Blog Archives

Cars, fuel spending up slightly in August

Stats NZ has released figures for electronic card spending for the month of August showing a marginal decrease in spending across the board, but small increases in specific industries.

August saw a small increase in spending on vehicles, up $1.6 million, or 0.9 per cent to $169 million. Compared to the same month last year, spending on vehicles is up 0.69 per cent.

Spending on fuel also rose slightly, up $2.1 million or 0.4 percent to $551 million, following a 6 per cent fall in July. Spending on fuel is down 2.6 per cent on the same month last year.

Spending in the retail industries fell 0.2 per cent, while the non-retail (excluding services) industry rose $19 million or 1.3 per cent, and the services industry was up $2 million or 0.8 per cent.

Cardholders made 139 million transactions across all industries in August 2017, with an average value of $48. The total amount spent across all transactions was $6.7 billion.

Source: Stats NZ

Nissan debuts 2018 Leaf

Nissan has debuted the 2018 Nissan LEAF, the next model of its flagship EV.

The specifications for the model closely align with details that leaked early last month.

The 2018 Nissan Leaf.

The new Leaf offers a range of 400 km, a 33 per cent increase on the 2017 model. It will have 110 kW of power output and 320 Nm of torque a large increase in power from the current model Leaf, which has an output of 90 horse power and 254Nm of torque.

The new leaf comes with autonomous drive technology, used during single-lane driving on highways.

The car has an autonomous parking system that takes control of steering, acceleration, braking, shift changing and the parking brake to automatically guide it into a parking spot.

The Nissan Leaf was New Zealand’s most popular EV in 2016.

The car will go on sale October 2 in Japan. Though with only imported second hand Leaf EVs available for sale on the New Zealand market, it could be some time before we see the 2018 model on our roads.

The interior of the Leaf.

Despite this, the demand for the Leaf is growing. The car climbed to gain 1 per cent of total used imported cars this August.

The Leaf is also the most popular EV worldwide with 277,000 units sold since it was released seven years ago.

The new Leaf will introduce what Nissan calls e-Pedal technology that will enable the driver to start, accelerate, decelerate and stop by increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator. When the accelerator is fully released, regenerative and friction brakes are applied automatically, bringing the car to a stop.

The new leaf comes with a autonomous parking system.



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Best month for used imported cars since 2004

Registrations of used imported passenger vehicles were up 11.5 per cent compared to August last year, with 1490 more sales bringing this month’s total to 14,483. This makes it the third best month ever, only beaten by 14,709 units in July 2003 and 14,877 sales of fresh imports in March 2004.

Year to date used imported cars are also on a high, with sales totalling 108,865 for the eight months of 2017, up 10,555 units, an increase of 1319 per month compared to last year.

The Nissan Leaf saw a 205 per cent sales increase.

Toyota has retained the top spot with a market share for the month of 24.6 per cent with 3267 registrations.

The battle for top model is a lot closer with the Mazda Axela, Suzuki Swift and Nissan Tiida making up the top three. They hold 4.7, 4.2 and 4 per cent market share respectively.

The stand out for August however was the Nissan Leaf with sales of 177 units, an increase of 205 per cent on the 58 sales in August 2016.  The Leaf has now climbed to gain 1 per cent of total used imported cars.

In terms of the regions, Timaru went from 99 sales in August last year to 144 last month, an increase of 45.5 per cent. Invercargill and New Plymouth also did well compared to a year earlier showing increases of 33.1 and 31.9 per cent respectively.

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Isuzu joins leader board

There were 1,148 used commercial vehicles sold during August, which was a 14.6 per cent increase on the 1,002 units registered in August 2016.

Toyota continues to hold on to its pole position as market leader with 520 registrations, up 7.9 per cent on August last year when 482 units were sold. Nissan followed with 269 registrations up a healthy 26.3 per cent on the same month last year on 213 units, and Isuzu was third with 74 sales, a massive 68.2 per cent increase on August 2016’s sales of 44 units and relegating Mazda into fourth.

Once again, the Toyota Hiace was the top used commercial model.

Year to date, Toyota has a 46.8 per cent share of the market with 4,025 registrations, while Nissan has a 21.5 per cent market share with 1,845 sales and Mazda continues to hold onto third with a 6.8 per cent market share on 589 units.

