Used Imports

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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 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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New light commercial imports shine

 With a total of 29,960 passenger and light commercial vehicle imports for the month of October, the pipeline continues to be strong across all sectors.

Imports of used cars increased by 20.7 per cent compared with the same month last year with 14,866 cars crossing the border last month.

Used light commercial vehicles were down by 5.4 per cent, with 712 units entering NZ, the only glitch in an otherwise strong month for imports. 

New cars were up slightly with 10,473 imports, up 3.5 per cent on the 10,115 that entered in October 2016.

The stand out though were the 3,909 new light commercial vehicles that came in, this was the best month of 2017 and year to date, there have been more vehicles in this segment imported than the whole of 2016. For the full year 2016 there were 29,852 new light commercial’s imported and year to date 2017 this figure sits at 31,259 and is shaping up to be a bumper year for this category.

Year to date, 143,866 used cars and 95,326 new cars have entered the country up 16,832 units and 13.2 per cent for used, and 5,270 units and 5.2 per cent for new passenger vehicles.

In the used car market Japan increased 24.2 per cent on the same month last year, increasing their monthly market share to 94.68 per cent, last month 11,256 were sourced from that country.

Australia, Singapore and the UK were all down on October 2016 with 24.4, 16.5 and 14.1 per cent drops respectively.

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The rise and rise of used imported car registrations

Used imported passenger vehicle sales around New Zealand totalled 14,430 units last month, up 8.2 per cent on June’s figure of 13,339 and a 10.5 per cent increase compared to July 2016, when 13,055 cars were sold.

Year-to-date, used imported car registrations have increased by 10.6 per cent to 94,382 vehicles – 9,065 units higher than the January – July 2016 period, which saw 85,317 used passenger vehicle sales.

Toyota was the market leader, as usual, with 3,705 used cars sold, up 13.7 per cent for a 25.7 per cent market share for the month. Comfortably in second place, Nissan sold 2,732 used passenger vehicles, a 7.6 per cent increase for an 18.9 per cent market share, followed by Mazda, up 9.4 per cent to 2,146 units sold, taking 14.9 per cent of the market.

The top-selling car was once again the Mazda Axela, with 676 units sold, a 15 per cent annual increase, followed by the Suzuki Swift, with 626 sales (up 19.47 per cent year-on-year) and the Nissan Tiida, only one unit behind with 625 sales (down 3.1 per cent).

Some regions around the country saw large gains in used imported car registrations last month, including Westport, which doubled its total to 14 units sold, Oamaru, which jumped 76.5 per cent to 30 vehicles, and Palmerston North, which increased 33.8 per cent to 428 units, an extra 108 used imported cars sold.

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June imports mixed

New vehicle imports rose 16.6 per cent in June

Motor vehicle imports rose 4.9 per cent in June to a total 31,818 units, according to the latest New Zealand Customs motor vehicle statistics.

Month-on-month, used passenger imports fell 6.6 per cent to 15,570 vehicles, but were up 14.2 per cent compared to June last year.

Japanese imports were down 7.2 per cent to 14,589 units, a 93.6 per cent market share. Australian used passenger imports were down eight per cent to 477 units, followed by Singapore, which doubled to 187 units, and Great Britain, down 20.5 per cent to 151 units.

New passenger vehicles, however, increased 16.6 per cent to 11,256 units, a 25.2 per cent increase compared to June 2016. Imports of new vehicles from Japan rose 37.8 per cent month-on-month, followed by Thailand, up 33 per cent to 1,627 units.

German imports were down 16 per cent to 1,220 units, and imports from Korea fell 24 per cent to 1,166 vehicles.

New passenger vehicle imports from Australia recovered slightly from May’s freefall, up 137 per cent to 180 units, but well short of the 444 units imported in April.

Used commercials held steady, up 3.3 per cent to 725 units in May, a year-on-year increase of 29.7 per cent. Japan continues to hold the market, up 4.5 per cent to 647 units, an 89.3 per cent market share.

