The New Zealand new vehicle market is showing signs of a rebound after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami with July registrations ahead of the same month in 2009 and 2010, a local auto trade association said.

“The new vehicle industry is beginning to regain ground lost over the past three months when sales were impacted by stock shortages”, said Perry Kerr, CEO of the Motor Industry Association.

“Registrations of new passenger cars of 4,879 were up 9.7% on July 2010 (4,446) and also July 2009 (4,473). Likewise commercial registrations of 1,826 were up 17.7% on 2010 (1,551) and 2009 (1,267).

Toyota regained top spot with total sales of 1,026, made up of 616 passenger cars and 410 commercial vehicles. Ford took out number two spot with 709 sales (465 passenger cars and 244 commercial vehicles) with Holden coming in third with 687 sales (564 passenger cars and 123 commercial vehicles), added Kerr.

Top selling model for the month was the Suzuki Swift with 325 sales. The Swift is also, for now, top overall model year to date with 1,978 registrations, just ahead of the usually perennial market-leading Toyota Corolla with 1,960 registrations.

The next best-selling model was the Toyota Hilux (262) followed by another light commercial vehicle, the Nissan Navara (248).  In the passenger car market, Holden has three of the top four best-selling models with the Commodore number two (204 registrations) followed by the Captiva (163 registrations) and the Cruze (154 registrations).

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The Corolla is still affected by stock shortages and was in an uncharacteristic ninth place.