New Zealand passenger car registrations of 6,347 vehicles in May were the best for that month since 1990, according to the local Motor Industry Association.

Commercial vehicle registrations remained "extraordinarily strong" with monthly registrations of 2,577 vehicles, also the strongest May sales since 1990.

Year to date passenger vehicle registrations of 32,239 vehicles were up 4% year on year while commercial registrations were up 32% to 11,573.

Toyota remained market leader last month with a 19.4% share (1,072 passenger cars and 659 commercials) folowed by General Motors' Holden (10.1%; 692) and Hyundai (685). 

The top selling model in May was the Thai-built Ford Ranger pickup (483) followed by the Toyota Hilux (447), reflecting continued strong sales for light commercial vehicles so far in 2013.

The top selling passenger car model for the month was the Holden Captiva SUV (304) followed by the Hyundai Santa Fe (270) and Toyota Corolla.

In the commercial segment the Ranger was also the top selling model followed by the Hilux and Holden Colorado (195).

The SUV segment was the most popular last month, accounting for 30% of total registrations. Pick Up/Chassis took 20%.