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Used imports tumble by nearly one-fifth

Annual figures reveal the full impact of Covid-19 and a disappointing end to the year.
Posted on 06 January, 2021
Used imports tumble by nearly one-fifth

There were 113,142 used-imported cars registered in New Zealand in 2020, a drop of 19.5 per cent when compared to 140,590 sales in the previous year.

It means 27,448 fewer units were sold during a year when sales were severely disrupted by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The annual figures were dealt an extra blow in December when 9,334 used-imported passenger vehicles were registered here.

That was 19.7 per cent fewer than the 11,628 sales in December 2019.

Last month’s figures were the third lowest monthly total in 2020. Only April and August – when lockdowns were in force – produced lower figures with 622 and 9,054 respectively.

Gisborne and Rotorua were among the biggest losers in December as sales figures declined by more than 30 per cent. 

In sharp contrast, the number of registrations in Napier climbed 31.1 per cent, increasing from 225 units to 295.

In the main centres, Auckland’s year-on-year figures plunged by 19.3 per cent from 5,428 in December 2019 to 4,379 last month.

Over the same period, Wellington’s monthly tally increased 0.8 per cent to 762 registrations, and Christchurch’s numbers fell 27.9 per cent from 1,477 to 1,065.

Axela takes annual crown

The Mazda Axela was the most popular model for the year, with Toyota’s Aqua and Corolla the second and third best-sellers, respectively. 

The Axela sold 5,984 units and had a 5.3 per cent share of the annual market, while the Aqua had 5,104 sales for 4.5 per cent.

Rounding out the top five cars of the year was the Honda Fit on 4,229, the Toyota Prius on 3,879, and the Mazda Demio on 3,809. 

Toyota was the top marque for 2020 with 28,307 sales for 25 per cent of the market. 

Nissan was the second most-popular marque with 19,163 units, a market share of 16.9 per cent, and Mazda was third on 17,777 registrations, or 15.7 per cent. Honda notched 10,415 annual sales and Subaru had 8,103.

In the December 2020 sales figures, the Aqua pipped the Axela to be the top seller. The Aqua sold 585 units and had a 6.3 per cent share of the monthly market in December as sales increased 39 per cent on the same month of last year.

The Axela had 444 registrations, which was 24 per cent fewer than in December 2019. The next best sellers were the Prius on 367, the Demio with 292 and the Fit on 287.

In the marques’ ladder, Toyota came out on top in December with 2,613 sales for 28 per cent of the market. Its sales fell 10.9 per cent from the same month in 2019. 

Mazda was second with 1,365 units, a market share of 14.6 per cent, and Nissan was third on 1,309 registrations, or 14 per cent.