Toyota Hiace held steady at the top of the commercial vehicle models table with 399 registrations for the month, an increase of 13.7 per cent on August 2016, and a market share of 34.8 per cent. Year to date, there has been 3,048 Hiace sold for an overall market share of 35.4 per cent. Nissan Caravan registrations fell 7.6 per cent from 92 in August last year to 85 last month, while the Mazda Bongo was third despite a 30.9 per cent drop from 68 sales a year ago to 47 in August. Isuzu Forward had a 214.3 per cent increase in sales from seven during August 2016 to 22 last month.

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Numbers of imports down for the month

Vehicle imports were down across the board compared to August 2016, apart from used light commercial vehicles, that were down on last month.

There were 12,455 used cars imported last month, down 14.1 per cent on July and 11.4 per cent on August last year.

Despite the general drop in new imports, new cars from Germany jumped up 76 per cent to 1,318 units, compared to last month’s 745 units.

Imported passenger vehicles from Japan were 13.6 per cent lower than the same month last year reducing their monthly market share to 91.9 per cent.

The UK, Australia and Singapore continued their popularity as a source market with increases of 102.1, 20.9 and 13.6 per cent respectively. Australia has increased its monthly share of the overall used cars imported to 4.3 per cent.

Year to date imports of used cars are up 13,019 units or 13 per cent compared to the first eight months of 2016, with 116,113 crossing the border so far in 2017.

New car imports were down 15.8 per cent on last month at 10,599 units. Japanese new car imports fell sharply to 3,434 units from July’s 5,597, down about 39 per cent.

Despite the general drop in new imports, new cars from Germany jumped up 76 per cent to 1,318 units, compared to last month’s 745 units.

New light commercials were also down 11 per cent to 2,754 units, from last month’s 3,108 units.



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New registrations surpass 100,000 units

Registrations of new vehicles have exceeded 100,000 units year to date – the fastest this milestone has ever been achieved. By the end of August, 103,923 new vehicles had been sold.

Registrations were 11.3 per cent above this time in 2016, while the total registration of 13,063 vehicles for the month of August was up by three per cent on August 2016.

David Crawford, chief executive officer of the Motor Industry Association, says that there was a mix of vehicles registered in August, reflecting changing consumer preferences.

The Ford ranger remains NZ’s top selling commercial, and overall.

“While passenger car and SUV registrations of 8,607 units were down 3.2 per cent (289 units) on August 2016, registrations of 4,456 commercial vehicles for the month of August were up by 17.9 per cent (675 units) on August 2016,” he says.

“Registrations of SUVs remain strong however growth in registrations of passenger vehicles continues to weaken. Nevertheless, year-to-date passenger and SUV registrations still remain 7.5 per cent (4,851 units) above this time in 2016.”

Toyota remains the overall market leader with 19 per cent market share selling 2,511 units, followed by Ford with 10 per cent selling 1,305 units, and Holden with 8 per cent market share selling 1,071 units.

Commercial vehicle registrations are up 19.6 per cent to 5,691 units on this time last year and Toyota remained that market leader with a 25 per cent share of the market selling 1,114 units.

Toyota also managed to knock the Ford Ranger off the top spot with the best-selling commercial model being the Hilux with 17 per cent market share and selling 779 units in the month of August.

The Ranger slipped back to a 15 per cent share, selling 690 units, however remains at the top of the list for the year’s best selling commercial vehicle. The Ranger is also the top model overall with 6,320 registrations compared to 5,497 for the Toyota Hilux.

The top segments for the month of August were medium SUVs with 15 per cent share, followed by Chassis Cab 4×4 with 14 per cent and small passenger vehicles with 11 per cent market share.


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Value of vehicles, parts from ASEAN doubles since 2013

New Zealand’s two-way trade with the ASEAN was $15.2 billion in the June 2017 year, Stats NZ said today. Goods and services exported to ASEAN countries totalled $6.3 billion, and imports totalled $8.9 billion.

New Zealand’s trade deficit with the combined Association of South East Asian Nations countries, known as ASEAN, was $2.6 billion.

ASEAN, established in August 1967, had Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as original members. Countries that joined later were Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Viet Nam.

Dairy products, petrol and cars were among the main goods traded.

Since 2013, the value of vehicles and parts imported from ASEAN has doubled to reach $1.3 billion in the June 2017 year. Stats NZ say that most of these vehicles are from Thailand, where cars and trucks are made under licence for Japanese, American, and other international car makers.

Petroleum and related products was New Zealand’s largest goods import from ASEAN in the June 2017 year, according to Stats NZ. New Zealand imported $1.4 billion worth of petroleum from ASEAN in the June 2017 year, half of what was imported in the June 2013 year. Most these petroleum imports came from Singapore ($982 million).

