New Zealand's Motor Industry Association (mia) said January 2021 new vehicle registration showed "a strong start for the new year".

Registrations of 13,893 were 6.2% up on January 2020, making it the third strongest January on record.  

"The January market has benefitted from stock arrivals in December and a resilient local economy," the MIA said. New Zealand still has overseas travel restrictions but no lockdowns.

January sales included 244 pure electric vehicles, 93 PHEVs and 1,073 hybrids, all up on January a year ago.

Registration of 9,713 passenger cars and SUVs last month were up 6.7% on Jan 2020 while commercial vehicle registrations of 4,180 were up 5.1%.

The top three models were the Ford Ranger (948 units), followed by the updated Toyota Hilux (750) and RAV4 (471).

Toyota remained the overall market leader with a 17% share (2,368 units), followed by Mitsubishi with 10% (1,437) and Ford with 10% (1,390).

KIA was a close fourth also with 10% share (1,352). 

The top selling passenger and SUV models for the month were the RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander and Kia Seltos.

Ford retained commercial vehicle market lead with 24% share (1,021 units) followed by Toyota with 23% (946) and Mitsubishi with 10% (435).

The Ranger was again the best selling commercial model with 23% share followed by Hilux with 18% and the Mitsubishi Triton with 10%.