Confidence driving new high in vehicle sales

Car industry "buoyant" as buyers spend up

SARAH JARVIS
Last updated 05:00 09/07/2014
car sales
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ
POPULAR CHOICE: South Canterbury Toyota branch manager Andy Wilson says 15 Hilux vehicles were sold in Timaru last month, reflecting a rising overall trend in new and used vehicle sales. 

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New and used car sales in New Zealand have soared to a 25-year high, with Timaru car dealers reporting increased sales and a buoyant market.

Tony Everett, of the Motor Trade Association (MTA), said sales of new passenger cars reached the highest volume in 25 years for both the month of June and the first half of the year.

"It's been the biggest new commercial month since our records began in 1981, as well as the biggest first half," he said.

Nationally, there were 8517 passenger vehicles sold during June, up 975 units (13 per cent) on June 2013.

In Timaru, new passenger vehicle registrations jumped from 118 in June 2013 to 129 in June 2014, according to figures supplied by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

MTA statistics showed a total of 65 new cars sold in Timaru last month.

Timaru Motors chief executive Wayne Pateman agreed the new car industry was "buoyant".

"It's the best I've seen it in a long time," he said.

Due to the improved economy, Pateman has appointed another salesperson at Timaru Motors.

"It's a good sign. That's what happens when there's growth," he said.

Toyota had the three top-selling passenger vehicles in New Zealand in June, with 851 Hilux models sold.

South Canterbury Toyota branch manager Andy Wilson said there had been a strong growth in the past 12 months.

"It's like it was in the 90s," Wilson said.

Wilson said out of the 22 Toyota vehicles sold locally, 15 were Hilux models.

"Those buying are predominantly in the farming community but it's across the board."

Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford said "the strong New Zealand dollar, competitive pricing and New Zealanders' confidence that the economy is heading in the right direction have all combined to help drive sales of new vehicles skywards as records continue to fall".

Sales of new commercials, new and used imported passenger vehicles and motorcycles were also strong.

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- The Timaru Herald

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