The South African new-vehicle market grew by 2.4% in May, to 42 984 units, compared with the same month last year.
Sales numbers released on Friday showed that May new-passenger car sales gained 0.7%, to reach 26 561 units.
Sales of new bakkies, minibuses and vans, at 13 977 units, increased by 3.2%.
Sales of medium trucks, at 694 units, jumped by 17.6%.
Sales of new heavy trucks and buses performed equally well, increasing by 21.1%, to 1 752 units.
April export sales, at 32 731 vehicles, expanded by 13.9%.
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said in a statement that the improvement in truck sales suggested the return of positive investor sentiment and improved business confidence.
The association noted that its expectations for the 2018 sales year remained unchanged, however.
“New-vehicle sales should show a gradual improvement over the medium term due to further recovery in domestic demand, supported by continued moderation in new vehicle price inflation, the improvement in South Africa’s political and policy environment, the March reduction in interest rates and unchanged international credit ratings.
“As a result of these developments, supported by improved business and consumer confidence, a modest recovery in economic growth in 2018 and 2019 was anticipated.
“This, in turn, would benefit domestic new-vehicle sales over the balance of the year.”
Naamsa expected 2018 domestic sales to increase 3%-plus compared with 2017 numbers.
“Robust global growth should benefit new-vehicle exports going forward,” the association added. “However, the current wave of protectionism could negatively impact on the global economy.”
Top-selling cars, bakkies and vans in May:
1. Toyota Hilux 3 338
2. Ford Ranger 2 819
3. VW Polo 1 979
4. VW Polo Vivo 1 904
5. Nissan NP200 1 825
6. Toyota Quantum 1 482
7. Isuzu KB 1 298
8. Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest 1 228
9. Toyota Fortuner 1 102
10. Hyundai Grand i10 1 081