8 Dec 2015

New Zealand car market peaks

12:58 pm on 8 December 2015

The car market has peaked and looks set to decline from this year's record sales.

Consultancy firm Infometrics said total sales fell a seasonally adjusted 3.9 percent in November, when compared with the month before.

On a yearly basis, sales were a little more than 1 percent ahead of last year, the weakest annual growth in three years.

Economist Mieke Welvaert said he expected rising prices to hit sales next year.

"We do expect the New Zealand dollar to weaken further against the Japanese yen through next year and that will start pushing up car prices even more and that will be a further factor for why people will be buying less," he said.

Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford said new car sales are on track for a record run this year - nudging 130,000 registrations.

He said next year would not be too far behind.

"Feedback that I'm getting from industry is they expect 2016 to be a little bit softer than this year, but we still expect sales to be historically high," he said.