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An impressive year for used passenger vehicles

2017 has been an impressive year for the sales of used imported passenger vehicles.

2017 highlights
In terms of year-on-year sales, there were 165,654 used imported cars registered in 2017, a huge 16,128 units or 10.8 per cent more than the same period in 2016, when 149,526 units were sold.

Toyota cemented its place as the number-one used imported car brand. It sold 41,692 units in 2017 for a market share of 25.2 per cent, Nissan and Mazda were second and third place , respectively with 31,190 and 25,594 units sold, respectively and an 18.8 and 15.5 per cent market share for the past 12 months.

The Nissan Tiida had the most sales for the year, with a total of 7,358 and a market share of 4.4 per cent. The usual culprits were inIn a very close second place, the Mazda Axela ended with a market share for the year of 4.4 percent and 7,319 sales, followed by the Suzuki Swift with 6,958 sales and a market share of 4.2 per cent.

It was also no surprise that the vast majority of used imported cars continued to come from Japan. There were 160,822 used cars imported from Japan during 2017, giving it a market share of 93.8 per cent.

December highlights

December 2017 increased 7.0 per cent on the same month last yearfrom 2016 with 14,102 sales compared to 13,181 in December 2016.

Importers brought in 12,283 used cars from Japan – a 9.9 per cent increase on December 2016. There was a fall in used car imports from Australia and the UK compared to the same month last year. Australia ended December on 435 units, a decrease of 7.4 per cent and the UK with 104 units, a decrease of 48.3 per cent.

The Mazda Demio was the number-one selling used import for December with 637 sales, a 30.8 per cent increase on December 2016’s 487. The Demio outnumbered the Nissan Tiida, who ended on 615 sales, a decrease of 20.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2016.

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Another great year for used commercials

2017 was another great year for used commercial vehicles, with the sector showing an overall healthy increase in registrations.

2017 highlights
In total, 13,032 used commercial vehicles were registered in 2017, a massive 18.8 per cent increase on the previous full year, where 10,967 used commercial imports were registered in New Zealand.

Toyota remained on top with 5,936 registrations during 2017, ending the year with a market share of 45.5 per cent, while its Hiace claimed the biggest market share of all models with 34.3 per cent thanks to 4,465 registrations in this sector.

The Nissan Caravan was runner-up in the models chart with 953 registrations for a 7.3 per cent share of the overall total, while Mazda’s Bongo came third and achieved 728 and 5.6 per cent. Toyota’s Regius finished fourth on 518 units to claim a 4 per cent market share.

Nissan came second on the marques ladder with 2,781 units for a market share of 21.3 per cent, while Mazda finished third with 874 and 6.7 per cent and Isuzu was fourth with 5.2 per cent and 676 units.

Nearly all regions around New Zealand saw gains in 2017. Key highlights were Wellington where 820 vehicles were registered compared to only 524 in 2016, a 56.5 per cent increase and Gisborne nearly doubled from 42 units to 78 units an 85.7 per cent increase.

December highlights
Commercial registrations were down two units to 1044 last month, compared to December 2016’s 1046.

Toyota is again the market leader in the used commercial sector, with 400 units this December and a market share of 38.3 per cent. Nissan and Fiat followed behind, with 204 units and 94 units, respectively.

Out of the main centres, Wellington was the standout, with an increase from 50 units in December 2016 to 67 last month, a rise of 34 per cent. Dunedin jumped 25.7 per cent from 35 to 44 units, and Christchurch gained 10.7 per cent with 124 units last month compared to 112 December 2016.


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Best year ever for imports

2017 was the best year ever for imports with 331,641 new and used passenger and commercial vehicles entering the country – a 10.2 per cent increase compared to the 300,976 that arrived in 2016.

This was down to vehicle import numbers increasing in three out of the four import categories last year:

Used car imports accumulated to a massive 171,543 for 2017 – the highest it has ever reached. This was an increase of 12.4 per cent on 2016’s total of 152,676. 

New light commercials also had a stellar year with a 26 per cent increase on 2016, from 29,852 to 37,614 units. 

New passenger vehicle imports were also up with 115,019 units imported into the country in 2017 – an increase of 3.7 per cent on 2016 when 110,940 crossed the border. 

Used light commercial vehicles was the only segment to decrease in numbers, with 7,465 units imported – a 0.6 per cent decrease year on year compared to 2016. 

For the month of December, 13,097 used cars were imported, with Japan taking a 93.78 per cent of the monthly share – with 12,283 vehicles imported. Australia followed with 435 and a 3.32 per cent monthly share. Meanwhile, 150 vehicles were imported from Great Britain, with 1.15 per cent share of the monthly aggregation in used passenger vehicles.
Imports from Japan made the biggest gains in 2017 – monthly averages were some of the highest we had ever seen, with a huge 18,426 vehicles being imported back in March. 

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Kiwi economy on the rise

Spending on durable goods, which includes passenger cars drives household spending up 0.9 per cent.

