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Used car sales three-year low

Used car imports at Ports of Auckland

April was the worst month since February 2015 for registrations of used imported cars in New Zealand.

There were 10,893 units sold last month to bring the year-to-date total to 48,501. This was down by seven per cent compared to the same time last year. There were 12,507 registrations in last April to take 2017’s total to 52,174.

Sales across many of the country’s regions dropped in April when compared to the same month of last year. These were led by Whangarei with a 30.9 per cent decrease to 226 units. New Plymouth was down by 24.2 per cent to 150 while Auckland dropped by 16.1 per cent to 5,148.

On the flipside, registrations in Thames climbed by 30.1 per cent to 108 last month. They rose by 10.8 per cent in Wanganui to 72 and nine per cent in Gisborne to 73 units.

The top five marques in April for registrations of used imported passenger vehicles were Toyota on 2,644, Nissan with 1,970, Mazda on 1,760, Honda with 1,053 and Subaru on 623.

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Commercials drop in sales

Toyota retained the top spot in the used commercial vehicle sector

There were 828 used imported commercial vehicles sold last month, an 8.8 per cent decrease compared to April 2017, when 908 vehicles were registered.

Year to date the total has dropped by 7.5 per cent or 308 registrations, compared to the first four months of 2017.

 Toyota retained the top spot in the used commercial vehicle sector with a market share of 47 per cent with 389 registrations. This was followed by Nissan and Isuzu, who had a market share of 21.1 per cent – 174 registrations, and 6.5 per cent and 54 registrations respectively.

Most main regions recorded losses during April compared with the same month last year. Auckland led the way with a 13.5 per cent or 59 units decrease, followed by Christchurch and Wellington who showed falls of 12.8 per cent and 9.5 per cent.

Dunedin was one of the exceptions, with sales increasing by 20.7 per cent compared to April 2017. 

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New vehicle registrations steady

David Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Industry Association says “April new vehicle registrations of 10,423 vehicles were down 2 per cent (212 units) in April 2017 reflecting a stable market. Year to date the market is marginally up by 1.4 per cent (704 units) compared to the first four months of 2017.”

David Crawford, chief executive officer of the MIA

Registrations of 6,848 passenger and SUV vehicles for the month of April were down 2.1 per cent (148 units) on April 2017 and registrations of 3,575 commercial vehicles was marginally down by 1.8 per cent (64 units) on April 2017.”

Toyota remains the overall market leader with 13 percent market share (1,310 units), followed by Ford with 11 per cent (1,115 units) and Mazda with 9 per cent market share (893 units).

Mazda was the market leader for passenger and SUV registrations with 11 per cent market share (760 units) followed by Toyota with 10 per cent (712 units) and Holden with 8 per cent market share (540 units).

In the commercial sector, Ford regained the market lead with 22 per cent market share (803 units) followed by Toyota with 17 per cent (598 units) and Holden with 9 per cent market share (312 units).

Four of the top five selling models for the month of April were light commercial vehicles with the Mazda CX-5 (SUV) splitting the list in the third spot. The Ford Ranger was back at the top of the bestselling vehicle model table with 745 units. This was followed by the Toyota Hilux with 457 units and the Mazda CX-5 with 317 units.

The Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4×4 segment came in as the top segment for the month of April with 15 per cent market share. This was closely followed by the SUV Medium segment also with 15 per cent of the market, and the SUV compact with 14 per cent market share. The top five segments were all light commercial vehicles and SUV’s, reflecting the ongoing popularity of these vehicles.

“The market for new vehicles remains at historically high levels with registrations underpinned by a range of economic factors. Net immigration, while reducing is still elevated based on long-term trends, new vehicle prices remain competitive and the economy is stable” said Mr Crawford.

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Migration continues to fall

Annual net migration was down 4,400 from a record level of 72,400 in the July 2017 year, but still remains high by historical standards, Stats NZ said today. 

In the March 2018 year, annual net migration was 68,000, which was made up of 130,800 migrant arrivals and 62,900 migrant departures.