New commercial vehicle imports were up 30.7 per cent month-on-month to 4,169 units. This is 79.8 per cent higher than in June 2016. Thailand topped the table, with imports up 28.9 per cent to 3,021 units, 72.4 per cent of the market.  

Japanese imports rose 42.4 per cent month-on-month to 571 units, followed by China, which doubled to 224 units.

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Vehicle imports rebound in May

A total of 16,666 used passenger vehicles crossed the border last month, a 32 per cent increase compared to May 2016.

So far, 73,692 used cars have been imported into New Zealand during the year to date.

As usual, the vast majority of used imported vehicles came from Japan, 15,727 units entered New Zealand which is a 27.9 per cent rise on April’s imports and 32.7 per cent up on the same month last year when 12,563 used cars came in.

There was also an increase in used cars coming in from Britain and Australia, when compared to May 2016 – British imports rose 160.3 per cent to 190 units, and Australia sent 519 used cars, up 31.4 per cent.

It was also a good month for new passenger vehicles, with imports up 18 per cent on May last year to 9,655 units, the best figures since December 2016.

Year to date, 43,690 new cars have been imported into New Zealand, compared to 38,237 for the same period last year, an increase of 14.3 per cent.

In terms of light commercial vehicle imports, used increased 40 per cent from 438 last May to 614 units last month. New light commercial imports rose 22.1 per cent from 2309 in May 2016 to 2,819 units last month.


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IMVIA releases annual report

Record numbers of used and new vehicles have been imported into New Zealand over the 12 months ending March 2017, according to the annual report released today by the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association Incorporated (IMVIA).

The number of cars and commercial vehicles registered in the 2016 calendar year totalled 303,000 – 160,000 used and 143,000 new vehicles. 175,000 vehicles also left the fleet via deregistration and scrappage.

Revenue from memberships and sponsorships had increased, but income from technical services dropped, resulting in a loss of $118,587. IMVIA says this is due to a fall in technical services from vehicles requiring special certificates, and that current reserves means the association is still in a strong financial position.

While there are no government-led initiatives in development affecting vehicle imports, the IMVIA spokesperson says that there is “considerable work being done by government and industry on technological developments that have the potential to bring significant changes to not only our industry, but the role of transport and vehicles in our lives.”

“In particular, electric vehicles, intelligent transport, connected vehicles and mobility as a service are very much in focus in terms of future developments,” a spokesperson from the IMVIA added.

Looking ahead, the IMVIA pointed to a range of issues set to affect importers and dealers in the future. In March 2018, all light passenger vehicles over 2000 cc are to be fitted with electronic stability control (ESC), and the IMVIA is researching models and variants that will fall under this category.

The IMVIA has also met with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff in March to discuss the future of the Ports of Auckland, which is New Zealand’s main port of call for vehicle imports, and is now working with Northport, exploring the possibility of utilising Northland as an alternative in the future.

The association will also redevelop its brand identity, with a new logo and a website to be revealed at the AGM in July.

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Ports groaning under weight of vehicle imports

March was a record-breaking month for vehicle imports, with Customs New Zealand reporting 32,800 new and used vehicles arriving in the country.

This is a 39 per cent increase on March 2016, and a 19 per cent increase on February this year.

19,579 used passenger vehicles were imported last month, a 50.6 per cent increase on March 2016. This is the largest month in recent history, with the previous record 16,450 in May 2014.

18,446 of these vehicles came from Japan, taking 94.2 per cent of the market. Japanese imports increased 50 percent in March compared to last year.  Next was Australia, with 630 used imports, increasing 33.5 per cent year-on-year, and Great Britain, with 241 imports; a massive 288.7 per cent year-on-year increase.

Year-to-date, used cars are 27 per cent ahead of the same period.

Used commercial imports also increased, up 34.2 per cent to 722 units. 94 per cent of these vehicles came from Japan, according to provisional Customs statistics, with Australia second on a two per cent market share.

New vehicle imports were also strong in March. A total 12,499 new vehicles were imported last month, 17 per cent higher than February and a 26.3 per cent increase on March 2016.

