New Zealand's Motor Industry Association (mia) said April's record sales of 10,635 vehicles was again above market expectations.

"It could have been even greater if it were not for supply constraints faced by some distributors," said David Crawford, MIA chief executive officer.

"Year to date the new vehicle sector is 13% (5,804 units) ahead of this time last year with 50,059 vehicles registered compared to 44,210 to the end of April 2016."

Passenger car and SUV registrations of 6,996 units were up 3% year on year. The April commercial vehicle tally rose 15.5% to 3,639, setting an April record.

Toyota remained overall market leader with 17% market share followed by Ford (12%) and GM's Holden (8%). 

Toyota also topped passenger vehicle and SUV registrations with a 14% followed by Mazda (10%) and Hyundai (8%).

Top selling passenger and SUV models last month were the Mazda CX-5 (264), Kia Sportage (250) and Toyota RAV4 (237). 

Toyota again led in commercials with 22% followed by Ford (21%) with Holden a distant third (9%).

The Ford Ranger truck line again was NZ's best selling vehicle model (698) followed by the Toyota Hilux (571) and Holden Colorado (312).

The Ranger and Hilux also top the year to date chart with 2,912 and 2,289 units, respectively; Toyota's Corolla is third (1,546). 

In April the top five vehicle segments were dominated by SUVs and Utes (Pick Up/Chassis Cab), the SUV medium segment being the most dominant with a 16% share followed by Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4×4 (15%), the SUV large (12%), the SUV Compact (12%) and the Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4×2 (10%).  

"Monthly registrations of 10,635 vehicles made last month the strongest April on record, and only the second time since the MIA began collecting data that April sales have passed 10,000 units; the other time was way back in 1982," noted Crawford.