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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 vehiclesTop-10 best-selling light commercial vehicles
VW Polo Vivo3009Toyota Hilux3352
VW Polo2824Ford Ranger2575
Toyota Corolla Quest1879Nissan NP2001879
Toyota Yaris1729Isuzu KB1636
Toyota Fortuner1178Toyota Quantum1483
Hyundai Grand i10900Nissan NP300704
Ford Fiesta888Hyundai H100 Bakkie384
Toyota Etios885VW Amarok247
Ford Figo840VW Caddy245
Kia Picanto781Mahindra Scorpio Pik-UP200

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