New Zealand new vehicle sales, which rose to a record last year, have continued the upbeat trend this year, rising to a new high for a January month.
New vehicle registrations rose 11 per cent to 11,667 in January from the year earlier month, according to the Lower Hutt-based Motor Industry Association.
Sales of passenger vehicles increased 8.6 per cent to 9010 while commercial vehicle sales jumped 19 per cent to 2657, with both categories at records for a January month, the association said.
Demand for vehicles has surged, underpinned by a buoyant local economy, record migration and a higher local currency, which reduces the cost of imports. The used car market is also benefiting as lower prices flow through and the country's ageing fleet comes up for replacement.
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"Businesses and consumers continued to loosen their purse strings in January 2015," said association chief executive David Crawford. "New vehicle sales for 2015 have started where they left off in 2014, with the outlook for 2015 remaining very positive."
Japanese carmaker Toyota was the top selling brand in January, with a 21 per cent market share, followed by Holden with 13 per cent and Ford on 9 per cent. Toyota sold the most passenger vehicles, led by the Toyota Corolla, while Ford sold the most commercial vehicles with its Ford Ranger the top seller.