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Detective Sergeant Nik Leigh said a police search and rescue operation was now underway after Mr Lowe's car was found.
The car was spotted by a member of the public this morning.
Det Sgt Leigh was not keen to reveal where the car was found apart from saying it is in coastal Otago.
The search and rescue team was searching the area where the car was found.
Earlier, police said Mr Lowe could be as far as 400km away from his Portsmouth Dr workplace, where he was last seen on Friday, police say.
Det Sgt Leigh earlier said police had received reported sightings of Mr Lowe or his black BMW hatchback — registration HHR892.
Mr Lowe, who had returned to work on Thursday following a 13-day holiday with his wife, told his boss he was "popping out for two minutes" about 10am and never returned.
His bank cards and mobile phone had not been used since.
Det Sgt Leigh said police believed Mr Lowe could have travelled as far as 400km from Portsmouth Dr based on the model of the car and how much petrol it was carrying.
"It could be anywhere in the lower South Island," Det Sgt Leigh said.
"It’s still a massive search area.
"It’s a bit of a needle in a haystack."
• Dunedin police (03) 471-4800, Crimestoppers 0800 555-111.