New car sales in New Zealand last month showed the highest January figures since records began almost four decades ago, the country's Motor Industry Association (MIA) announced Monday. "Total vehicle sales of 10,258 for January, were by far the best January sales since the MIA began collecting records," MIA chief executive officer David Crawford said in a statement. New commercial vehicle sales numbered 2,235, the highest January sales since the MIA began collecting records in 1981, while new passenger car sales showed the highest January sales since the MIA began collecting records in 1975, with 8,293 sales. "It's the fourth month in a row that records have been the highest since records began, fueled by a strong New Zealand dollar and a strong economy," said Crawford. Last month's total new vehicle sales of 10,528 compared with 9, 293 in January last year. January registrations of new commercial vehicles were up 17.1 percent and passenger car sales up 12.3 percent year on year. Toyota was the market leader in January with 17.4 percent of market share, with Ford second on 11.3 percent and Holden third with 9.8 percent.