GET A GOOD DEAL: 'Yes, ma'am, it's a rare and special model... one of a very few sold in South Africa this month.' Image: Shutterstock
JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Sales of new vehicles dropped by 1.3% in August against the same month in 2013 but export sales showed a huge recovery.
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) said on September 2 2014 that August’s aggregated new vehicle sales were 55 751, 738 fewer than a year earlier.
The statement continued: "As anticipated, new vehicle sales showed a marginal decline year-on-year while export sales made a strong recovery. Domestic new vehicle sales continued to show resilience for the third month in a row despite subdued economic growth and pressure on consumers' disposable income."
Exports grew by 18.5% to 25 027 from the 21 116 in August 2013.
Of the total reported industry sales of 55 751 vehicles, 79.8% were through dealers, 13.1% direct to the vehicle rental industry, 3.6% to industry corporate fleets and 3.5% to the state.
Domestic sales of new light commercials, bakkies and minibuses improved by 2.1% and medium commercials showed a slight decline of 36 (3.5%) while sales of heavy trucks and buses marginally improved by 0.1%.
Overall the continued strength in commercials was encouraging and suggested improved investment sentiment, the association said.
"The outlook for the SA automotive sector for the balance of 2014 will remain challenging,” it added. “Relatively low economic growth, recent increases in interest rates and above-inflation new vehicle price increases, will combine to dampen new vehicle sales”.
The year’s domestic automotive market was expected to register a drop in volume of between four and five percent compared to 2013 because, Naamsa believes, the country “needs stronger growth, faster employment creation and a narrowing of the country's current account and fiscal deficits”.