New car and commercial vehicle sales in New Zealand forged ahead in August, posting new highs compared with the same month last year, the Motor Industry Association (MIA) said in a statement.

5982 new cars and 1903 new commercials were sold, an increase of 11% on new vehicle sales in August 2003. Calendar year to date, the new vehicle market is 9.3% ahead of last year.

“If there is an economic slowdown coming we’ve yet to see its effects on new vehicle sales,” said MIA CEO Perry Kerr. “New vehicle prices and specifications have never been better, and buyers are continuing to respond to the great value that’s out there. The 100,000 full year new vehicle market is certainly looking attainable.”

Toyota slipped to third in August passenger car sales behind Ford and Holden, but maintained total vehicle leadership thanks to another strong commercial vehicle performance.

The Commodore, a large rear-drive model line imported from GM’s Australian arm Holden, further extended its lead over the rival Ford Australia-built Falcon range as the country’s top-selling new car.

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Top 10 brands cars and commercials YTD August 2004:

1 Toyota 11,436 17.90%
2 Ford 10,407 16.29%
3 Holden 8,950 14.01%
4 Mitsubishi 5,805 9.09%
5 Nissan 4,530 7.09%
6 Honda 3,783 5.92%
7 Mazda 3,488 5.46%
8 Hyundai 1,639 2.57%
9 Subaru 1,327 2.08%
10 VW 1158 1.81%
Others 11,355 17.78%

Total industry sales: 63,878