“Fifty years ago, we exported nearly $16 million worth of goods to the five original ASEAN countries,” international statistics senior manager Daria Kwon said. “That’s around $160 million in today’s value.”

Transportation was the largest service import from ASEAN, largely attributable to New Zealanders flying through Singapore on non-resident airlines.

Vehicles, parts, and accessories from Japan ($2.3 billion) and the European Union ($2.2 billion);
and electrical machinery and equipment from China ($2.0 billion), were our three largest import
expenses in the year ended June 2017. Source: Stats NZ


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Ports of Auckland posts annual result

Amid the pre-election politics, Ports of Auckland has released its annual result. According to the Port, profits, revenue, volumes and customer satisfaction are up, while dividends are down.

Container volumes increased 5 per cent to 952,331 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). Car and light commercial vehicle volumes lifted a substantial 19.9 per cent to 297,383 units. Breakbulk and bulk volumes (which includes cars and light commercials) were up 11.4 per cent to 6.46 million tonnes.

Ports of Auckland.

Reported net profit after tax was $60.3 million, in line with the Port’s expectations. That profit includes the cost of investments made in sustainability, a review their business model, cyber security, innovation and automation.

Last year’s net profit after tax of $84 million included a $17.6 million gain for an asset impairment reversal.

The Port declared a dividend of $51.3 million, compared to $54.3 million for the previous year, down about 5 per cent.

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson noted the issue of cars on the wharf.

“We looked at importing cars via another port, but an independent report from Enviro-Mark showed that Ports of Auckland is the most environmentally sustainable for car imports. Transport costs are also significantly lower through Auckland. So we are working with industry and stakeholders on ways to increase capacity, speed up processing time and reduce the visual impact of cars down town. We will share the results of this work later this year.”

Gibson said overall that he was pleased with the result.

“Our trading profit and dividend are down slightly, reflecting the investments we are making to prepare for the future. This year work started on our Waikato freight hub, we finished our third container berth and our automation project is well underway.”

“For the second year running, we were voted Best Seaport in Oceania by our customers and industry peers in the region.”

The Port says there has been further consolidation in the container industry as a result of mergers and acquisitions and they now have fewer, but larger container line customers.

The Port has also noted a container terminal automation project that is underway, on track for completion in 2019, that will increase capacity from 900,000 TEUs a year to around 1.6-1.7 million TEUs.

“Automation brings significant productivity and sustainability benefits, but it also impacts some of the traditional roles in our industry. We believe that a business like ours which is adopting new technologies has a responsibility to help staff and their families adapt,” said Gibson.




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Port of Tauranga announce record earnings

The Port of Tauranga today announced record annual earnings and the increase of freight volumes across the board.

Among the results posted in their 2017 financial year results was a record container volume in excess of 1 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU), a New Zealand first for any port.

Total trade increased over 10 percent to 22.2 million tonnes.

Net profit after tax for the 2017 financial year rose 7.9 per cent to $83.4 million, from $77.3 million the previous year. The result was lifted by a 13.8 per cent increase in container volumes to a record 1,085,987 TEU, as well as growth in log, dairy products and oil imports.

Annual revenue rose 4.2 per cent to $255.9 million, up from $245.5 million, while Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 6.4 per cent, from $143.2 million last year to $152.4 million this year.

Port land was revalued during the year increasing by $63 million reflecting the general increase in land values over the last two years.

The Port of Tauranga has completed dredging works to allow larger ships entry to the port.

Port of Tauranga Chair David Pilkington says it has been a monumental year.

“The successful completion of our dredging project in September was a turning point, as bigger vessels were able to call in New Zealand for the first time.”

“As soon as the dredging was finished, larger vessels were introduced on Tauranga-only port calls,” he said.

The capacity for the Port of Tauranga to accommodate these larger vessels has significantly contributed to this increase in volumes, the Port said.

The Port’s strong financial results come the same day as Statistics New Zealand announced that the country has posted its first trade surplus for the month of July in five years.

“July months are typically deficits,” Stats NZ overseas trade manager Tehseen Islam said. “This is the first July surplus since 2012 ($98 million) and only the 11th July surplus since 1960.”

While exports increased 17 per cent to $668 million for the month of July, imports also increased by 5.4 per cent to $232 million. The increase in vehicles, parts and accessories lead the import increase, showing 25 per cent growth, with a total value of $154 million.

