SA’s best-selling cars in April

Bakkie sales are down, but cars show a promising upturn in cash-strapped market

03 May 2019 - 09:37 By Denis Droppa
Despite the drop in overall bakkie sales, the Toyota Hilux remained SA’s best-selling new vehicle in April 2019.
Despite the drop in overall bakkie sales, the Toyota Hilux remained SA’s best-selling new vehicle in April 2019.
Image: Supplied

New-vehicle sales in SA delivered mixed results last month, with cars reporting a 3.9% increase compared to April 2018, but light commercials dropping a substantial 8.1%.

According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa), there were 24,989 new cars sold last month compared to the 24,054 units in the same month last year, with the car-rental industry contributing to 8% of the April 2019 figure.

Sales of bakkies and light commercials at 9,810 units recorded a notable decline from the 10,676 units sold during April 2018, however.

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Sales in the low-volume medium and heavy truck segments performed well and at 577 units and 1,418 units respectively, reflected gains of 19,7% (medium commercials) and 7.8% (heavy commercials).

On aggregate the total domestic sales at 36,794 units was 266 units (0,7%) up on the 36,528 vehicles sold in April last year

Naamsa said that growing export sales were a welcome surprise, with the 11,571 vehicles sold outside the country last month reflecting a huge 53.8% gain over April 2018. The association expects export sales to increase to 400,000 units in 2019 compared to the record 351,139 vehicles exported last year.

April sales glimmered as a beacon of hope for the SA new-car industry as the overall 0.7% rise was the first increase in sales this year and brings a slowly declining trend in sales to a halt, says WesBank’s executive head of Motor Ghana Msibi.

“Household budgets are continuing to remain under pressure and consecutive months of petrol price increases will no doubt begin to take their toll,” said Msibi. “Combined with the natural uncertainty ahead of May elections, the April sales performance becomes even more reassuring, as these conditions could easily have resulted in the continuing decline trend.”

WesBank had forecast first-half sales to be slow, improving in the second half. “This April stability could be a sign of an earlier onset of improved trading, but it is early days to label it as such – the market can remain hopeful,” said Msibi.

Total market sales year-to-date are down 3.7% compared to 2018, passenger cars accounting for a 6.2% decline, while LCVs are up 0.7%.

In spite of dwindling light-commercial sales, Toyota’s evergreen Hilux bakkie remained SA’s top-selling vehicle in April, with the rival Ford Ranger in third place behind the VW Polo Vivo.


  1. Toyota Hilux 2,411
  2. VW Polo Vivo 2,350
  3. Ford Ranger 1,635
  4. Toyota Quantum 1,236
  5. VW Polo 1,165
  6. Isuzu D-Max 1,158
  7. Toyota Rav4 839
  8. Toyota Fortuner 816
  9. Ford EcoSport 742
  10. Toyota Etios 719
  11. Hyundai Grand i10 718
  12. Nissan NP200 715
  13. Renault Kwid 472
  14. Datsun Go 453
  15. Renault Clio 452
  16. VW Tiguan 442
  17. Toyota Corolla Quest 436
  18. Ford Figo 426
  19. Renault Sandero 422
  20. Kia Picanto 402

* List excludes Mercedes-Benz and Haval, which do not report their detailed sales figures.