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2012-07-03 12:48

SA CAR BUYERS MORE CONFIDENT:The June 2012 vehicle sales indicate a resurgence in consumer confidence and buying-power and is a positive indication for the remainder of the year.

PRETORIA – June vehicle sales showed solid growth once again, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) said on Tuesday.

Sales in all major segments registered double digit growth compared to the corresponding month in 2011.

Domestic sales improved by 7015 units (15.6%), to reach 51 891 vehicles in June, 2012 compared with 44 876 units in June, 2011.

Total domestic sales for the first half of the calendar year remained 10.5% higher than the corresponding period a year ago.

EXPORTS UP, TOO


Export sales registered modest growth, rising by 1767 units (7%) to 27 061 vehicles.

Naamsa said in a statement: "The momentum of industry export sales should improve over the balance of the year as various vehicle export programmes are ramped up.

"Overall, the industry's export performance will remain a function of the direction of the global economy."

Mercedes-Benz SA (MBSA) provides a single total sales number for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and export sales.

Total sales, excluding MBSA, reached 49 108 vehicles of which 42 340 units (86.2%) represented dealer sales.

A further 5.9% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 4.1% to government, and 3.8% to corporate fleets.

BODES WELL


Aggregate industry new car sales during the month remained relatively strong, assisted by new model introductions, at 35 918 units including MBSA.

This was an improvement of 4480 units (14.3%) compared to the 31 438 units sold in the corresponding month last year.

Year-to-date new car sales were 11.8% ahead of the corresponding six months of 2011.

Sales of light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses saw strong growth, reaching 13 421 units – an increase of 2425 units (22.1%) on the 10 996 light vehicle sales recorded during June last year.

Medium and heavy truck sales also recorded an increase, to 819 units and 1733 units respectively.

"Despite indications of further slowing in the domestic economy, new vehicle sales continue to perform remarkably well," said Naamsa.

Historically low interest rates, continuing improvement in vehicle affordability, improving demand for credit by both households and businesses should continue to support the domestic market.

In addition, consumers were engaging in pre-emptive buying in response to the weaker exchange rate in recent months.

The highly competitive trading environment and ongoing new model introductions would also support demand.

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