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Big numbers: Here’s how many cars, bakkies and SUVs were produced in SA

2019-03-14 15:00

Charlen Raymond

Ford Ranger factory

Image: Quickpic

Though 2018 has come and gone, the auto industry will remember the year that was as pretty tough, especially for local new vehicle sales. 

Despite a tough economic climate, South Africa dwindling into junk status, and a last minute gasp to avoid another recession (we’re not out of the woods yet), sales have been relatively flat throughout 2018. Be that as it may, we still recorded decent figures, especially in vehicle production and exports.

SA produced more new vehicles in 2018 year-on-year; a total of 610 854 new vehicles were produced across all sectors of the market. These include, but not limited to, passenger cars, light commercial vehicles (LCVs), and medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M/HCVs). In 2017, Naamsa reported 601 338 units and 599 812 vehicles in 2016.

SA car industry - quick facts (by Naamsa):

• Record aggregate investment by the major vehicle manufacturers in 2017 amounted to R8.17bn and estimated actual investment in 2018 was R7.24bn 

• Domestic new vehicle sales declined, year-on-year, whilst export sales reflected further improvement overall.

• "Expectations for 2019 are little or no growth in domestic sales, whilst annual export sales numbers should register fairly strong growth of 10% to 15% in volume terms" - Naamsa

• Medium to long term prospects for new vehicle exports and domestic production remain positive – particularly strong vehicle export sales are expected over the medium to long term


South Africa may be importing a number of vehicles from overseas markets but we are also fortunate enough to have the infrastructure to produce thousands of new vehicle exports. That’s right, manufacturers such as BMW, Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen all have factories across South Africa where they produce vehicles for local and international markets.

Isuzu, another manufacturer to produce its vehicles locally, produces at its factory in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. Thus, despite the tough local sales, many automakers are seeing record figures for vehicle exports.

In 2018, South Africa exported a total of 351 139 new vehicles across all sectors. In 2017 the figure stood at 338 096, and in 2016 it was slightly higher at 344 816. 

Read more on:    charlen raymond  |  south africa  |  cars  |  sa car sales

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