Car sales at 30-year high
Cantabrians have spent up large on luxury cars and utes in a record year for vehicle sales around the country.
Figures released yesterday by the Motor Industry Association (MIA) revealed the car industry's good fortune in 2013.
More than 113,000 new vehicles were registered last year nationwide, the highest number in nearly 30 years, and 62 per cent higher than in 2009 when the global financial crisis started to bite.
A breakdown by region was not available, but local retailers confirmed 2013 had been a strong year for Canterbury.
The earthquake rebuild has fuelled sales of commercial vehicles and cars.
High-end Christchurch car retailer Archibalds boasted a 20 per cent jump in sales for 2013.
Manager Eric Swinbourne said the Audi had been the most popular marque in the shop, with sales soaring 37 per cent last year.
Land Rovers proved popular as well, he said. Christchurch's bumpy roads had driven the SUV market up.
"We're confident 2014 will be another good year with the rebuild well on its way."
Sales of commercial vehicles are booming too.
MIA statistics showed that December was a fourth consecutive record-breaking month of new commercial vehicle registrations in 2013 nationwide.
Avon City Ford sales manager Stephen Overton said sales had definitely been on the up in 2013, even though the market remained competitive.
"We've sold over 1000 new vehicles last year."
Overton said he had been selling more commercial vehicles with the rebuild on its way.
The Ford Ranger was especially popular.
Miles Toyota general sales manager Matthew Downing said the firm had sold 1096 new Toyotas in Christchurch and the South Island last year.
Commercial sales had increased, with the Hilux a popular sell.
"It's been a strong year with consistent sales activity and a growing trend in commercial sales."
For Toyota New Zealand 2013 was a "record year", with new car sales up 8.9 per cent on 2012 nationwide.
MIA chief executive David Crawford said 2013 would probably be remembered as "the year in which the New Zealand economy finally left the starting line on the path to economic recovery from a number of setbacks".
Car sales had dwindled in the past five years, following the impact of the 2008 global financial crisis and supply restrictions after the 2011 floods in Thailand and tsunami in Japan.
2013 TOP CARS
TOP COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
1. Toyota Hilux
2. Ford Ranger
TOP LUXURY BRAND
MOST POPULAR TYPE IN 2013