New vehicle sales in New Zealand, which face strong competition from used vehicle imports, reached a record 134,041 units in 2015, a rise of 5.4% over 2014.

"It is the highest ever level of new vehicle registrations in New Zealand's history and the first time new registrations have broken through the 130,000 barrier," said David Crawford, chief executive officer of the Motor Industry Association. 

Commercial registrations rose 6.6% to 39,077 units to set a new record.  Passenger vehicle registrations rose 4.9% to 94,964 units. 

Toyota topped the market for the 28th consecutive year with registrations of 26,330 vehicles.

The Ford Ranger was best selling commercial vehicle with 17% market share and also the top selling model overall, the first time a commercial vehicle has outsold a passenger model, with 6,818 vehicles registered last year. It was followed by Toyota's Corolla and Hilux.

SUVs continued to dominate the market (34%) with 45,376 registrations in 2015.