New-vehicle market drops by 2.5% in August, exports up 7.7%

3rd September 2018 By: Irma Venter - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

New-vehicle market drops by 2.5% in August, exports up 7.7%

The South African new-vehicle market declined by 2.5% in August, to 47 964 units, compared with the same month last year.

The newest sales numbers, released on Monday, indicate that August new-passenger car sales decreased by 2.2%, to reach 31 447 units.

Sales of new bakkies, minibuses and vans, at 13 956 units, declined by 5.8%.

Sales of medium trucks, at 702 units, grew by 9.3%.

Sales of new heavy trucks and buses also delivered some positive results, increasing by 18.8%, to 1 859 units.

Following a disappointing run in recent months, export sales gained 7.7% in August, to reach 32 247 units.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said in a statement that the current socio-political discourse in the country was not conducive to lifting business confidence and investment sentiment.

“Sustainable economic growth is essential to support the creation of new employment opportunities. Urgent steps are needed to address South Africa’s structural problems, including skills shortages, deindustrialisation and low fixed investment growth.”

The association said the recent sharp depreciation of the rand would exert upward pressure on new-vehicle prices.

“As a result, conditions in the domestic new-vehicle market are expected to remain under pressure over the short to medium term.”

Naamsa added that vehicle exports were dependent on the health of the global economy.

“Rising protectionism and trade disputes have contributed to uncertainty and could result in lower global growth and higher inflation going forward.”

Naamsa recently revised its 2018 industry vehicle export projections downwards, to 340 000 units – a decline of 7% from the 366 000 units expected previously.

The expectation of export sales for 2019 was currently about 384 000 units.

Top-selling cars, bakkies and vans in August:
1. VW Polo 3 414
2. Toyota Hilux 3 366
3. Ford Ranger 2 535
4. VW Polo Vivo 1 900
5. Nissan NP200 1 634
6. Isuzu KB 1 542
7. Toyota Quantum 1 477
8. Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest 1 155
9. Kia Picanto 1 071
10. Hyundai Grand i10 1 020