Vehicle sales point to economic upswing


Poll:Vehicle sales and new commercial vehicle registrations in Southland increased last year, which industry experts say is a positive economic indicator.

Figures released this week by the Motor Trade Association showed sales of new and used commercial vehicle sales, imported passenger vehicles, and motorcycles were up for the region, while new passenger vehicle sales were down.

The figures, collected by the NZ Transport Agency in Southland, were analysed by the association.

The association's marketing and communications general manager, Ian Stronach, said 2013 was a year of strong sales gains across all segments of the industry, but results for the Southland region were mixed.

"The performance of the industry [nationally] set the pace for overall economic recovery, and this seems to be a pattern being repeated in overseas economies; vehicle sales have picked up ahead of improvements in other areas." Mr Stronach said.

The number of used commercial vehicles sold in the region was up, with 81 vehicles sold in 2013 compared to 36 in 2012.

This was an increase of 125 per cent, well above the national 73 per cent growth.

Sales of new commercial vehicles provided strong growth across the country although, again, the Southland region fell a little behind this trend, he said.

There were 866 vehicles sold in the south - 106 more than in 2012 and an increase of 14 per cent.

There was a national increase of 29 per cent this segment.

There were 236 more used-import passenger vehicles sold in 2013 (1051) than 2012 (815).

This was a a 29 per cent gain, which was above the 26 per cent growth recorded nationally.

Sales of road motorcycles also increased, rising 25 per cent from 109 in 2012 to 136 in 2013.

The Motor Trade Association figures followed Motor Industry Association figures released last week, which showed an increase in new-vehicle registrations.

The industry association's figures showed there were 2024 new-vehicle registrations in Southland in 2013, compared to 1941 in 2012.

The top three types of vehicles registered were light commercial vehicles (771), passenger vehicles (579) and SUVs (517).

Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford said the number of light commercial new registrations in Southland was higher than some of the other regions the country, "reflecting the rural needs for purchasers for heavier duty vehicles".

Statistics New Zealand figures also released yesterday showed total retail spending, which included the motor vehicle-related industries, had increased 0.6 per cent in December 2013.


The Southland Times