No holiday rest for vehicle sales

2012-05-03 19:02

JOHANNESBURG - Sales of new cars and commercial vehicle registered relatively strong gains through April 2012 despite a number of public holidays.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA reported that sales were expected to show modest growth for the whole year. “At this stage, domestic sales are expected to improve by eight to 10%," the association said.


Customers’ improved financial position, relatively low interest rates, continuing improvement in vehicle affordability, a very competitive trading environment and the current spate of new models, Naamsa believed, would all support the market.

Growth in consumer spending and government investment in infrastructure would also help.

Total industry sales for April were up 10.5% (4034), to 42 617 year-on-year, well above the growth rate of 6.9% for the first four months of 2012. Overall, of the total detailed reported industry sales of 40 417 (excluding Mercedes-Benz SA), 90.7% (36 671) were through dealers.

A further 4.1% were to corporate fleets, 2.8% to rental companies and 2.4% to the state. Rental sales were expected to improve from June as rental companies restocked.

"Year-to-date new car sales remained 9.1% ahead of the corresponding four months of 2011," Naamsa added.


Sales of new light commercials, bakkies and minibuses, including medium and heavy trucks, were estimated at 668 and 1404 respectively, a 12.5% increase for medium commercials and a 2.1% increase for heavy trucks and buses over last year.

Vehicle exports, including from MBSA, declined by 11% to 17 656 from April 2011’s 19 828 but export sales were expected to show a modest improvement through the rest of 2012 and Ford and BMW exports ramped up.

However, overall export performance for 2012 will depend on the global economy; those to Europe remain under pressure because of the Eurozone recession and debt crisis. Naams added: "As a result, industry vehicle export projections have been revised down and are now expected to reach about 270 000, 30 000 fewer than projections.”