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Used cars up year to date

Registrations of used imported passenger vehicles were slightly down compared to February last year, with sales decreasing by 1.7 per cent or 212 units bringing this month’s total to 12,048.

Year to date, the used imported passenger market is still up 2.3 per cent – or 574 units – compared to the first two months of 2017.

Toyota has retained the top spot with a market share for the month of 23.8 per cent with 2,872 registrations. Nissan sold 1,996 for a 16.6 per cent market share.

The battle for top used car model was close with the Suzuki Swift back in the top spot, but only by 9 units, while the Mazda Axela was second and the Nissan Tiida was third – bumping the Mazda Demio into fourth.

There were 581 Swifts sold during February –  up 5.4 per cent on the same month of last year; Axela registrations totalled 572 units –  an increase of 0.4 per cent, and 514 Tiida sales – a decrease of 4.8 per cent. 

The three models hold 4.7 per cent, 4.8 per cent and 4.2 per cent of the monthly market share respectively.

In terms of regions, Invercargill went from 132 sales in February last year to 184 last month, an increase of 39.4 per cent. Rotorua and Gisborne also did will compared to a year earlier showing increases of 25.9 and 23.2 per cent respectively.

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Used light commercials steady

The number of used light commercials registered in New Zealand last month came in at 948 resulting in 1,972 being sold so far this year. This represented an increase of 2.4 per cent against the year-to-date total for 2017, which was 1,626.

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

Last month, there were 300 used Toyota Hiaces registered. Two Nissans took out second and third – the Caravan on 74 and NV200 with 41.

Toyota secured a market share of 42.9 per cent with 407 registrations. It was followed by Nissan with 203 and 21.4 per cent, and Mazda on 41 and 4.3 per cent.

The Toyota Hiace remained the dominant model, with a 32.6 per cent market share and sales of 300 last month. This was more than 200 ahead of the Nissan Caravan and Nissan NV200, who had sales of 74 units and 41 units, respectively. 

Comparing February 2018 with the same month of last year, Blenheim had an increase in sales of used commercial vehicles of 350 per cent – up from 2 a year ago to 9 last month.

Rotorua experienced a 75 per cent increasing to 28 units last month up from 16 in February 2017.

The third biggest percentage gain was recorded in Invercargill – a jump of 40 per cent on the back of 14 registrations.

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New vehicle registrations slightly down

February 2018’s new vehicle registrations are slightly down on February 2017, according to the Motor Industry Association’s (MIA) latest statistics.

David Crawford, chief executive officer of the MIA

David Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the MIA says “February new vehicle registrations of 11,531 vehicles were down 2 per cent (254 units) on February 2017 reflecting a mature and stable market. Year to date the market is up 3 per cent (751 units) compared to the first two months of 2017.”

Registrations of 7,415 passenger and SUV vehicles for the month of February were down 8 per cent (637 units) on February 2017. However, registrations of 4,116 commercial vehicles continues to grow strongly being up 10 per cent on February 2017.”

Toyota remains the overall market leader with 17 per cent market share (1,959 units), followed by Ford with 10 per cent (1,183 units) and Holden with 8 per cent market share (968 units).

Toyota was also the market leader for passenger and SUV registrations with 14 per cent market share (1013 units) followed by Mazda with 10 per cent (773 units) and Holden with 8 per cent market share (602 units).

In the commercial sector, Toyota regained the market lead with 23 per cent market share (946 units) followed by Ford with 19 per cent (788 units) and Nissan with 9 per cent  market share (384 units).

The top four selling models for the month of February were all light commercial vehicles. The Ford Ranger was back at the top of the bestselling vehicle model table with 735 units. This was followed by the Toyota Hilux with 703 units and the Nissan Navara with 384 units.

With the record number of commercial vehicles sold during the month of February it came as no surprise to see the Pickup/Chassis Cab 4×4 segment as the top segment with 17 per cent of the market for the month. The SUV medium segment accounted for 16% of the market, followed by the SUV compact with 12 per cent market share.

“While the market for new vehicles remains strong, some vehicle segments were constrained by low stocks levels, which will continue into the foreseeable future.” said Mr Crawford.

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Largest January goods deficit since 2007

In January 2018, New Zealand recorded its largest deficit for a January month since 2007, Stats NZ said yesterday. This deficit contrasts with last month’s surplus, which was the largest ever for a December month.

