Easter, school holidays and new vehicle supply constraints all contributed to a slow-down in new passenger car sales in New Zealand during April.

Just released NZTA registration data shows the new vehicle market was down 1% on the corresponding month last year to 5,610 units, with passenger cars down 7.1% to 4,258 units but commercial vehicles up 22.6% to 1,352.  Year to date sales were still ahead of the corresponding period in 2010 by 11% for the overall market at 27,797.

Perry Kerr, CEO of the Motor Industry Association, said: “Some of the market volatility is driven by new vehicle supply constraints as a result of the [Japanese earthquake in March]. The supply situation is changing daily as the Japanese motor industry takes positive action to address the component shortages which are affecting production both in Japan and in other markets. The impact of this on each MIA member will vary and within the short term (the next six months) some model lines and/or individual vehicles may be unavailable.”

Kerr added he had full confidence in the Japanese industry to overcome all setbacks relatively quickly.

Toyota retained top spot with 561 passenger car registrations giving it 13.1% market share, followed by Ford (451) and Hyundai (433).  With April’s totals added to the first three months Hyundai moved into second place for total passenger car registrations.

In the commercial segment Toyota was again market leader with 333 registrations followed by Ford (246) with Mitsubishi (135) edging out Nissan for third spot.

The Suzuki Swift was the top selling model for the month with 248 registrations, followed by the Toyota Hilux (210) and Ford Ranger (207). The Toyota Corolla took fourth place with 149 registrations. Year to date, the Corolla remains the top selling model (1,623) followed by the Hilux (1,277) with the Swift in third place (1,171).