Economic performance, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), grew 0.6 per cent in the September 2017 quarter, following a revised 1.0 per cent growth in the June quarter, Stats NZ said.

Household spending was up 0.9 per cent from the previous June quarter. This was driven by spending on durable goods, which includes passenger cars and services. 

Spending on durable goods increased 2.3 per cent, due to increased spending on clothing, furniture, audio-visual equipment and furnishings. 

Construction industry was the main instigator of economic growth
Construction activity rebounded in the September 2017 quarter, up 3.6 percent after falls in the previous two quarters.

Investment in other construction (infrastructure) and residential buildings reported strong increases. Expenditure on road and rail infrastructure were the key drivers of investment in infrastructure, which experienced its strongest increase since 2007. 

“Construction activity recovered this quarter, unwinding the previous two quarterly falls,” national accounts senior manager Gary Dunnet said. “This reflected higher construction-related investment, with investment in infrastructure and residential buildings also reporting strong increases.” 

Services Industry
Service industries continued to grow steadily, up 0.6 percent in the September 2017 quarter.

Industries that contributed most to this growth were health care and residential care; business services; and arts, recreation and other services.

GDP per capita up over the quarter
GDP per capita was up 0.2 percent in the September 2017 quarter, after a revised 0.5 percent growth in the June 2017 quarter.

For the year ended September 2017, GDP per capita was up 0.8 percent.

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Value of car imports reaches new high

The value of car imports have reached a new high of $513 million, according to statistics released today by Stats NZ. 

There were 26,700 passenger motor cars imported in November, at a higher average value than earlier in the year. Of those, 140 were new electric cars and around 170 were used electric cars.

Overall, imports in November 2017 were valued at $5.8 billion, said Stats NZ. The value exceeded last month’s record of $5.4 billion.

Imports rose $1.2 billion (27 per cent) from November 2016. This was the largest rise in imports since a 62 per cent rise in December 1999. The November 2017 rise was across a range of commodities. The largest increases included imports of aircraft, aircraft parts, motor vehicles, computers, and diggers.

“The $1.2 billion rise in total November 2017 imports was equivalent to 83,000 used electric cars,” international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. “Alternatively, for that value we could have imported around 700,000 top-of-the-line mobile phones.”

Vehicles, parts and accessories, the largest import commodity group, rose $127 million (18 per cent) to $836 million, compared with November last year. Out of this, passenger motor cars rose $48 million and goods vehicles rose $54 million.

November’s movements for New Zealand’s top import partners were:

  • Japan – up $88 million (27 per cent). This was led by vehicles parts and accessories, which was up $52 million (27 per cent).
  • China – up $150 million, led by mechanical machinery and equipment, up $51 million.
  • European Union – up $247 million (32 per cent), led by increases in mechanical machinery and equipment, up $119 million, and vehicles, parts, and accessories, up $39 million.


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Vehicles and parts sales down

According to the latest figures from Stats NZ, wholesale sales values for motor vehicles and parts, including cars are trucks, fell 3.6 per cent ($98 million) in the September 2017 quarter, after a 4.0 per cent rise ($104 million) rise in the June 2017 quarter. 

Wholesale trade statistics measure the sale or resale of new or used goods to retailers, including businesses or institutional users (including government).

“Although the sales fell in motor vehicle and parts wholesaling, stocks continued to build up in the September quarter,” Ms Chapman said.

Actual wholesale vehicle and parts stocks were up 26 per cent.  

The retail trade survey for the September 2017 quarter showed that motor vehicles and parts sales also dipped slightly from previous quarters.

Even though wholesale values for vehicles and parts were down, the overall wholesale trade values in the September 2017 quarter rose 1.1 percent ($288 million) in the September 2017 quarter, after a 1.6 percent ($389 million) rise in the June 2017 quarter.

The September increase was the sixth consecutive quarterly increase, with four of the six wholesaling industries rising in the September quarter.

Out of these four the largest industry increase was in grocery, liquor, and tobacco wholesaling, up 2.8 percent ($218 million) from the June 2017 quarter. 

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Best month on record for used imported cars

As 2017 draws to a close, imported used car sales have already eclipsed last year’s total by 2,026 units.

Even a poor sales month in December will see a new record year of used imported car registrations – beating 2003’s total of 156,972.

Year to date, there’s been 151,552 used car registrations which is an 11.2 per cent increase on the same period last year when 136,345 units had been sold and 2,026 units ahead of 2016’s 12-month total of 149,526.

November’s sales total of 14,924 was the best month ever for registrations of used imported cars – beating March 2004’s record of 14,877 registrations.

Last month was also up 16.9 per cent compared to November last year.

Nineteen of the country’s 22 regions saw a healthy lift in sales compared to the same month last year. Wanganui had an awesome month – up 73.3 per cent, from 75 sales in November 2016 to 130 last month. Thames also performed well compared to the same month last year – up 53.4 per cent with 158 sales.

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Bumper year for used commercials

November was another positive month for used commercial vehicles, with the sector showing a healthy increase in registrations.

