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SA new vehicle sales in free fall?

2015-06-02 10:14

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE LACKING: South African new-car sales are going through a torrid time. Image: Shutterstock

South African vehicle buyers are not happy campers: a petrol price increase of 47c/litre on Wednesday (June 3) has been preceded by the announcement that May 2015 new-vehicle sales were only 47 868 - a 3.2% year-on-year drop.

And that after sales slumped to a year-on-year decline of 3.3% in April 2015.

Here’s a breakdown of the figures:

May car sales fell by 5.4%, year-on-year, to 31 201. Light commercials increased by 2.2% but the total market fell by 1.3% according to figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa).

Total vehicles sales were 47 868 in May 2015, 49 449 in May 2014.

Read: SA's best-selling frugal cars

Rudolf Mahoney, head of research at WesBank, said: “Over recent months we’ve seen a rise in the overall cost of mobility. Fuel prices have increased 18% since the start of 2015 as a result of a weaker rand and the Reserve Bank has warned of interest rate increases in coming months.”

BOUNCE BACK IN JUNE?

Mahoney added: "Such factors will continue to affect buyers' and put household budgets under even more pressure. For many people, buying a new car may not be a priority."

He added that the dip was expected. "The decline in May’s new vehicle sales remains in line with our forecast. We expect sales to bounce back in June as manufacturers' incentives drive end-of-quarter sales."

“The market should see some recovery in the second half of the year, driven by replacement cycles at rental companies. This year the market should see growth of just less than one percent."

TOP 10 SELLERS IN MAY 2015:

Click here for May 2015 Naamsa vehicle sales results


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