December 3rd 2008
New vehicle market feels the economic winds
New Zealand’s new vehicle market really started to feel the economic winds of change in November, with the sharpest
reversal in fortunes since the used import epidemic of the early 1990s. New car sales, at 4898 for November, were 34.5%
behind October levels, and 27.1% below November 2007. 1639 new commercial vehicles were delivered, a drop of 12.0% on
October, and 26.7% behind the same month last year. With only December to go, it would seem that the full year market is
going to settle at about the level experienced in 2004.
“The six year boom in new vehicle sales is over for the time being,” said Perry Kerr, CEO of the Motor Industry
Association, “but it’s relevant to note that although new car registrations for November were 27% below the same month
last year, registrations of used import cars were 40% down and used import commercial vehicle sales are now at a
“The New Zealand vehicle market is finding a new level in response to challenging economic conditions”, Mr. Kerr said,
“but it is clear that as we pull out of this downturn the industry will be in leaner shape to deal with the
Toyota continued to stretch its lead as New Zealand’s dominant vehicle distributor in volume terms, with Corolla
remaining well ahead as the country’s most popular car model.