NZ new car registrations fall 14.5 pct in December - NZTA

WELLINGTON Wed Jan 8, 2014 2:36pm EST

WELLINGTON Jan 9 (Reuters) - The number of new cars registered in New Zealand fell 14.5 percent in December, data showed on Thursday, suggesting that consumers have held back on some big-ticket purchases even as overall retail spending rises.

A total of 6,371 new cars were registered last month compared with 7,453 in November, marking the second straight month of declines. Still, registrations were 4.4 percent higher from the same period last year, according to the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Total car registrations, new and used, fell 5.4 percent from November, but were 20.3 percent higher than a year ago.

The number of new commercial vehicle registrations fell 16.3 percent on the month, but were 44.5 percent higher than a year ago.

The top-selling maker of new cars registered for the month was Toyota with 1,512, followed by Holden, a unit of General Motors, and Ford.