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New car sales overtake second-hand imports in New Zealand

(Xinhua)

13:58, March 06, 2012

WELLINGTON, March 6 (Xinhua) -- New Zealanders motorists have begun the year by buying more new cars than second-hand imports for the first time in at least six years, according to Motor Industry Association (MIA) figures out Tuesday.

New passenger car registrations of 5,633 last month were up 16 percent on February 2011 (4,844) with commercial registrations holding steady at 1,552, down by 0.5 percent.

In the first two months new passenger car registrations at 13, 132 were up 18.7 percent on 2011, said a statement from the MIA.

That compared with 12,375 registrations of mainly second-hand imports, according the MIA figures.

This is the first year that new car registrations in the first two months have exceeded second-hand imports since before 2007, MIA figures show.

"Members and their dealers are happy with these numbers," MIA chief executive officer Perry Kerr said in a statement.

"New passenger car sales are particularly buoyant, however light commercial registrations are still being impacted by stock shortages resulting from the Thailand floods of late last year. We were not expecting supplies to get back to normal for a few moths yet."

Toyota maintained its top spot for new passenger car registrations (772) last month, with Hyundai taking second (620), following by Holden (600) identical to their positions in the year to date.

Toyota also led new commercial vehicle registrations at 401 last month, followed by Nissan (198) nudging ahead of Ford (197) also identical to the positions in the year to date.

Most second-hand imports to New Zealand come from Japan, and critics say they lag behind fuel emissions and other standards set for new vehicles.

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