March new vehicle registrations in New Zealand rose 11.5% year on year to 9,505 units. Commercial vehicle sales were up 33.3% to 2,705, the best result for the month since 1985. Passenger car registrations rose 4.6% to 6,800.

David Crawford, CEO of the Motor Industry Association said: “This result shows the new vehicle market remains strong, consistent with levels of sales before the global financial crisis. Commercial vehicle registrations continue to perform at levels last seen in the mid 1980s.” 

Toyota remained market leader with a 19.4% share of total registrations - 1,845 vehicles; 1,202 cars and 643 LCVs).  Ford was second (928) and General Motors' Holden third (904). Holden was second in the passenger car segment with 654 registrations followed by Hyundai with 512.

The top selling passenger car model last month was the Toyota Corolla with 429 registrations followed by the Suzuki Swift (312) and the Holden Captiva (220).

In the commercial segment the Toyota Hilux was the top selling model with 389 registrations followed by the Ford Ranger (368) and Nissan Navara (300).

As in neighbouring Australia, SUV sales remain strong in New Zealand where the segment accounted for 28.8% of sales in March. Pickup/chassis cab accounted for 19% – 16.9% year to date.