New Zealand new car sales this year are running just below 2005's record.

6,266 new cars were registered in November, 0.3% below the same month last year. But new commercial vehicle sales were 10.2% down on last November at 1,866.

Year to date November, new car sales at 71,336 were 1.0% behind the same period last year, and new commercial sales of 21,581 were 6.1% down.

"It's touch and go whether 2006 will be the second 100,000 [unit] year in succession for new vehicle sales," said Motor Industry Association CEO Perry Kerr. "It's certainly held up well, and while it hasn't quite matched the peak year of 2005 there's still plenty of confidence out there that we'll see a continuation of a healthy level of business well into the New Year."

Thanks to another very strong commercial vehicle month, Toyota continued to surge ahead in total new vehicle sales (17,285) despite Ford getting the edge for the month in new car sales (996). Top selling model for the month was again GM Holden's Commodore (471), which has now established an unassailable lead for the year (4,902 ahead of 4,340 Toyota Corolla units).

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