The January 2018 trade balance was a deficit of $566 million. This was larger than January 2017 deficit as imports rose more than exports.

“Both imports and exports reached new highs for January months,” international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. “Import growth remains strong while export growth didn’t carry on at the same rate as the record-setting December 2017 month.”

Imports rose $713 million (17 percent) from January 2017, with increases across a range of commodities including turbo-jets, diesel, and ships.

Vehicles, parts, and accessories rose $42 million (6.8 per cent) to $659 million, with passenger motor cars contributing $3.8 million (1.0 per cent) to the increase.

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Unemployment falls to a nine-year low

December Quarter 

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.5 per cent in the December 2017 quarter, down from 4.6 percent last quarter, Stats NZ said today.

“This quarter’s unemployment rate is the lowest since the December 2008 quarter, when it was 4.4 percent,” labour market and household statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said.

“However, the underutilisation rate was just over 12 percent –reflecting about 340,000 New Zealanders with potential to work more. This measure is just as important as the unemployment rate.”

Underutilisation is a measure of the potential labour supply and unmet need for work.

The unemployment rate for the December 2017 quarter remains considerably above New Zealand’s lowest unemployment rate, which was 3.3 percent, recorded a decade ago in the December 2007 quarter, immediately before the global financial crisis.

Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, December 2008 to December 2017. Source: Stats NZ

December yearly

Annually, employment increased 3.7 percent, with men and women contributing almost equally to the increase. Nearly one-quarter of employment growth came from 25–29-year-olds, while just over one-fifth came from the 30–34-year-old age group. 

In the year to the December 2017 quarter, unadjusted employment (as measured by the HLFS) increased across a number of industries. The key contributor was the professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services industry – up 25,900 (8.5 percent). 

Approximately one-third of the increase in employment for the professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services industry occurred in Wellington.

Most of this growth was seen in the sub-industries: architectural, engineering, and technical services (up 4,600); and building, cleaning, pest control, and gardening services (up 1,700).

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Record January for used imported cars

A continuation of the buoyant used imported passenger vehicle market was evident last month with 13,719 registrations, an increase of 6.1 per cent on January 2017’s 12,933 units.

This was the best January sales of used imported cars on record.

Toyota was once again the top-selling used import car brand for January with 3,232 sales, which was a decrease of 4.8 per cent on the 3,396 units in same month of last year. The marque starts the year with a market share of 23.6 per cent – a fall of 2.7 per cent on the same month last year.

Nissan held onto second with 2,629 sales last month – a jump of 15.9 per cent on January 2017’s 2,268 units. It holds 19.2 per cent of the market share.

Mazda was third on 2,310 registrations, which was a healthy increase of 16.7 per cent on the same month of last year, and has a market share of 16.8 per cent.

The battle for top used car model was close with the Mazda Axela back in the top spot, but only by 34 units, while the Suzuki Swift was second and the Mazda Demio was third – bumping the Nissan Tiida into fourth. There were 653 Axela sold during January –  up by 7.8 per cent on the same month of last year; Swift registrations totalled 619 units –  an increase of 14.2 per cent, and 588 Demio sales – a remarkable jump of 26.5 per cent.

The three models hold 4.8 per cent, 4.5 per cent and 4.3 per cent of the monthly market share respectively.

The regions that performed best when compared to the same month a year earlier were Wanganui, up 112 per cent from 63 in 2017 to 134 units last month, with Rotorua and Invercargill rounding out the top three, up 67 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.

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Used imported commercials steady

There were 1,024 used imported commercial vehicles sold last month, a 10.3 per cent increase compared to January 2017, when 928 vehicles were registered.

Many regions around New Zealand saw gains in used commercial vehicle registrations in January.

Toyota topped the ladder on 441 units, a 9.2 per cent increase compared to 404 in the same month last year for a market share of 43.1 per cent.

Nissan came second with 210 units, which was an increase of 6.6 per cent compared to January 2016, resulting in a market share of 20.5 per cent.

Sales of Mazdas decreased by 6 per cent from 83 in January 2016 to 78 last month.

The Toyota Hiace remained the dominant model, with a 33.4 per cent market share and sales of 342 last month. This was nearly 300 ahead of the Mazda Bongo and the Nissan Caravan, who were both in joint second place with sales of 65 units.

