By Dave Moore

Sales of new vehicles in the first 10 months of 2000 were more than 3% above the figures for the corresponding period last year, according to figures just released by New Zealand's Land Transport Safety Authority. A total of 62,120 new vehicles was sold by the end of October, compared with 60,155 in the same period of 1999.

When commercial vehicles are also taken into consideration, the year to date performance of the top two is slightly more comfortably in Toyota's favour: 10,594 units to Ford's 10,093. Third, in terms of both cars and combined cars and commercials is General Motors subsidiary Holden, with 6721 and 8164 units respectively, followed by Nissan (5130 and 6323) and Mitsubishi (4151 and 5925).

With no commercial line-up, Honda nevertheless takes a firm fifth place in New Zealand with 2829 sales year to date, followed by Hyundai and Mazda.

Sales for the month of October at 7190 were the highest since March of this year. Combined car and commercial figures for October for the top performers were Ford on 1345, Toyota on 1083, Holden with 1077, Mitsubishi with 642, Nissan on 571, Hyundai 475, Honda 464 and Mazda 328.