TOP OF THE CLASS: The Toyota Hilux, VW Polo Vivo, Ford Mustang, and BMW X5 were SA's best-selling vehicles. Image: Wheels24
Cape Town - December 2016 saw some of the lowest new vehicle sales figures of the past year and it highlighted what a trying twelve months it's been.
Sales are so poor, in fact, that the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said it was "progressively under pressure".
Naamsa said: "Overall, 2016 turned out to be another extremely difficult year for the South African automotive industry with domestic new vehicle sales progressively under pressure, particularly at dealer level, despite attractive sales incentives."
Big sales figures
When the total sales for 2016 were tallied, a total 547 442 of new vehicles were sold. This includes all sectors: passenger cars, light commercial vehicles (LCV), medium commercial vehicles (MCV), and heavy trucks and buses.
The sectors we are interested in - passenger cars and LCV - sold 361 273 and 159 128 vehicles, respectively.
READ: SA car sales to 'remain flat' in 2017 - Naamsa
However, though exceeding the half-million mark for total sales is commendable, fewer vehicles were sold last year than 2015's 617 648. That is a difference of -11.4%.
Throughout 2016, Wheels24 has monitored sales figures and grouped them into four categories: passenger cars, bakkies, sports cars, and luxury SUVs. We've listed the top 10 sales figures by month. See December 2016's sales below:
READ: SA's top-selling cars: Polo Vivo still on top
READ: SA's best-selling bakkies: Toyota Hilux ends year on top
READ: Luxury SUVs in SA: BMW X5 rules the roost
READ: SA's top-selling sports cars: Mustang on top during festive season
Though the top 10 changed monthly, below are the accumulative sales figures of the four categories. Check out the interactive charts for each month of 2016 below.
1. Passenger cars in 2016
Volkswagen Polo Vivo was the best-selling passenger car for 2016, selling a massive 28 830 units. The Vivo's big brother, the Polo, sold the second most cars (23 279).
Toyota is placed third and fourth with its Corolla/Auris/Quest (17 499) and Etios hatchback (12 768).
The Ford Fiesta and Ford EcoSport were fifth and sixth respectively on 12 204 and 11 442 units. BMW's 3-Series was eighth (6680 units) and the Renault Sandero ninth on 5861.
The second-generation Toyota Fortuner went on sale in April and was an immediate success. The previous model was on-sale for the preceding months, but even if those months are excluded, it would not change the big SUV's position as the seventh best-selling passenger car for 2016. Total sales for the Fortuner is 11 060 units.
Ford's Figo was SA's tenth best-selling passenger car (5480), but just like the Fortuner, it's second-generation also went on sale in 2016.
Accumulative top 10 total: 135 103 units