New Zealand's leading distributor of Auto Electrical products

NZ Industry

New Zealand automotive is unique in the world


In the 1980's the then government lowered the tariffs on imported cars, which made it easier to import them already assembled. Since then the proportion of New Zealand manufactured vehicles has decreased. There has been no new car manufacturing or assembly in New Zealand for over a decade. All new vehicles, including those designed for commercial or industrial uses, are imported.


The New Zealand motor vehicle profile is unique. The country has a population of some 4.5 million, utilizing 3.2 million motor vehicles.

"New Zealand used to have the most washing machines per capita in the world - now it has the most cars" (Dr Joel Cayford, Chairman, Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee).

For every 1000 people, as of 2008, there were 733 motor cars. Industrial vehicles servicing substantial agricultural, forestry, and dairy sectors are in addition to this. As such New Zealand is second only to the United States in vehicles per capita. In terms of make and model per capita, however, New Zealand has by far the most diverse car/vehicle parc in the world.

The market is dominated by the importation of used vehicles from Japan which (as of 2010) accounts annually for some 80% of vehicle sales. The remaining 20% are new vehicles are imported principally from Japan, but also Korea, Europe and the United States. For many years New Zealand was the largest importer of used Japanese cars in the world. This accounts not only for the average age of the car parc, which at 12.8 years (as of 2011) is one of the oldest in developed countries, but also for the complexity and diversity of vehicles which is globally unique.

In global terms, New Zealand is a small, relatively insignificant market, remote from manufacturers and suppliers. The range of vehicles is significant, yet the volumes, in terms of chassis models small.

Sourcing information and parts, importing and stocking economic order quantities, and maintaining and developing a comprehensive knowledge base are all challenging and complex processes.

Servicing the Industry

Pan Pacific (founded 1979) occupies a unique position in the New Zealand motor vehicle aftermarket. We have commitment and significant investment in the auto-electrical industry. We appreciate that the aftermarket is complex, dynamic, and demanding. We remain, however, enthusiastic and focused on servicing the requirements of technicians in that industry.