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Great news for SA! Car, bakkie sales grow despite poor economy

2017-12-01 16:29

Image: iStock

Cape Town – South Africa’s new vehicle market has seen yet another month of growth; November 2017 marks the sixth consecutive month of positive growth. 

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), new vehicle sales in November grew 7% for a total of 49 651 units sold.

Naamsa said: "Led by a strong performance in the new car segment, the overall market registered encouraging gains of 7.2% - despite the continued difficult economic environment characterised by political and economic policy uncertainty." 

READ: Best-selling bakkies in November 2017

For the second month in succession, new vehicle exports had been affected by inclement weather on Durban Port operations as well as the model run-out and impending new model introduction of the Volkswagen Polo range. 

Your vehicle sales dashboard: November 2017

 Info by ABSA

 Info by ABSA

Year-on-year increase

In the event, November 2017 aggregate new vehicle sales at 49 754 units sees an increase of 3 357 units or 7.2% from the 46 397 vehicles sold in November 2016. Export sales, at 27 178 vehicles, registered a substantial decline of 4 315 units or drop of 13.7% compared to the 31 493 vehicles exported in November last year.

Overall, out of the total reported Industry sales of 49 754 vehicles, an estimated 38 986 units or 78.4% represented dealer sales, an estimated 14.0% represented sales in the vehicle rental Industry, 4.6% to government and 3.0% to industry corporate fleets. 
More South Africans buying cars
Supported by attractive sales incentives, the November 2017 new car market had shown upward momentum and at 32 821 units had recorded a gain of 4 614 cars or an improvement of 16.4% compared to the 28 207 new cars sold in November last year.

The car rental Industry had again made a major contribution accounting for about 19.8% of new car sales in November, 2017 - meaning that one in every five new cars sold during the month represented a car rental sale. 

Coastal issues 

Weighed down by poor investment sentiment and the prevailing difficult business environment, domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles (LCVS), bakkies and mini-busses at 14 587 units reflected a fall of 1 160 vehicles or a decline of 7.4%.  However, LCVs for November are an improvement on sales registered in October 2017.  

Based on the latest export figures, it was clear that industry figures for 2017 wouldn’t meet expectations.  The decline in November vehicle exports could be attributed to the lagged effect of inclement weather which had affected factory operations and production at the Durban Toyota SA plant. Additionally, the Volkswagen SA Plant was gearing up for the production of new Polo models to be launched early next year.   The model run-out of the previous Polo had contributed to lower export units.  

Naamsa responds:

"Over the past six months, the domestic car market performed relatively positively in a challenging economic environment. Major contributing factors had been the continuation of highly attractive sales incentives, sharply lower new vehicle price inflation, stable interest rates and the ongoing above average demand by car rental companies. 

"Overall, a year-on-year improvement in aggregate domestic sales of around 2.0% for 2017 was anticipated.  Going into 2018 new vehicle exports were expected to recover on the back of positive global economic growth prospects." 


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