New passenger vehicles rose 21.7 per cent year-on-year to 9,200. Of these, 3,399 were from Japan, a 36 per cent market share. Next was Korea, with 1461 new passenger imports, a 15 per cent share, and then Germany, with 1255 imports. Australian imports fell further to 322 units, from a six-month high of 846 last October. 

New commercials imports increased 31.3 per cent compared to March 2016, with 3,299 vehicles. 76 per cent of these new imports were from Thailand, where several top-selling utes, such as the Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara and Toyota Hilux, are manufactured. Next was Japan with an 11.6 per cent share and then China on three per cent.

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Biggest used imports for 13 years

A massive 14,474 imported used cars were sold last month, the third-highest number ever, behind July 2003, with 14,709 sales, and March 2004, which recorded 14,877 sales.

Registrations of imported used cars last month were 19.1 per cent higher than March last year, which had 12,153 sales, and 18.1 per cent ahead of February this year, which had 12,260.

Toyota topped passenger sales yet again, with 3,722 units sold in March, a 27.9 per cent increase on the same time last year, when 2,910 vehicles were sold, and a 22.5 per cent increase on February, which had 2,760 sales. Toyota holds a 25.6 per cent market share of the year to date.

Nissan followed, with 2,543 new registrations, a 13.5 per cent increase in sales compared to March last year, when 2,240 vehicles were sold. The market share holds steady at 17.7 per cent. In third, Mazda recorded a massive 39.6 per cent increase in March sales, up to 2,508 units. 1,796 units were sold in the same period last year.

Hatchbacks continue to be the used vehicle of choice for New Zealand drivers, taking out the top five positions. The highest-selling used car was the Suzuki Swift, with 616 sales in March 2017, up 13.2 per cent on the previous year.

The Mazda Axela came second, with 593 sales, a 21.8 per cent increase. In third was the Nissan Tiida, the number-one selling car of March 2016, with sales falling six per cent to 575 units.

In the hybrid market, sales of the Toyota Prius jumped over 101 per cent to 389 units, making it the sixth-highest selling vehicle in March 2017.

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Huge month for used commercials

March saw the highest registrations for used imported commercial vehicles since 2008. Last month 1249 units were sold, a massive 40.2 per cent increase on March 2016, when 891 units were registered.

The Toyota Hiace again dominated the used commercial’s market, with 452 registrations in March, taking a 36 per cent market share. This is a 40 per cent increase on March 2016, when 321 units were sold.

The Nissan Caravan came second, with 106 sales and an eight per cent market share. This is 51 per cent higher than the previous March, which saw 70 sales.

The Mazda Bongo was third yet again, with 75 sales, a 44.2 per cent increase on March last year, when 52 units were sold, The Bongo has a six per cent share of the used commercial market.

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Toyota starts import programme

Toyota has entered the New Zealand import market with the launch of Toyota Certified Imports, an official programme which will source Toyota vehicles directly from Japan.

“The launch of Toyota Certified Imports is a massive milestone for consumer choice and Kiwi motorists in the market for a reliable and affordable vehicle under $15,000,” said Andrew Davis, Toyota New Zealand’s general manager of used vehicles and marketing.

Vehicles sold under the Toyota Certified Imports programme will be specially selected and inspected by Toyota New Zealand and the AA to ensure full compliance with New Zealand safety regulations. The cars will also have their odometers independently certified before refurbishment.

Toyota New Zealand says prices will begin at $8,990, and all vehicles will be subject to their warranty programme.

Toyota dominates the used vehicle market in New Zealand. In data collected for the year so far, the Japanese car maker has a 25.5 per cent market share of passenger vehicles and a 45.2 per cent share of commercial vehicles, totalling 7314 sales in January and February.

Numerous companies in New Zealand have begun selling imported Japanese vehicles as demand for high-quality used cars reaches record highs, and New Zealand is now one of the largest markets in the world for used Japanese imports.

Vehicle imports from Japan topped $2 billion in 2016, and Japanese cars made up 93 per cent of the 152,712 second-vehicles sold in New Zealand last year.

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