Last month was the strongest April on record for sales of new vehicles in New Zealand, boosted by arrivals of new stock.

"Comparing April this year to April 2020 is a statistical challenge due to April 2020 being in full lockdown," the Motor Industry Association (MIA) said. 

Hence April 2021 registrations were 13,133 units compared to just 1,039 for April 2020. Year to date, the market was up 62.4%.

A more useful comparison was the first four months of 2018, the strongest year for new vehicle sales. Year to date registrations of 2021 sales were up 8.3% (4,196 units) on the first four months of 2018, due largely to long waiting lists being filled as shipments arrived. 

Overall, April 2021 registrations of 13,133 vehicles were up 12,094 units on the same month in 2020.

There were 177 pure electric vehicles, 126 PHEV's and 1,102 hybrid vehicles sold last month. 

Registration of 8,823 passenger and SUVs for April 2021 were up 1,148% on April 2020 while commercial vehicle registrations of 4,310 were up 1,198% compared to April 2020. This was a record April for both passenger and commercial vehicles. 

The top three models for the month of April were the Ford Ranger (1,026 units), followed by the Toyota Hilux (781 units) with the Kia Stonic in third place (625 units).

Toyota remains overall market leader with 17% market share (2,235 units), followed by Mitsubishi with 12% (1,589 units) and Ford in third spot with 11% market share (1,419 units).