Blenheim car sales rocket up

Marlborough car dealers' observations over soaring vehicle sales have been backed up my strong figures from the Motor Trade Association.

Earlier this month, the Express reported that Marlborough car dealers had experienced their best year of sales for new and used cars since the 2008 financial crisis.

Motor Trade Association marketing and communications general manager Ian Stronach said Marlborough experienced some of the strongest vehicle sales growth in the country for 2013, compared with the previous year.

"Vehicle sales in and around Blenheim outstripped the rest of the country in 2013 across all market sectors - with some parts of the region's market increasing at twice the rate of the country as a whole," Mr Stronach said.

The market for commercial vehicles showed significant growth, with a 39 per cent increase in registrations for new trucks, utes and vans, compared with the national increase of 29 per cent, the highest national increase on record.

Blenheim was also bucking the national trend for sales of new cars. "It is interesting also to note Blenheim continued to sell more new cars than used imports, bucking the national trend," Mr Stronach said.

Registrations for new passenger cars in 2013 saw an increase of 16 per cent on 2012, slightly more than double the nation's 7 per cent.

While the entire market had been improving in recent years, 2013 proved to be exceptional nationwide, Mr Stronach said.

Sales for used import passenger vehicles in 2013 were 73 per cent up on 2012, the strongest since 2008.

New commercial vehicle sales for 2013 were the best on record and 29 per cent up on 2012.

Last year was also the best for new passenger vehicle sales since 1984. Sales for used import passenger vehicles in 2013 were the strongest since 2007, 26 per cent up on 2012.

Mr Stronach said that the industry's performance set the pace for overall economic recovery, which appeared to be a pattern being repeated in overseas economies.

"Vehicle sales have picked up ahead of improvements in other areas," he said.

After such a good year, it was hard to see the market maintaining the same level of growth in 2014, he said.

But with predictions of solid growth in the economy as a whole, there's nothing to suggest it won't still be a good year for the industry."


The Toyota Hilux was the most popular new commercial vehicle, ahead of the Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara.

The Mazda Demio was the most popular used passenger vehicle model, heading off the Nissan Tiida and Suzuki Swift.

The Toyota Corolla was the most popular passenger vehicle model and New Zealand's best-selling model overall, ahead of the Suzuki Swift and the Holden Commodore. -

The Marlborough Express