Easter Bunny nips SA car sales
SA’S MOST POPULAR CAR: The VW Polo Vivo remains SA’s most popular car during 2013.
CAPE TOWN - The South African vehicle market has seen its first year-on-year sales decline in many years, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa.
March, usually the best sales month after October, lived up to expectations with 54 946 finding a home in SA. New vehicle sales were up by 3.3% on February 2013 but were lower than March 2012 by 2.1%.
EASTER WEEKEND BLAMED
The decline, Naamsa said, was due to the Easter weekend falling in the month and the subsequent decline in the number of sales days.
VW retained its leadership position in SA with total March sales of 8516. The Polo Vivo was the best-selling passenger car - 2939 sold. The introduction of an eight-speed auto for its Amarok Double Cab range boosted VW bakkie sales to 510 units.
Group director of sales and marketing, Mike Glendinning, said: “The demand for new cars in March 2013 was slowed by the Easter long weekend and school holidays which fell during the last week of the month. This resulted in fewer selling days and potential new car buyers going away on holiday.”
Toyota reported a total sales figure of 10 593 for March 2013. The Toyota Etios was the third most-popular - 1736 sold.
President and CEO of Toyota SA, Johan van Zyl, said: “March sales were boosted by several factors. As the end of the quarter and the end of the fiscal for many public and private companies March traditionally sees large bulk purchases and final tender allocations.
"This is of course further supported by high retail activity from vehicle retailers who want to end the quarter in the black."
TOP TEN SELLERS- MARCH 2013
1 Volkswagen Polo Vivo - 2939
2 Volkswagen Polo - 2596
3 Toyota Etios - 1736
4 Mercedes C-Class - 1415
5 BMW 3 Series - 1401
6 Ford Figo - 1109
7 Toyota Corolla - 1003
8 Toyota Fortuner - 993
9 Ford Fiesta - 783
10 Nissan Juke - 769