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New vehicle sales remain flat but consumer appetite is increasing

According to aggregate sales data from the The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, new vehicle sales were up 1.7% year-on-year with 51 866 units sold in October. Looking at year-to-date sales, the industry remains on par with the corresponding time frame in 2017 with total sales only marginally lower by 0.5%.
In the dealer channel, which accounted for 67.3% of all new vehicles sold in October, total unit sales were up by 0.1% year-on-year and 1.7% year-to-date. The rental channel, making up 20.2% of total industry sales, increased year-on-year by 9.1% as it continues to prepare for the approaching festive season. From a year-to-date point of view, however, rentals are down by 1.5%.
“Earlier this year, WesBank made a prediction that new vehicle sales would grow by a conservative 0.75% by the end of 2018. To date, new vehicle sales have tracked in line with our forecast,” says Ghana Msibi, WesBank Executive Head of Sales and Marketing. “Looking at WesBank’s application data, we were pleased to see a significant spike in finance applications in October which may be indicative of an increase in consumer appetite that could translate into growth in the coming months.”
Passenger and light commercial vehicles, which contributed 67.6% and 27.3% to the total market respectively, are down by 0.3% and 1.6% year-to-date. Making up a relatively small 5.1% of the total industry, the combination of commercials including buses, medium, heavy and extra-heavy vehicles was up by 3.3%.
“It is encouraging to see that light commercial vehicle sales were up with 12 612 LCVs being sold at dealer level, a 5,5% increase year on year. The consumer is still under pressure with overall dealer passenger vehicle sales showing a 3,7% decrease. However, the medium to heavy commercial vehicle sector was significantly up, which is encouraging,” said Mark Dommisse, National Chairperson, the National Automobile Dealers’ Association.

Top-10 best-selling passenger vehicles Top-10 best-selling light commercial vehicles
VW Polo Vivo 3009 Toyota Hilux 3352
VW Polo 2824 Ford Ranger 2575
Toyota Corolla Quest 1879 Nissan NP200 1879
Toyota Yaris 1729 Isuzu KB 1636
Toyota Fortuner 1178 Toyota Quantum 1483
Hyundai Grand i10 900 Nissan NP300 704
Ford Fiesta 888 Hyundai H100 Bakkie 384
Toyota Etios 885 VW Amarok 247
Ford Figo 840 VW Caddy 245
Kia Picanto 781 Mahindra Scorpio Pik-UP 200

* Sales figures are supplied by Naamsa and exclude non-reporting manufacturers.