Automotive Holdings Group is enjoying the windfalls from an industry that's bucking a gloomy retail sector by selling record numbers of cars in the context of poor consumer sentiment.
Private vehicle sales were up 10 per cent in the six months to June 30, and now account for 52 per cent of the automotive market.
AHG managing director Bronte Howson said interest rates as low as zero and constant improvements in technology and fuel efficiency were driving the market.
"There are things there at the moment that are very, very compelling for people to come and buy cars," Mr Howson said.
"We are two-car type families," he said. "We want the creature comforts but we also want the safety." He added that the word-of-mouth factor also came into play. "It's contagious."
Thanks to those strong sales, AHG's annual profit was up 32 per cent to $66.8 million.
Healthy performances from existing dealerships allowed the group to focus on growing the newer arms of the business, Mr Howson said.
The group expanded its automotive branch in July, buying an established Holden dealership in Auckland and winning approval to build a new Nissan dealership next door.
Mr Howson said the recent push across the Tasman as well as other Australian acquisitions, would deliver more opportunities next year.
In the logistics division, refrigerated transport service Rand also performed well despite Queensland's January floods.