Vehicle sales in South Africa off to flying start in 2022

“The South African motor industry remains buoyant despite the disappointing state of the local economy. Total vehicle sales in January of 41 382 units showed a 19.5% increase over sales in the corresponding month a year ago. Franchised dealers were responsible for 84.2% of these sales, which gave them a flying start to a year that promises to build on the upward trend experienced in 2021,” said Mark Dommisse, Chairperson of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA), when commenting on the January sales figures distributed by naamsa I The Automotive Business Council.

“What is amazing is that these heartening figures were delivered despite shortages of some models due to ongoing component shortages, particularly semiconductors, which are likely to be with us for most of this year. This shortage of product also means that few manufacturers or distributors are offering incentives to buyers making January’s performance even more impressive.

“Rising interest rates and fuel prices will obviously have some impact on the market in 2022, but generally the outlook is brighter than at the same stage last year when lockdown regulations were more stringent,” added Dommisse.

“We are particularly glad to see the substantial month-on-month growth of 26.5% in January passenger car sales, as this signals improving consumer and business confidence, which are critical for growth in our industry. Commercial vehicle sales were lagging in January, but we believe the situation will improve in coming months,” said Alex Boavida, Vice-Chairperson of NADA.

“January was interesting in that we saw better new car stock availability than in recent months, but with lower stocking levels of good used cars. However, this month should not be seen in isolation, and we need to monitor the new car versus used car situation in the months ahead to see the actual trend.

“The global supply of semiconductors or microchips remains a challenge for all brands, but in January there were some signals of the situation improving,” added Boavida.

“Some sectors in the luxury segment of the car market showed improvements, such as Mercedes-Benz doubling its monthly sales compared to the averages seen in Q3 and Q4 of 2021. Another good example is Porsche which reported 204 units sold – a 114% increase on the figure in December 2021. Sales of other luxury brands seem to be stabilising, but no massive recovery in this portion of the market is expected in the short term,” concluded the NADA Vice-Chairperson

NADA is a constituent association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

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Mark Domisse Chairperson, NADA
Alex Boavida