The annual deficit for July was $3.2 billion, down from $3.6 billion for the June 2017 year.



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Trade Me 2017 financial year results released today

Trade Me have released their full year results for the 12 months to 30 June 2017 to the NZX and ASX this morning.

Trade Me chairman David Kirk said the 2017 financial year had shown “excellent progress” for the company with revenue and net operating profit all at record highs.

Trade Me’s revenue reached $234.9m this year, up 7.7 per cent on $218.0m in 2016. In the second half of the 2017 financial year, revenue grew by 6.7 per cent year-on-year. Trade Me’s net operating profit was up 12.0 per cent year-on-year to $93.0m, well ahead of last year’s $83.0m.

Trade Me Motors premium revenue continues to grow. Source: Trade Me

Trade Me Motors, the company’s largest classified vertical, reported a healthy revenue increase of 8.2 per cent, albeit down slightly on the 11.2 per cent increase in revenue growth last year. Trade Me CEO Jon Macdonald said that the Australian arm of their business, MotorWeb, had been performing particularly well. Revenue across the entire MotorWeb business is up 14.6 per cent.

He also said that the revenue increases were driven by increased demand for their premium products, indicating that dealers are spending more on advertising with the company. Year-on-year, dealer premium revenue growth was up 26.8 per cent, total dealers yield growth up 3.2 per cent, and total listings up 5.2 per cent.

Trade Me released data indicating they hold close to a 60 per cent market share of the motoring classifieds in New Zealand, the market itself being worth around $89 million.

Autofile reported on July 11 that Trade Me had entered into a conditional agreement to purchase cloud-based dealer platform Motorcentral. Motorcentral offers a Dealer Management System that allows users to track vehicles, stock and sales online, and automatically send vehicle listings to retail websites such as Trade Me Motors, Driven and Auto Trader.

Macdonald expressed Trade Me’s continued interest in acquiring the business upon release of the company’s financials. “We’re very excited about prospects for this business, and eagerly awaiting clearance from the Commerce Commission to proceed,” he said.

The sale is subject to approval from the Commerce Commission, who provides an “indicative timeline” of 40 days for assessing a clearance application.

Trade Me is also performing well in its general items market place, with a 7.1 per cent growth in revenue year-on-year well out performing last year’s 3.5 per cent growth. The Trade Me Jobs side of the business continues to be the “star performer” with 25 per cent revenue growth, according to Macdonald.

On August 8, the NBR reported that Trade Me’s shares fell to a near six-month low. The fall in share price came after global online retailer Amazon announced it was establishing a base of operations in Melbourne for its Australian launch later this year. It remains to be seen if this will have an impact on the business, with the both the company’s financial outlook and sales revenue appearing strong.

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EV owners find new conveniences

EV owners have found new conveniences in their battery powered cars. A report just released that surveyed EV owners from across New Zealand, show that nearly all prefer to avoid the petrol station, opting to charge their vehicles at home. The report by Flip the Fleet, an EV user lead science group, shows that 92 per cent of EV users prefer to charge from home.

Sigurd Magnusson, from the Wellington EV Owners Group says that avoiding the queues, fumes and temptations of junk food at petrol stations makes driving a much more pleasant experience.

“EV owners particularly enjoy not having to interrupt their drive home or make a special trip to the petrol station,” Magnusson said.

Flip the Fleet also highlight the savings in transportation costs that owning an EV brings. 35 per cent of the EVs being monitored by the Flip the Fleet project charge between 11pm and 7am, when electricity costs are lower. “That’s also better for New Zealand – we need to reduce the amount of coal and gas used to make electricity,” said Magnusson.

In terms of the equipment needed, the report says 40 per cent of EV users charge their cars using standard household plugs. 43 per cent have installed higher capacity plugs (normally used for powering caravans), that charge the vehicles faster. The remaining 17 percent have invested in built-for-purpose wall mounted charging equipment in their homes.

Autofile reported last week that Bloomberg predicts battery electric vehicles (EV) will make up the majority of EV sales after 2030, mostly replacing plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). This is currently the case in New Zealand, with EVs making up around 78% of total light EV and PHEV registrations.

The total New Zealand EV fleet sits at about 4,200 cars.

Established in June 2016, the Flip the Fleet project aims to gather data on EV use, increase the availability of information for owners and counter misconceptions about EVs. The group is partly funded by the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment and the private consultancy group Ecosystems Consultants.

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