New Zealand’s roads are likely to become even more congested as figures for new and used vehicle registrations in 2017 set all-time highs.
New vehicle registrations for December were up 9.6% (980 units) on December 2016 and took the 2017 calendar year to an all-time new record, the fourth year in a row, with a total of 159,871 registrations on corrected figures.
Registrations in the over 4000kg sector of the market rose by 23% in 2017; in contrast the registrations of passenger and SUVs were up 5.8%.
Fuso ended 2017 in the number two spot in the 4501kg to MAX GVM category, selling 955 trucks and 62 buses last year, double their 2016 combined total of 509.
Isuzu took out first place with 1262 trucks and 48 buses, a 4.5% increase on their 2016 figure.
Vehicle segmentation for the 2017 year reflects the changing patterns of new vehicle registrations with SUVs and light commercials dominating the market, and only the small vehicle segment breaking into the top five spots with 12% share. The top two segments for the year were SUV medium vehicles with 17% share (26,515 units) followed by the pick-up/chassis cab 4x4 segment with 14% (22,175 units). SUV large and SUV compact round out the top five spots with 11% each of the market.
The rise is mirrored by the used car registration and change of ownership figures released by NZTA, with 1.14 million used car transactions in 2017. This continues the trend of annual increases seen since 2011.
The ex-overseas segment of the used car market was the biggest contributor to the increase, with 165,000 transactions – a 10% increase over 2016.
A spokesman for Turners Group says there is no sign of growth in the used car market slowing. Not only is the light fleet travelling further than it ever has before (this has increased every quarter since 2013), but it is also older than it has been before, with the average vehicle age increasing to 14 years.
It is expected that with the number of 20-year-old vehicles being scrapped accelerating, newer used cars (both imports and ex-lease vehicles) will provide a pivotal role in the rejuvenation of New Zealand’s light fleet.