A buoyant New Zealand new vehicle market continued in February, boosted by a particularly strong performance by commercial vehicles.

Although new car sales, at 5,219, were slightly down on January's figure, the short selling month of February effectively produced a 7% increase in new car sales over February 2003, according to the Motor Industry Association (MIA).

A total of 1,702 new commercial vehicles were sold in the month, 12% ahead of January, 11% ahead of February 2003 and the largest February volume of new commercial sales since 1985.

The MIA remains in confident mood. "The very strong sales for new commercial vehicles indicate that the business sector remains very positive about the future," said CEO Perry Kerr. "Passenger car sales also remain well ahead of last year's levels and indications are that this level of strength in the market will continue."

Toyota retained overall market leadership year to date but Holden hung on to its lead in passenger car sales. Ford achieved both total vehicle and passenger car leadership but remains in third place year to date on a volume basis.

Ford's Australian-made Falcon large car model line displaced its archrival GM Australia-made Holden Commodore as the top selling car model in February, but the Commodore is still 265 units ahead year to date.

NZ new car sales by brand Jan-Feb 2004
1 Holden 1,715 15.69%
2 Toyota 1,660 15.18%
3 Ford 1,557 14.24%
4 Honda 987 9.03%
5 Mitsubishi 820 7.50%
6 Nissan 818 7.48%
7 Mazda 580 5.31%
8 BMW 321 2.94%
9 Subaru 270 2.47%
10 Hyundai 269 2.46%
Others 1,935 17.70%
Total 10,932