“More non-New Zealand citizens are leaving,” population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers said. “But there are just as many migrants arriving as a year ago.”

There were 29,700 departures of non-New Zealand citizen migrants in the March 2018 year, up 2 per cent from the February 2018 year and up 14 per cent from the July 2017 year.

Visitor numbers still flying high

A new high count of 3.82 million visitors arrived in New Zealand in the March 2018 year, Stats NZ said today. This was an increase of 276,200 (8 per cent) from the March 2017 year.

“Two-thirds of this rise was due to more visitors from Australia, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States,” population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers said. “Over half of all overseas visitors were holidaymakers, and over one-quarter were visiting friends and family.”

March 2018 broke the record for the number of overseas visitors for a March month – overseas visitor arrivals numbered 388,300, up 44,500 from March 2017.

The top source of visitor arrivals in March 2018 was Australia, at 37 per cent of all visitor arrivals. This shows a similar pattern to the total number of arrivals to New Zealand across the months. Of those visiting from Australia, 42 per cent were visiting friends/relatives and 39 per cent were holidaying.

 

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Petrol prices on the rise

Petrol prices increased 5.0 per cent in the year ended March 2018, Stats NZ said today. In the March 2018 quarter prices rose 2.7 percent.

Rising crude oil prices, and a falling exchange rate, contributed to pushing petrol prices up in the second half of 2017.

“The average price for a litre of 91 octane reached $2.00 in March 2018,” prices senior manager Paul Pascoe said. “This is the highest level since the December 2014 quarter.”

Average petrol prices in the CPI take into account loyalty card and supermarket discounts, and therefore differ from those seen at the petrol station.

For several quarters, petrol prices have moved in different ways in different parts of the country, rather than rising or falling consistently at a national level.

Since 2013, Wellington and the South Island have typically had larger increases and smaller decreases than the rest of the country.

The regional pattern changed in the year ended March 2018. Auckland prices either fell less or increased more than Wellington and Canterbury in three of the past four quarters.

In the March 2018 quarter, Auckland petrol prices rose 3.9 per cent, while Wellington and Canterbury rose 0.8 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively.

In the year ended March 2018, Auckland petrol prices increased 6.5 per cent, Wellington increased 1.7 per cent, and Canterbury 1.3 per cent.

From March 2013 to March 2018, Auckland prices decreased 5.0 per cent, Wellington prices decreased 3.8 per cent, and Canterbury prices decreased 3.1 per cent.

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Electronic card spending up 1.8%

Total card spending across all industries was up 1.8 per cent in the March 2018 quarter when adjusted for seasonal effects, Stats NZ said.

Spending rose across all six of the retail industries in the March quarter. The largest rises came from the consumables (grocery and liquor retailing) industry, up $125 million (2.2 percent) and the hospitality industry, up $87 million (2.9 percent).

“The rise in retail card spending in the March quarter was driven by an increase in grocery and liquor spending,” retail manager Sue Chapman said. “

This was the largest increase in grocery and liquor retailing since December 2010 and coincided with a record increase in spending in the March month.

The motor vehicle industry dropped by 1.8 per cent or $3.2 million last month compared with February 2018. However, the vehicle industry in the March 2018 quarter was up by $7.5 million or 1.5 per cent compared with the December 2017 quarter.

 

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Tesla tops electric chart

The Tesla Model S

Tesla continues to lead sales of pure electric vehicles (EVs), according to statistics for the first quarter of 2018. The Model S notched up 44 registrations and the Model X came third with 37 with Hyundai’s Ioniq sandwiched between them on 39.

By comparison, in the first three months of 2017 Model S sales came in at 32 and 10 Model Xs were registered.

During the whole of last year, the Models S and Model X racked up 128 and 116 sales respectively, according to Motor Industry Association statistics. These figures made Tesla New Zealand’s top-selling brand in the pure EV class in which 546 units were registered overall.

Sales of cars other than those powered by petrol or diesel are still led by plug-in hybrids. They accounted for the bulk of 797 registrations in the “other” category for the first quarter of 2017.

