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July new vehicle sales blossom

2011-08-02 14:11

ALL GOOD. FOR NOW...: South Africa's domestic vehicle sales showed growth in strong growth in July.

New vehicle sales in all categories improved in July compared with June, 2011, but demand is showing signs of slowing, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) said.

Aggregate domestic sales across the industry in July improved by 11 percent to 45 703 vehicles compared to July last year, Naamsa said in a statement.

Total year-to-date domestic sales in 2011 remained 15 percent ahead of the corresponding seven months in 2010, while export sales in July grew eight percent to 25 147 vehicles, compared with the same month last year.

Just over 80 percent of domestic vehicle sales went to dealers, 13 percent to the car rental industry, and three percent each to government and industry corporate fleet sales.

NEW CAR GROWTH SLOWS

New car sales in July grew 10 percent to 32 030 units compared with July 2010.

"There had been a substantial decline in the growth momentum of new car sales and the year-on-year increase represented the lowest improvement in the past 18 months," Naamsa said.

Sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses grew 10 percent to 11 420 units year-on-year.

Medium commercial vehicles registered sales growth of 24 percent, while sales of heavy trucks and buses grew 30 percent in July.

EXPORTS, NEGATIVE TRENDS

Exports of South African-produced motor vehicles grew eight percent in July compared with the same month last year.

Although exports grew, they were negatively affected by lost production days due to strikes in the steel and engineering industries, Naamsa said.

Naamsa expected vehicle sales to come under increasing pressure for the rest of 2011 due to various negative trends.

These included subdued growth in private sector credit extension and sharply higher than inflation price increases - particularly electricity and fuel costs.

"In addition, the impact of widespread industrial action and counter-productive rhetoric about nationalisation and expropriation had negatively affected consumer and business confidence in South Africa," Naamsa said.

Export sales would depend on the performance of the global economy and demand in the major northern hemisphere markets.

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