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Import figures – who knows!

The latest New Zealand Customs motor vehicle statistics have just been released for the month of February.

The latest report contains import statistics on vehicles that have entered New Zealand. These numbers will also include some of the vehicles that have been cleared by NZ Customs but unable to be offloaded due to Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and Yellow Spotted Stink Bug incursions on board three pure car carriers, which have been deemed to have ‘arrived’ in New Zealand because they docked, but the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) subsequently turned them around.

So the vehicles accounted for in the Customs stats will not all be available to be complied and offered for sale.

Autofile understands there may well be more than 10,000 cars, a mix of new and used, counted by Customs but yet to be unloaded.  

In terms of official arrivals, 9525 used cars, 8043 new cars, 422 used light commercials and 2534 new light commercial vehicles crossed the border.

These figures are all down on last year’s import numbers for the same month and year to date.

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Car importer $5000 out of pocket

Luxury car importer thousands out of pocket after brokerage goes bust.

An Auckland luxury car importer is $5000 out of pocket due to customs broker, Online Logistics going into liquidation.

Online Logistics was used by overseas shipping companies to import goods locally, acting as a middle man to pay GST and duties to Customs on behalf of importers in order to clear goods into the country.

On 17 November 2017, an application for putting Online Logistics into liquidation was filed in the High Court at Auckland. The application was heard on Friday 9 February 2018 where the liquidation was finalised. 

An Auckland dealer, who asked not to be identified, ordered a BMW in November through an international shipping company, and paid customs broker, Online Logistics $3938 in GST, a $1300 shipping fee, and $42.82 for a customs transaction fee.


The GST was payable to Customs while the shipping fee was owed to the shipping company.

In order for importers to receive their goods customs brokers must lodge declarations and pay the associated duties and GST on behalf of clients.

After receiving word from the shipping company that it hadn’t been paid, and that the BMW was waiting for clearance in Auckland, the importer said he tried unsuccessfully to contact Online Logistics. 

He told the NZ Herald that he received a letter from the company in January saying it had stopped trading “due to an unforeseen financial situation, and we have been left with no option but to close down immediately”. The letter instructed him to contact another company for his car.

In an email seen by the Herald on Sunday, Customs told the importer they had no record of a payment by Online Logistics on his behalf, despite the company’s invoice saying the payment had been made immediately.

The man had to repay $3632 in GST to clear his car – less than Online Logistics had asked for. The shipping company waived its fee a second time because of the circumstances.

Customs said it couldn’t comment, except to confirm it had applied to the High Court for Online Logistics’ liquidation. A hearing was held in early February.

The BMW importer told the NZ Herald he was now “wary” of importing anything else.

“You would think these people are vetted by Customs but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all.”

Although customs brokers must be registered by them to be declarants, there is no public register people can rely on to choose brokers.

“It is quite concerning as it seems quite a few of these guys are complete cowboys, in an industry you would expect to be quite tightly regulated,” he said.

He said Online Logistics would have been aware since November they were facing liquidation, and should never have invoiced him.

“There’s no excuse for it. They should have stopped trading.”

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Vinsen cancels trip to work on crisis

David Vinsen, chief executive officer of VIA (Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association) has decided to cancel his long planned motor cycling holiday in Australia to return to New Zealand to assist in resolving the industry crisis surrounding the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) infestations in pure car carriers arriving from Japan. 

In a phone call to Autofile last night Vinsen explained that the issue was sufficiently serious that he would be cancelling his planned trip and return home. 

“I believe the industry needs to call on all of our resources to work through this issue as quickly as possible, VIA will provide the leadership necessary to coordinate all efforts required to resolve this matter as quickly as possible,” says Vinsen. 

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Vehicle Imports down on last year

There was a significant drop in used imported passenger vehicles in January when compared to December 2017.

Motor vehicle dealers imported 10,423 used cars last month, down 20.4 per cent from 13,097 imports in December, and it was a fall of 1.51 per cent against January 2017’s total of 10,583.

There was a 6.5 per cent fall in new car imports when compared to the same month of last year – with 7,933 new cars crossing the boarder last month, down 556 units on January 2017’s total of 8,489.

