date.

Steve Prangnell, Toyota's general manager of Sales and Operations, said a key reason for Hilux's enduring appeal was the company's model to meet each customer's needs, from two-wheel-drive flatdecks to four-wheel-drive double cabs, and petrol and diesel options.

"Toyota had five vehicles in the top 10 for June, covering light truck, large and medium SUV, small car and van buyers, which is a fantastic vote of support from New Zealand's new car buyers," said Prangnell.

He said the launch of the new Corolla range in October would further boost what was shaping up as a "'fantastic sales year for Toyota".

Meanwhile, in the United States light-vehicle sales, paced by Toyota and Honda, rose 22 per cent in June as consumers continued to shake off economic jitters and replace ageing cars and light trucks.

Automakers - also helped by falling petrol prices and new models- sold 1.29 million cars and light vehicles last month. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate rebounded from May's 13.8 million to hit 14.1 million, well above forecasts.

- NZ Herald

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