New car sales are slowing in New Zealand.

The Motor Industry Association (MIA) said May sales of 5,627 units were down 11.3% year on year (May 2007 saw a 17-year record ).

New commercial vehicle sales, at 2002, were marginally down. Year to date though, total new vehicle sales of 41,636 were 3.5% up year on year.

"If May's trend continues into the coming months we may at last be seeing the new vehicle market entering a consolidation phase after a prolonged period of growth," said MIA CEO Perry Kerr.

"This is not entirely unexpected, as the slowing economy has affected virtually every other business sector. There is however, very strong demand for small new cars in particular, and we still expect the full year to yield a similar new vehicle market to that of 2007."

Toyota continues to lead new vehicle sales but there is a close battle between Ford and GM's Holden for second place. Toyota's Corolla continues to edge out Holden's Commodore as top selling car model.