New car and commercial vehicle sales for February 2012 registered modest gains over the same month in 2011 - aggregate Industry sales improved by 3159 or 6.4% to 52 356 vehicles from 49 197 the previous February.Mercedes-Benz SA is still supplying a single total sales number for cars, commercial vehicles and exports.Overall, out of the total detailed (dis-aggregated) reported industry sales of 49 556 vehicles (excluding MBSA), 82.2 % or 40 761 were through dealer, 7.6% to rental companies, 5.8% to the state and 4.4% to industry corporate fleet sales.COMPARISON DIFFICULTAggregate new car sales for February 2012 at 36 357 (including MBSA) were up 2303 or 6.8 % on the 34 054 of February 2011. The new car market had received support from the rental industry which accounted for about 10.5% of total new car sales.The absence of MBSA commercial vehicle sales data by segment made year-on-year comparison difficult. The focus for now would be on total commercial vehicle sales. In the event, industry total commercial vehicle sales during February, 2012 at 15 999 showed an increase of 856 or 5.7% on the previous February.Exports of South African-assembled vehicles, including MBSA export sales data, during February, 2012 at 22 630 was down by 2525 or 10% on February 2011. Export sales were expected to improve from April, 2012 as the Ford global compact vehicle export programme and the BMW new 3 Series export volumes ramp up.MODEST GROWTHVehicle exports into Europe were likely to soften as a result of the recession and debt crisis there. This could be offset by higher export volumes into Africa. At this stage, it was anticipated that for the year as a whole vehicle exports could grow by about 10% to just more than 300 000.The outlook for 2012 in terms of total industry sales remains one of modest growth thanks to the ongoing improvement in the financial position of buyers, relatively low interest rates, continuing improvement in vehicle affordability in real terms, the highly competitive trading environment and new model introductions.Associated Motor Holdings and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors have agreed to disclose historical new vehicle sales data for the years 2006 through 2009 and will be made available soon. The figures are for Daihatsu, Hyundai, Kia, Lamborghini, Proton and Ssangyong.