Sales of new vehicles in South Africa in August 2013, at 38 892, were down by 3.7% on the same month in 2012; worse, the current Numsa strike has cost the nation dearly in vehicle export revenue.Johannesburg – Sales of new vehicles in South Africa in August 2013, at 38 892, were down by 3.7% from the total for the same month in 2012.Perhaps even worse, new vehicle exports were down by 23% for the same periods, according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA.Naamsa said: "This could be attributed to the current strike at the seven major manufacturing plants. Further production losses would be reflected in anticipated lower export numbers for September.”COMMERCIALS STILL GROWINGOf the total reported industry sales of 56 112 vehicles, 82.8% were through dealers and 11.4% to the vehicle rental companies.About 3.3% of new vehicles were sold to industry corporate fleets, 2.5% to the government.Sales of new light commercials and minibuses increased by 5.3% to 14 376 from August 2012 and the medium and heavy truck segment increased by 24%.Naamsa said the excellent performance in sales of light, medium, and heavy trucks suggested higher levels of investment spending in the economy and was in part related to infrastructural development projects."Domestically, expectations of lower economic growth and above-inflation new vehicle price increases would contribute to a more difficult trading environment," it added."Despite a less-promising outlook for the automotive sector for the rest of 2013 the year as a whole will still represent the second or third best year on record in terms of domestic sales."Naamsa said current low interest rates would continue to lend support to the domestic market.