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SA new car sales: Poor start to 2016

2016-02-02 08:34

ANOTHER SLUMP ON THE WAY? The struggling Rand and low consumer confidence could see a decline in SA vehicle sales in 2016, says Naamsa Image: Motorpress

Johannesburg - The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) reports that new vehicle sales started 2016 on a weak note.

Export sales of new motor vehicles registered a severe year-on-year decline largely due to logistics and shipment issues.

A total of 48 615 new vehicles were sold, a decline of 3613 units (or a drop of 6.9%) compared to the 52 228 models in the same period in 2015.

Vehicles sales breakdown

Export sales at 13 057 units reflected an unexpected decline of 3652 vehicles or a fall of 21.9% compared to the 16 709 vehicles exported in January 2015.

Read: Interest rate hike: SA car owners to pay more

Overall, out of the total of 48 615 vehicles, an estimated 36 456 units or 75% were dealer sales, 18.4% attributed to the rental industry, 4.4% to corporate fleets and 2.2% to government, reports Naamsa.

Pressure on new car market

The new car market had continued to experience pressure during January 2016 and at 34 936 units reflected a decline of 2272 cars or a fall of 6.1% compared to the 37 208 new cars sold in January 2015.

The car rental Industry had again made a strong contribution and had accounted for 24.6% of new car sales in January 2016.

Read: Drop in SA car sales: outlook for 2016 is 'uninspiring'

Domestic sales of industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses at 12 074 units during reflected a decline of 1090 units or a drop of 8.3% compared to the 13 164 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month in 2015.

According to Wesbank: "Model run outs and model run-ins had played a role in the January sales numbers."

Vehicle-sales dashboard:

Click here to download full SA vehicle sales for January 2016

Truck market

Sales of medium and heavy trucks were reported at 531 units and 1074 units. Medium commercial vehicles reflected a decline of 98 units or 15.6% and, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, a decline of 153 vehicles or a fall of 12.5% compared to the corresponding month 2015.

New vehicle exports during January 2016 registered a substantial decline compared to the corresponding month in 2015. Logistics and shipment capacity constraints had contributed to the lower January export numbers.

What does the future hold for the SA car market?

Wesbank said: "A substantial increase in new vehicle exports was expected to materialise from March 2016 onwards and, at this stage, industry projections for exports during 2016 showed an improvement of around 40 000 vehicles or about 12% to an anticipated 375 000 export units.

"Domestically, a number of key indicators including the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and the Reserve Banks’ leading indicator suggested that the South African economy would experience a difficult year."

New vehicle price increases

Wesbank said: "In light of poor economic growth prospects with GDP growth estimated at 0.5% at best and given the likelihood of well above inflation new vehicle price increases  as well as prospects of further interest rate hikes – the outlook for 2016 in terms of domestic new vehicle sales had deteriorated and had been reviewed downwards."

According to Wesbank, consumer demand in the new car market is anticipated to decline by around 9% in volume terms to about 375 000 units in 2016 down from the 412 826 new cars sold in 2015.

New commercial vehicle sales were expected to perform slightly better with declines of between 3% and 5% expected in volume terms, reports Wesbank.

Click here to download full SA vehicle sales for January 2016

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Read more on:    wesbank  |  naamsa  |  auto industry  |  car sales

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