New Zealand

New Zealand automotive history timeline: 1898 First cars imported are a Benz Petrolette and a Benz Lightning by MP William McLean.
see 1899 The first imported to Auckland, was by Percy Skeates and E. Bockaert was made by the Star Engineering Company of Wolverhampton (England).
here 1903 Auckland Automobile Association (AAA) founded.
1906 Various coachbuilders build bodies for imported chassis.
1907 Import tariffs are introduced to protect the indigenous car assembly companies.
1910 The first Ford Model T arrives.
1912 Over 1,000 Ford Model Ts are on the roads.
1920 Vehicle imports reach 12,000, almost double that of 1919.
1920 – 1929 Cars from North America are the most popular including Fords and Chevrolets.
1921 The first car race takes place on Muriwai Beach.
1922 Colonial Motor Company builds a Ford assembly plant in Wellington.
1925 Introduction of the National Vehicle Register.
1926 Incorporation of General Motors New Zealand and assembly of the first GM cars.
1930 – 1939 British cars are most popular due to lower import duties.
1934 Seabrook Fowles begins Austin Assembly in Epsom.
Dominion Motors begins assembly of Morris vehicles in Newmarket.
1935 Todd Motors beginsChrysler and Rootes Group vehicle assembly in Petone.
1951 Demand for new car purchases outweighs supply creating long waiting lists.
1954 Import duty is dropped for all 4×4 vehicles
The first Holden cars arrive from Australia.
1965 All new cars are required by law to have seatbelts fitted.
1969 Toyota Corolla launched.
1970 British Leyland cars represent 25% of the market.
1973 New vehicle registrations hit a new high of over 97,000.
1978 Launch of the first Holden Commodore.
1980 Japanese cars become the most popular including the import of second-hand vehicles.
1991 Final merger of all the district automobile associations to form the NZAA (generally known as the AA).
1998 The end of import tariffs sees the end of local assembly.
Honda’s plant in Stoke (Nelson) is the last to close.
2005 There were about 6 cars for every 10 people, giving New Zealnad the third highest rate of car ownership in the world, after Luxembourg and Iceland.
2017 Of the top 10 best-selling vehicles, five of them are utes and three of them are SUVs.

SUV – sports utility vehicle
Ute – originally known as a coupé utility in Australia and New Zealand but a pickup in the USA.