Light commercial imports also fell, with used down 10.5 per cent compared to 551 units in January 2017. There was an 18 per cent fall in new light commercials – from 2,968 units in January 2017 to 2,431 last month.

Used car imports from Japan totaled 9,660, down only slightly (37 units) 0.4 per cent on the same month last year

Imported used cars from the UK were down 55.7 per cent compared to January last year when 273 units came in, last month that total was 121 units.

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No more cars on Auckland’s wharves

The views of the Waitemata Harbour being spoiled by rows of cars will be no longer due to a new masterplan from Ports of Auckland, (POAL).

The port company has revealed a draft 30-year masterplan for the 77ha of land it owns on the sea’s doorstep. The plans include a five-storey car park to keep car imports hidden from public view topped with a 1ha waterfront park accessible to the public.

“We’re proposing to build a five-storey car handling building which will provide more capacity, hide cars from view and free up space on Captain Cook Wharf for cruise ships.”

“On top of this building we will create a new waterfront park and next to it on Quay Street, we have earmarked space for a new hotel, or other such building for public use.”

Consent for the carpark will be lodged next year, with a plan to have it completed within five years.

The draft masterplan also involves development plans for a 13m piled concrete extension at the end of Bledisloe Wharf, which the company says is essential for a new berth and the success of other projects.

The extension is guaranteed to cause a stir with critics due to further expansion into the harbour. Last night, Auckland mayor Phil Goff said he did not support further extension of the port into the harbour.

“This is a proposal only and needs to be subject to public discussion. Ultimately it will go through a consent process where public can make submissions,” Goff said.

However, the extension is smaller than previous expansion plans and it is line with recommendations from the Auckland City Council’s Port Future Study last year.

“We’ve developed a draft 30-year masterplan that we think balances Auckland’s economic, social and environmental needs…it creates space for freight and gives Auckland Council the time it needs to make a sound decision on where, when and how to move the port,” Tony Gibson, the port’s Chief Executive, said.

Details of the draft masterplan can be found at:

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Toyota on becoming import only

The demise of Australian vehicle production has meant that Toyota has transformed into an import-only brand, following in the footsteps of former manufacturers Holden and Ford Australia. (more…)

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New General Manager for Buy Right Cars

Turners Group Ltd has appointed Julian Stone as the General Manager for its Buy Right Cars business in Auckland they acquired earlier in July. Stone will be responsible for all eight dealerships across the city.

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Imports a mixed bag in September

Last month’s imports of used cars and light commercials were up compared to the same month last year, with 13,401 cars and 652 light commercials crossing the border, an increase of 15.2 and 10.5 per cent respectively.

New cars and light commercials were down 26 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively, imports numbered 7620 cars and 2558 light commercials

Year to date figures however show increases across the board. Year to date, 129,437 used cars and 79,941 new cars have entered the country up 14,714 units for used and 4913 units for new.

Japan rallied in terms of source markets increasing to 94.66 per cent market share for the month, but when compared to September last year most other markets declined. Singapore was down 42.4 per cent from 133 units in the same month 2016 to 53 last month. Last month’s entries from the UK and Australia were down 25.2 and 19 per cent respectively on September last year.

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New vehicle sales on a roll

David Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Industry Association says, “the traditional slowdown in new vehicle registrations during an election period failed to materialise in September. Monthly registrations of 14,507 vehicles was the strongest month of September on record. Registrations were 10.4 per cent (11,165 units) year to date above this time in 2016 and for the month were up 4.5 per cent (623 units) on September 2016.”

Year to date, sales of passenger and SUVs were up by 6.8% and commercial vehicles by 18.6% compared to 2016.

Toyota remains the overall market leader with 24 per cent market share (3,473 units), followed by Ford with 11 per cent (1,548 units) and Holden with 10 per cent market share (1,386 units).

Toyota was also the market leader for passenger and SUV registrations with 2,320 units, for  market share of 24 per cent, Holden followed with 1,006 registrations and Mazda with a 9 per cent market with 875 sales.

