A 30% year on year rise to 4,585 April new car registrations in New Zealand was the highest monthly increase so far this year, the Motor Industry Association (MIA) said. But commercial vehicle sales were down 8.4% to 1,103 registrations.

“The new vehicle industry is very happy with these numbers,” said MIA CEO Perry Kerr. “April is traditionally a quiet month as sales slow with the Easter break and with school holidays.  Dealers I have spoken with are reporting good levels of enquiry, but they are also commenting they do not have enough good quality near new used stock, which is putting pressure on prices.”

Kerr added that there was no easy solution for this situation as new vehicle sales throughout 2009 had been at an historical low. 

In the passenger car segment, Toyota retained top spot last month with 757 registrations followed by GM’s Holden (503) and Ford (489).  The top three selling models – both for the month and year to date – remained the Toyota Corolla, Suzuki Swift and Holden Commodore.

Toyota was top commercial vehicle brand with 321 registrations followed by Ford (167) and Nissan (117).  The most popular light commercial was Toyota’s Hilux picup followed by the Nissan Navara and the Ford Ranger.