Local new car sales remain depressed in June, export sales improve

04 July 2019 - 08:37 By Motor News Reporter
The Toyota Hilux achieved its highest recorded monthly sales total with 4,770 units. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Toyota Hilux achieved its highest recorded monthly sales total with 4,770 units. Picture: SUPPLIED

Monthly new vehicle sales figures from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) show that the decline continued into June 2019, although lower passenger car sales were offset by growth in some of the commercial vehicle segments.

The overall 45,939 new vehicle sales recorded in June reflect a decline of 724 units or 1.6% from the 46,663 vehicles sold in June 2018.

MOTORING PODCAST | Cargumentative: Gymkhana life & best advice

For more episodes, click here

Subscribe: iono.fm | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Player.fm

One of the worst affected segments was passenger cars, which registered 28,885 units last month, a decline of 942 cars, or a decrease of 3.2%, compared with the 29,827 new cars sold in June 2018.

New light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses were at 14,495 units, a gain of 1.2%.

The country’s best selling vehicle, the Toyota Hilux, achieved its highest recorded monthly sales total with 4,770 units, 35 more than the previous highest total of 4,335 recorded in 2011.

Medium trucks sold 834 units (up 16%) and heavy trucks 1,725 units (a 3.9% decrease).

The export business showed green shoots with 30,604 units sold beyond SA’s borders last month, a growth of 3,819 vehicles or 14.3% over June 2018.

The VW Polo Vivo ruled passenger-car sales, which were down 1.6% compared to June 2018. Picture: SUPPLIED
The VW Polo Vivo ruled passenger-car sales, which were down 1.6% compared to June 2018. Picture: SUPPLIED

Dealer sales at 80.4% made up the lion’s share of new vehicle sales while 12.5% went to the vehicle rental industry, 3.7% to the government and 3.4% to industry corporate fleets.

Year-to-date overall sales are now down 4.2% on 2018.

According to Naamsa, low business and consumer confidence, growing pressure on household disposable income and ongoing subdued economic circumstances continue to have a bearing on sales performance.

Nevertheless, despite an overall depression in sales figures the signs of improvement seen during the past month bodes well for an anticipated better second half of the year performance, it said.

“The market started the year 7.4% down in January, making June look relatively rosy, but it’s been a matter of how big the rest of the thorns were in-between,” said Ghana Msibi, WesBank executive head of motor.

“Year-on-year performance over the first six months has swung from the worst 7.4% decline in January to the best month being April with 0.7% growth. The passenger car and light commercial vehicle (LCV) sectors have been even more volatile. Passenger cars have spread from February’s 13.3% decline to April’s 3.9% growth, while LCVs fluctuated from being 13% down in May to being up as much as 7.1% in February. All seemingly without correlation to one another.


“The only trend that does continue is the financial pressure that consumers remain under,” says Msibi. “While motorists should expect some relief in petrol prices during July, households will bear increases in rates and electricity prices from this month."

The National Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada), has called on the governor of the Reserve Bank to drop interest rates to help simulate vehicle sales.

“Drastic action needs to be taken by government in order to stimulate the retail sales market across all sectors of the economy,” said Nada chair Mark Dommisse.

“We live in a consumption-based society with consumer confidence a big driver. As consumers increase expenditure and confidence, the economy grows.”

Listed below are SA’s top-selling new vehicles in June 2019, with the record-breaking Hilux taking its perennial top spot in the charts and outselling its main rival, the Ford Ranger.

The VW Polo Vivo and new-generation Polo respectively remain the country’s two best selling passenger car ranges, with the budget Renault Kwid in third place.

Further down the ranks, once-popular sedans continue to fall out of favour as buyers turn increasingly to SUVs and crossovers for their elevated ride heights and perceived superior practicality. Toyota’s Fortuner is the most popular large SUV with the Ford EcoSport ruling the compact high-riding class.

Top 40 selling vehicles in June 2019

1 Toyota Hilux – 4,770

2 Volkswagen Polo Vivo – 2,571

3 Ford Ranger – 2,029

4 VW Polo – 1,887

5 Nissan NP200 – 1,709

6 Isuzu D-Max – 1,525

7 Toyota Fortuner – 1,410

8 Toyota Quantum – 1,345

9 Renault Kwid – 1,056

10 Ford EcoSport – 819

11 Toyota Corolla Quest - 745

12 Datsun Go – 723

13 Hyundai i20 – 670

14 Nissan NP300 – 667

15 Toyota Etios – 659

16 Toyota RAV4 - 653

17 VW Polo sedan – 590

18 Hyundai Grand i10 – 572

19 Renault Clio - 563

20 Suzuki Swift – 548

21 Toyota Avanza 466

22 Kia Picanto 462

23 VW Tiguan 401

24 Renault Sandero 376

25 Ford Figo 356

26 Mazda CX-3 332

27 Hyundai H100 Bakkie 321

28 VW Golf 312

29 Renault Duster 308

30 Mazda CX-5 301

31 Nissan Micra 293

32 Ford Everest 291

33 Nissan Qashqai 283

34 BMW 1-Series 281

35 Kia Rio 280

36 Suzuki Celerio 249

37 Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up 241

38 BMW 3 Series 240

39 VW Amarok 225

40 Isuzu N-Series 225

• Figures exclude Mercedes-Benz and Haval, which do not report their detailed monthly sales figures

Source: Naamsa