There were 1,165 registrations in November, the second largest month behind March this year, when 1249 units were registered; also an increase on the same month last year, when 1,144 units were sold.

Year-to-date 11,988 used imported commercial vehicles have been registered, this is 22.4 per cent on the same period last year and has now overtaken the total sales in this segment for all of 2016 of 10,967 units, with one month to go.  

Many regions around New Zealand saw gains in used commercial vehicle registrations in November. Out of the main centres, Wellington was the standout, with sales of 48 units in November 2016 to 71 last month, an increase of 47 per cent.

Both Dunedin and Christchurch had steady increases compared to November last year, with 19.7 and 9.5 per cent respectively. Auckland meanwhile fell 12.8 per cent from 603 units in November 2016 to 526 last month.

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Used import boom continues

The year’s used car boom has continued in the build up to Christmas with 14,642 used cars crossing the border last month, bringing the year to date total of 158,469 units. This figure is 5793 ahead of total imports of used cars for all of 2016.

New car importers brought in 10,957 units during November, up 4.6 per cent (484 units) on the previous month and down just 0.9 per cent on the same month last year. Year to date 106,283 new cars have been imported, only 4657 short of 2016’s full year total.

Imports of used light commercial vehicles dropped significantly – down 12.3 per cent on the same month last year and 9.3 per cent on October’s 712 units.

Although there was a 27.3 per cent fall in the number of new light commercial imports during November compared to October’s 3909 total, November’s 2841 units total was up a massive 53.3 per cent when compared to the same month last year.

As usual, the vast majority of used imported cars came from Japan with 13,709 units imported in November – a 10.2 per cent increase on the same month last year, resulting in Japan holding a monthly market share of 94.68 per cent.

Importers brought 389 used cars in from Australia – a 4.9 per cent decrease on November 2016. Year to date, 5,110 used cars have been shipped from Australia. There was a 29.4 per cent fall in used car imports (197 units) from the UK during November compared to the same month last year, while Singapore was up 27.9 per cent on 142 units.

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Record month for Australian auto industry

The Toyota Hilux was Australia’s best-selling vehicle in November.

According to the latest results released by VFACTS, November sales sky-rocketed which have kept the Australian motor industry on target for another best-selling year.

Industry sales rolled past the 1 million mark for the year to date as the November total reached 101,365, a gain of 2.5 per cent on the same month last year.

This keeps the industry running at 0.6 per cent ahead of last year’s record pace.

Toyota remained the market leader with an 18.6 per cent share of the November sales, followed by Mazda, Hyundai and Holden, with a share of 9.2, 8.7 and 7.8 respectively.

The Toyota Hilux was Australia’s best-selling vehicle in November with 4,103 sales, followed by the Ford Ranger, the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and the Mazda CX-5.

Comparing November with the same period last year, small cars showed a 6.4 per cent increase against a general decrease in passenger car sales, which is down 7.3 per cent.

Majority of the market movement was again with the uptake of small and medium SUVs, the small SUV segment being the star performer where sales increased by 31.1 per cent.

SUV sales generally were up 8.6 per cent and light commercials up 7.9 per cent compared with November last year. Year to date, the two segments have risen 4.7 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.

Strong sales were recorded across all states except for the two territories which suffered slight falls. 

Business buyers returned in force to the November market. While sales to private buyers fell 3.4 per cent on the November 2016 result, business purchases of SUVs and light commercials rose by 12.9 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively.

The Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Tony Weber, said that with less than one month remaining, he remained confident that the industry would surpass last year’s record total.

“The momentum built in the market over the past few months appears to be continuing so we’re on target for another record year,” he said.

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Vehicles lead the way in imports

New Zealand’s two-way trade with APEC reached $102 billion for the year ended September 2017, Stats NZ said today, with vehicles leading the way in imports. 

APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, forum involves 21 Pacific Rim member economies, including Australia, China, and the United States – three of our main trading partners. It is Asia-Pacific’s main economic forum where a number of trade agreements are reached. 

“Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing economic region in the world,” international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said.

“Over the last decade, New Zealand’s two-way trade with APEC has grown $31 billion, and a $2.6 billion deficit is now a $4 billion surplus.” 

Talks regarding the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership are currently underway at APEC. Eleven of the 21 APEC countries are in the trade talks.

In the September 2017 year, New Zealand had a $4 billion surplus with APEC, most of this down to the$3 billion surplus with China  – we exported $53 billion worth of goods and services to APEC, and imported $49 billion.

New Zealand’s main imports from APEC are vehicles, machinery, and equipment.

New Zealand imports a large amount of cars and trucks from Japan, Thailand, the US, and South Korea, all of which are APEC nations.

New Zealand imported $2 billion worth of electrical machinery and equipment from China in the September 2017 year, and nearly $4 billion worth of mechanical machinery and equipment from China, the US, and Japan combined.

Travel spending also contributed to the trade surplus. Visitors from APEC nations provided $9 billion to the New Zealand economy in the September 2017 year through exports of travel services, mainly by visitors from Australia, China, and the US.


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