Many regions around New Zealand saw gains in used commercial vehicle registrations in January. Out of the main centres, Christchurch was the standout, with dealerships selling 123 units in the month of January – a 39.8 per cent increase from 88 at the same time last year.

Both Whangarei and Dunedin had steady increases compared to January last year, with 47.8 and 37.0 per cent respectively.

 

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Vehicles help rise in annual imports

Both exports and imports reached new highs in 2017, as New Zealand bought more cars and earned more from agricultural products, Stats NZ said today.

“The previous high for the value of goods exports in a calendar year was 2014,” international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. “The previous high for imports was 2015.”

Annual exports were valued at $53.7 billion for the year ended December 2017, up $5.2 billion (11 percent) from 2016. Dairy and meat products led the rise, up $2.8 billion to $14.0 billion and up $706 million to $6.6 billion, respectively. 

Imports for the December 2017 year were up $4.9 billion, to $56.5 billion. 

Vehicles parts and accessories help with rise in annual imports

Vehicles, parts, and accessories increased by $1.2 billion to $8.9 billion, an increase of 16 per cent compared to 2016. 

Within this, motor cars rose $640 million, up 13 per cent compared to 2016, and truck and vans rose $347 million, up 23 per cent.

Mechanical machinery and equipment (such as aircraft parts and computers) rose $1.3 billion to $8.2 billion, which lead the overall rise in imports.
China was our top trading partner

Exports to China were valued at $12.0 billion, 22 per cent of New Zealand’s total exports, while imports from China were valued at $10.9 billion, 19 per cent of New Zealand’s total imports.

“China overtook Australia as our top export market in 2013 and has remained at the top every calendar year since,” Mr Islam said. “The gap between the top two markets is now wider than it’s been at any time since then.”

New Zealand’s total two-way goods trade

New Zealand’s total two-way goods trade (exports plus imports) for the year ended December 2017 was worth $110 billion, up $10 billion from 2016. Annual two-way goods trade has remained above $100 billion for the last four years.

For the year ended December 2017, there was an annual trade deficit of $2.8 billion,5.3 per cent of exports. This was smaller than the $3.1 billion deficit, 6.5 per cent of exports for the December 2016 year.

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Low vehicle prices offset petrol hikes

Prices rose 0.1 per cent in the December 2017 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Higher petrol prices, air fares, and housing-related costs were countered by lower prices for new cars, and a range of household goods.

New car prices were down 6.2 per cent for the December quarter. 

The relatively flat result this quarter leaves the consumers price index (CPI) inflation rate at 1.6 percent for the December 2017 year. Inflation was 1.9 percent for the September 2017 year.

The CPI measures the rate of price change of goods and services purchased by New Zealand households and is a key measure for the Reserve Bank in setting interest rates and is commonly used in adjusting pay rates and other contracts.

Quarterly change

In the December 2017 quarter compared with the September 2017 quarter, the CPI rose 0.1 percent (up 0.4 percent with seasonal adjustment).

Purchase of vehicles fell 2.1 per cent for the quarter due to new car prices, down 6.2 per cent. However, second-hand vehicles were up 0.8 per cent.

Food prices fell 1.7 percent in the December 2017 quarter, influenced by seasonally lower vegetable prices, down 19 per cent.

“Retail prices fell by more than usual in the December 2017 quarter, contributing to lower inflation than widely expected,” prices senior manager Jason Attewell said.

“Changing retail pricing strategies have led to lower prices for a range of household items, while specials drove new car prices down 6.2 per cent.”

Lower prices for vehicles were countered by higher prices for passenger transport services, which rose 9.2 per cent. Private transport supplies and services prices rose 4.1 percent, with petrol prices up 6.1 percent.

“Petrol prices were up in the December quarter, following two quarters of falls,” Attewell said. “Rising oil prices and a falling exchange rate pushed prices up sharply between July and November this year. The average price for 91 octane petrol hit $1.94 in the December 2017 quarter, up from $1.83 in the September 2017 quarter.”

Annual change

From the December 2016 quarter to the December 2017 quarter. The CPI inflation rate was up 1.6 per cent.

Purchase of vehicles decreased 2.0 per cent, influenced by lower prices of new vehicles, down 6.7 per cent. 

However, this was covered by higher prices for petrol and cigarettes. Private transport supplies and services prices increased by 4.6 per cent as petrol prices rose by 6.5 per cent. Cigarettes and tobacco prices also increased 9.9 per cent.

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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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