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Fuel spending down

Consumers spent less on fuel but more on core shop sales (which excludes the vehicle-related industries), leaving overall retail spending flat in the September 2017, Stats NZ said today. This is compared with a 0.6 per cent rise in the June quarter, after adjusting for seasonal effects.

Electronic card spending on fuel in the September 2017 quarter fell $129 million, or 7.1 per cent.

“This drop in fuel spending coincided with lower fuel prices at the beginning of the quarter,” retail manager Sue Chapman said.

Spending rose in five of the six retail industries in the September quarter.

Core retail spending rose 0.9 per cent in the September 2017 quarter, after a 1.1 per cent rise in the June 2017 quarter.

Actual retail spending using electronic cards was $14.7 billion in the September 2017 quarter, up $437 million (3.1 percent) from the September 2016 quarter.

Spending fell in four of the six retail industries in September. The largest movements came from sales of goods including appliances and furniture (durables), down $15 million or 1.2 percent, offset by grocery and liquor sales (consumables), up $15 million or 0.8 percent.

“We can’t draw any firm conclusions about the impact of the general election on electronic card spending in September,” Chapman said.

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Third quarter job growth slows

While September’s general election may have failed to slow car sales, the same cannot be said for the job market, with strong double-digit growth easing in the last quarter.

Growth in new job listings was only up a modest 4.8 per cent year-on-year, and well down on the high of 16 per cent growth in the December 2016 quarter.

Head of Trade Me Jobs Jeremy Wade said that election apprehension has rippled through the country.

“Traditionally during an election we see some effect on the employment market, however greater uncertainty around this year’s general election has hit harder than expected.”

Listings from small and medium-sized businesses in particular were lower than during the 2014 election campaign.

In contrast to Trades and services’ 4 per cent drop year-on-year for the September quarter, transport and logistics, which can be a bellwether for future economic growth, increased 28 per cent year-on year.

“We’ll be watching these sectors closely once a Government is formed. If they continue to rein in their hiring aspirations, then this may have an impact on economic growth for New Zealand,” says Wade.



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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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Aussie car sales dip in September

The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) reports that three of the growth segments in the Australian new vehicle market continued to rise in September, despite a 2.4 per cent dip in the overall market compared with the same month last year.

The chief executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, said that while there was a modest sales fall in September, strong activity was recorded across several key segments.

A total of 100,200 new vehicles sales were recorded in Australia last month, a fall of 2.4 per cent compared with September 2016, according to the industry’s official statistical service VFACTS.

“Any month over 100,000 total sales has to be seen as a strong outcome, proving there is continued value for the consumer in the market,” Weber said.

Source: FCAI

Market leader Toyota recorded a 1.07 per cent rise in sales during September for a dominant 17.3 per cent share overall, followed by Mazda with 10.3 per cent, Hyundai with 8.1 per cent, Mitsubishi with 7.1 per cent and Holden with 6.9 per cent.

The Ford Ranger light commercial was Australia’s top-selling vehicle for September with 4,318 sales, followed by the Toyota Hilux with 3,822, Toyota Corolla with 3,055, Mazda3 with 2,776 and Holden Commodore with 2,547.

Utes and cab-chassis 4X4 light commercial vehicles, together with small and medium SUVs were the three growth segments during September. The 4X4 light commercials were up 11 per cent, small SUVs rose 7.9 per cent and medium SUVs increased 3.3 per cent compared with September 2016.

SUV and light commercials remain the two robust areas of the market, accounting for a 58.8 per cent share of total sales year to date, up from 56 per cent in 2016.

The overall market remained 0.2 per cent ahead of last year’s record total on a year to date basis.


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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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Autofile magazine September issue out now

Autofile’s September issue is out now. Here’s a look at some of the industry movements and trends we’ve been following over the past month.

Ports of Auckland Ltd has pledged to continue working with the automotive sector to mitigate the effects of continued congestion in vehicle imports

An industry organisation in Australia has criticised proposed legislation as likely to devastate the country’s specialist imports sector

Two car companies have been ordered to pay $65,000 in penalties by the ERA following an investigation by the labour inspectorate.

The NZTA is urging interested parties to apply for class authorisations to access the Motor Vehicle Register before they expire on October 31.

The Giltrap Group opens its new $40 million headquarters, including display space for performance and luxury car brands it represents.

And Provident Insurance announces its intention to purchase Co-op Insurance NZ Ltd’s book.

We check out some Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal cases and keep you up to date with all the latest industry sales stats.

And much much more ….

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