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Vehicle Equipment Sales

Wage and Salary rates as of May 1, 2019

Please note: as Automotive Employment NZ Ltd has attempted to be as accurate as possible and to provide guidelines for the most popular sectors of the New Zealand motor industry but take no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. Any hiring decision should be based on a range of knowledge from a variety of sources.

Please also check the date the last salary review was completed as salary rates obviously change over a period of time.

It is possible our opinion will differ from other independent surveys however the information is based on actual hires occurring through Automotive Employment NZ Ltd. All rates assume experience in specific fields of expertise and where applicable the relevant industry qualifications.

Employees should note that while these rates may provide a guide, to gain an accurate indication of rates you may need to consider how your skills and experience compare to others in the workplace. Your work performance, the stability of overall employment, knowledge of the product, development of your skills and or qualifications, personal grooming, communication skills and the length of service you have extended to your current employer may all impact on potential earnings. These aspects of your employment should also be weighed against the economic conditions prevailing in the location you work or intend to move to.


Used and New Vehicle Sales
Median $80’000

Average earnings $65’000 to $160’000 dependent on ability. All roles with the possible exception of cadets include a company car.

Like many OECD countries, income for vehicle sales roles are dependent on performance as a high level of income is usually at risk or commission based. Packages vary considerably between dealerships and range from commission only to a variety of retainer and commission.  Minimum rates of pay for each hour worked are changing rapidly in New Zealand.  As as the minimum wage increases as indicated in the 2017 general elections campaigning expect retainers to move up across the board.

Here are some examples below but many variations exist, particularly so when dealerships are attempting to secure absolute top end skills.

$35,000 to $50,000 plus 10% Used vehicles. The norm provides for a $40,000 retainer. Minimum retainers or minimum weekly guaranteed incomes should allow for at least the minimum wage to be paid for each hours work.  E.G:  If 48 hours is the standard working week the minimum wage should either be set to calculate the minimum in line with the hours worked or a minimum guaranteed income should be provided.

$35,000 to $50,000 plus 10% New vehicles. The norm provides for a $40’000 retainer.
The extreme end of vehicle sales retainers at a retail level is $55’000 but be prepared to prove your skills are in the top 5%. Even then the $55’000 will prove elusive for most.

Pressure on the levels of retainers has been felt by many dealerships during 2017 with some companies moving to a base of $40’000 to $45000 as a norm.

For offshore candidates migrating to New Zealand wishing to secure minimum income thresholds for 40 hours to comply with talent visa accreditation requirements please contact your consultant at Automotive Employment NZ.  Commissions can be structured legally by those companies prepared to, meaning the base increase but the early monthly commissions reduce to comply with the minimum income thresholds.

20% of retained profit is often paid for commission only. Commission only payment is now very rare and technically without a minimum guaranteed income this style of remuneration payment is now outdated and potentially illegal.  Some non franchise dealerships navigate this issue with a mimimum gurranteed income each week offset against comssions. 

More recently national vehicle distributors have stepped into the equation with some offering incentives to sales staff such as clothing vouchers, motor racing events and more.

Dealerships bonuses are now also becoming the norm in addition to normal commissions with many providing a lump sum financial bonus for the achievement of volume or profit-based bonuses.


Fleet Sales
Average earnings $80’000 to $150’000 dependent on the ability

Retainers range from $40’000 to $75’000 for top end established fleet sales personnel. Commissions range in both complexities of the structure offered by various dealerships and the results provided by the fleet salesperson.

Full use of company car supplied with reasonable use of petrol, the vehicle is usually a company demonstrator. Often fleet sales personnel work a five day week some roles involve relieving new vehicle sales personnel on a rostered basis.


Used Vehicle Buyers
Median Total income $130’000

Retainers range from $50’000 to $80’000 with the remainder making up the at-risk portion. The extreme end of remuneration is more aligned to the rates paid by the sales manager and could for an example allow for a retainer of up to $80’000 with profit share to $200,000.

In the non-franchise sector, Japanese imports have been brought into New Zealand since 1983. Imported vehicles are a mature market in NZ with highly advanced online vehicle auctions linked directly into auctions in Japan or Singapore and now also within NZ. Overall remuneration generally exceeds $120’000 plus, however, seasoned used vehicle buyers often achieve incomes massively exceeding this amount, particularly when employed on contract.


Finance and Insurance Sales Staff
Median income $110,000

Retainers are generally around the $45’000 to $65’000 mark. A percentage of profits from each finance and insurance deal, usually 8 to 10% is payable however there are many variants on this. Current incomes are between $80’000 and $180’000 P/A, although top finance and insurance professionals may exceed these earnings with earnings up to $225’000 for the industries very highest performers.


Assistant Sales Managers
Median income $100’000

Usually, a retainer approaching $45’000 to $60’000 is common with a profit share of the department’s profits provides an overall income of around $100’000 to $130,000 in the present market.


Sales Managers New and Used
Median $140’000

Dependent on the size of the dealership and the skills of the sales manager, retainers of $50’000 to $85’000 are common. Overall income is usually between $90’000 and $200,000 PA.

A “decent drive car” is often expected by the employee with few limits if any on fuel etc. These roles in NZ come with high expectations in terms of employee performance. Employees at the top end of the market are often provided with incremental fringe benefits to reduce the chances of moving employers once they have a proven track record.

2019 has seen a talent war to secure top-end sales managers with many of the larger groups opening new sites.


Forklift, Construction and Forestry Equipment and Heavy Diesel Commercial Sales roles. 

Medium O.T.E $130’000

In the forklift sector retainer range from $50,000 to $85000 with commissions providing earnings between $95’000 and $180’000 depending on the skills of the salesperson.

The Heavy Diesel Commercial Salesperson usually is paid a retainer from $55’000 to $95’000.  The OTE is usually between $120’000 and $200’000 depending on skills held

The construction equipment and forestry sectors are perhaps the most difficult of all sectors to assess.  Wild variances exist with retainers varying between $55’000 and $80’000.  Total earnings from commissions can extend from $100’000 to 300,000.  Some of the top industry sales professionals in this sector are known to have achieved earnings exceeding this amount in buoyant times when large contracts are secured.


Truck and Forklift/Equipment Sales Managers
Retainers vary between $75’000 and $120’000
Total earnings vary between $140’000 and $220’000.

Sales Managers is this sector also have wide variances in income earning capacity.  The stakes with high-value equipment are such that the demand for a talented sales manager can easily translate to much higher earnings than indicated.  E.g; earnings are market driven in line with the skills held by the sales manager.