Big rise in Canterbury new-car sales

Cantabrians bought nearly 11,000 new cars last year, a one-third increase on 2011.

New fleet cars for earthquake authorities, including vehicles for infrastructure contractors, helped boost sales, together with a rise in sales to car rental firms trying to meet rising demand from tourists.

More than 10,700 new cars were sold in the region in 2012 compared with a little over 8000 the year before.

Motor Trade Association spokesman Ian Stronach said this was a 33 per cent increase in new-car sales compared with a national increase of 20 per cent.

Nationally, registrations of new passenger vehicles reached their highest level in five years. Total sales of nearly 77,000 vehicles was a 20 per cent rise, or nearly 13,000 more vehicles than in 2011.

New vehicle registrations were also up for commercial vehicles in Canterbury and nationally.

Stronach said strong sales of passenger and commercial vehicles last month capped off a resurgent year for the new-vehicle industry.

The national total topped 100,000 units for only the third time since 1989, returning to pre-global financial crisis levels.

Total sales of 100,795 new cars and commercial vehicles were 16,155 units, or 19 per cent, ahead of the 2011 total.

Nationally, sales were again dominated by Toyota.

The launch of its new Corolla helped propel Toyota to total sales of 21,620 units and a 21 per cent share of the market.

Ford was in second spot with sales of 11,132 units for an 11 per cent share, with third place going to Holden, which achieved sales of 9446 units and a 9 per cent share of the overall market.

''The year ended up being considerably stronger than anyone had predicted. Forecast growth predictions were easily exceeded, with most segments and the majority of distributors all sharing in the strengthening market,'' Stronach said.

While the 2012 sales were a positive result for the industry, the market was only returning to where it was before the global financial crisis, he said.

''The overall rate of new-vehicle sales is still well behind that of Australia and the US, which sell new vehicles at double the rate we do. That in turn provides them with a newer fleet that's cleaner, more efficient and safer than ours,'' he said.

The Press