The New Zealand new vehicle market demonstrated continuing strength with 7,904 new cars registered in October, the local trade group said on Monday.

Sales were up 11.7% on September and 1.5% year on year, and the largest number of new cars were sold in a month since June 1989.

New commercial vehicle sales, at 2,151, were marginally ahead of September, but a huge 33.9% up over October last year.

"New vehicle sales continue to forge ahead," said Motor Industry Association CEO Perry Kerr, "and 2007 is on target to produce over 100,000 new vehicle registrations for only the second time since the late 1980s."

Toyota (16,440 vehicles to date) continued to stretch its lead over Ford (11,320) and GM's Holden (9,944) as New Zealand's most popular vehicle brand.

Holden's Commodore remained the country's most popular car model year to date (5,376 vs 4,081), despite being outsold by over 200 units in October by the second-placed Toyota Corolla (777 to 573).

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