Toyota dominates this segment with three of its hybrids – the Corolla with 195 sales, the Camry on 103 and the Prius C with 88 – commanding a market share of 57 per cent.

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Used commercials down

There were 975 used imported commercial vehicles sold last month, a 21.9 per cent decrease compared to March 2017, when 1,249 vehicles were registered.

Year to date the total has dropped by 7.2 per cent or 228 registrations, compared to the first three months of 2017.

Most regions recorded losses during March compared with the same month last year, Auckland led the way with a 26.0 per cent fall (162 units). Followed by Christchurch and Wellington who showed decreases of 29.5 per cent and 23.4 per cent when compared to the same month last year.

Dunedin was one of the exceptions, with sales increasing from 32 in March last year to 43 last month, an increase of 34.4 per cent.

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Used imported cars at two year low

Registrations of used imported passenger vehicles were down compared to March last year, with sales decreasing by 18.2 per cent, or 2,633 units, bringing this month’s total to 11,841. The lowest month recorded since February 2016.

Year-to-date, the used imported passenger market has dropped by 5.2 per cent – or 2,059 units – compared to the first three months of 2017.

Most regions around New Zealand saw losses in used imported passenger vehicle registrations in March. Out of the main centres, Wellington went from 1,103 sales in March last year to 834 last month, a decrease of 24.4 per cent. Auckland and Hamilton also didn’t compare well to a year earlier, showing decreases of 18.4 per cent and 22.0 per cent, respectively. 

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Imports drop across the board

A total of 10,924 used passenger vehicles and 9,999 new passenger vehicles were recorded to have crossed the border last month. Compared with March 2017, both of these markets have fallen, used passenger vehicles by 44.1 per cent and new passenger vehicles by 6.5 per cent.

In terms of the light commercial market, 467 used and 2,953 new commercial vehicles arrived in New Zealand last month – these imports were also down compared to the same month last year, by 10.5 per cent and 18.1 per cent, respectively.

Regarding year to date statistics, three of the four markets recorded a decrease. Used passenger vehicles registered a 29.77 per cent (13,086 units) fall compared to the same period in 2017. Used light commercials registered a 27.15 per cent (515 units) decrease, and new light commercials registered a 6.45 per cent drop (553 units).

Importers brought in 10,154 used cars from Japan – a huge 44.9 per cent decrease compared to March 2017. There was also a fall in used car imports from both Australia and the UK compared with the same month last year – a decrease of 37.9 per cent 60.6 per cent, respectively.

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Market for new vehicles remains strong

David Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Industry Association says “March new vehicle registrations of 14,028 vehicles were up 1 per cent (159 units) on March 2017 reflecting a stable market. Year to date the market is up 2 per cent (916 units) compared to the first three months of 2017.”

Registrations of 9,050 passenger and SUV vehicles for the month of March were down 2 per cent (180 units) on March 2017. However, registrations of 4,978 commercial vehicles continues to grow strongly being up 7 per cent (339 units) on March 2017.”

Toyota remains the overall market leader with 17% market share (2,421 units), followed by Ford with 11% (1,551 units) and Mitsubishi with 8% market share (1,104 units).

Toyota was also the market leader for passenger and SUV registrations with 13 per cent market share (1,196 units) followed by Mazda with 9 per cent (858 units) and Mitsubishi with 8 per cent market share (722 units).

In the commercial sector, Toyota remained the market leader with 25 per cent market share (1,225 units) followed by Ford with 21 per cent (1,047 units) and Holden with 9 per cent market share (427 units).

The top four selling models for the month of March were all light commercial vehicles. The Toyota Hilux was back at the top of the bestselling vehicle model table with 915 units. This was closely followed by the Ford Ranger with 912 units and the Holden Colorado with 427 units.

The SUV medium segment regained the top segment for the month of March with 18 per cent market share. This was followed by the Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4×4 segment also with 16 per cent of the market, and the SUV compact with 13 per cent market share.

“The market for new vehicles is mature and remains strong, said Mr Crawford

“The economic factors of the past two years are still largely present with strong net immigration, affordable prices and strong economy.” 

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