The top selling passenger and SUV models for the month was the Toyota Corolla with 957 sales, of which 742 were rentals.

In the commercial sector, Toyota was again the market leader with 25 per cent of the market with 1,153 units, followed by Ford with 875 and Holden third with on 380 registrations.

The Toyota Hilux was again the bestselling commercial model with 17 per cent share selling 791 units, The Ranger was close behind with 781 units registered. Ford Ranger remains both the top commercial vehicle model and the top model overall for 2017 with 7,098 registrations compared to 6,285 for the Toyota Hilux.

“As the 2017 year progresses economic conditions of the last 18 months remain largely unchanged with low interest rates, strong net immigration, strong New Zealand currency and stable domestic economy. The combination of these factors underpins record sales of new vehicles.” said Crawford.


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Fall in vehicle imports from Japan

Imports from Japan were down $50 million, 14 per cent, led by a fall in motor vehicles, down $46 million in August, Stats NZ said today.

However, imports from the European Union were up $107 million (12 per cent) to $1 billion, led by a rise in vehicles, parts, and accessories, up $69 million, and Australia was up $48 million (8.2 per cent) to $637 million, with increases across a range of commodities.

Vehicles parts and accessories were little changed (up 0.1 percent).

Kiwifruit exports rose $73 million in August 2017 to reach $268 million, up 37 per cent on the same month last year.

The rise was the leading contributor to an increase of $306 million (9 per cent) in overall goods exports, which was $3.7 billion in August.

For the August 2017 year, the value of kiwifruit exports was the highest ever at $1.8 billion, up $202 million, up 13 per cent, from the previous year. The quantity of kiwifruit exports was up 9.8 per cent over the same period.

“This annual increase in kiwifruit exports was led by gold kiwifruit, in particular to China,” international statistics senior manager Daria Kwon said.

Other export goods commodities to rise in the month of August were petroleum and products including crude oil, up $54 million, food preparations including infant formula, up $44 million or 50 per cent, and mechanical machinery and equipment, up $27 million or 21 per cent.

However, Milk powder, butter, and cheese, New Zealand’s single biggest export commodity group, fell $12 million (2.6 per cent) in August 2017 compared with August 2016, reflecting a smaller quantity for the month. This month’s fall follows strong rises in recent months. International dairy product auction prices rose sharply in the second half of 2016.

Goods imports rose $301 million (6.5 per cent) to reach $4.9 billion in August 2017, led by an increase in the value of crude oil (up $147 million or 93 per cent). Imports of crude oil and other petroleum products tend to move up and down from month to month, depending on the timing of shipments.

The monthly trade deficit in August 2017 was $1.2 billion (33 per cent of exports), marginally lower than the deficit in August 2016.

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Wholesale vehicle stocks up 19%

Wholesale stocks of cars, trucks, and parts in the June 2017 year rose at the fastest pace since 2008, Stats NZ said today. 

The actual value of wholesale stocks of motor vehicle and parts held at June 30, 2017 was $2.1 billion, up 19 per cent to $328 million when compared with the previous year. The previous largest annual stock increase was in September 2008, up 24 per cent to $337 million when compared with September 30, 2007. 

“The latest annual increase for motor vehicle and parts coincides with the recent high record of car imports,” wholesale trade manager Sue Chapman said. 

Overseas Merchandise Trade reported that imports of vehicles, parts, and accessories was up 21 per cent to $396 million in the June 2017 quarter when compared with the same quarter last year. 

The biggest annual rundown in wholesale vehicle stocks came in 2009, after the global financial crisis, when they dropped more than $500 million. 

When adjusted for seasonal effects, the motor vehicle and parts wholesale stocks were up 9.2 per cent to $173 million from March 31, 2017. 

Wholesale trade sales rose 1.7 per cent in the June quarter, recording its fifth consecutive quarterly rise. 

“The June quarter’s rise in total wholesaling was driven by basic material wholesaling and machinery and equipment wholesaling,” Ms Chapman said. 

The actual value of wholesale trade sales was $24.9 billion in the latest quarter, up $1.4 billion (6.0 percent) from the June 2016 quarter.

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